Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It is time to dance.

It is time to dance. The NCAA Tournament will be starting in a matter of hours and by the time you read this I will have entered 6,000 different tournament pools and filled out 6,000 different sets of brackets. I do not believe in the “sheet of integrity” philosophy in which you fill out one sheet and use that for every pool you enter. I believe in the philosophy that you fill out as many sheets as you can and have as many different winners as you can to enhance your chances at winning the cash. Not that I endorse gambling of any kind.

I want to touch on a few things involving this year’s tournament beginning with the crying about who didn’t get in and who should have gotten in. As far as I’m concerned, if you made it, you made it, enough said. For all the Cincinnatis and Missouri States, I say play better down the stretch and win more games.

Every year we have the schools of the big conferences against the little conferences and when it comes to one or the other of them getting a 10 or 11 seed it really doesn’t matter because neither of them is going to win the championship. It’s not like Cincinnati has made it to the Elite Eight in 20 years.

Another thing I would like to touch on is UK and how their inconsistent play the whole season cost them any chance to make a good run in the NCAA Tournament. Assuming they beat UAB, and that is a big assumption with this team, they almost certainly will go down in defeat when they play UConn. The big question is will they lose by 50 or make it an interesting game. I don’t know why, but I feel like they have a chance to play well against UConn. The have nothing to lose because everyone expects them to lose so they should be loose as a goose. Another reason they have a chance to make it close is that Rajon Rondo should make life a living Hades for UConn point man, Marcus Williams. Williams seems to be the one that makes them go and if he can be thrown off his game a bit it will definitely be good news for UK.

One last reason I think UK can have a good showing against UConn is because UConn has a way of playing down to their competition. Take UConn’s two games against Louisville for example. UConn is by far a better team than U of L, but they struggled at times with the Cards and UConn let them stay close the whole game. Let’s make this clear. I am not predicting an upset victory for UK. I am just saying I think they can stay close and give UConn that one real tough game that every future NCAA winner goes through in the early rounds. Hint, hint.

Now, my predictions, as I said earlier, I will have filled out 6,000 sheets before you read this, but this is what I came up with when filling out my first set of brackets. First impressions, so to speak. In the Final Four, I have Duke facing Gonzaga in a dream match up of J. J. Redick and Adam Morrison. I think Duke has righted itself and will be a tough out and I think Gonzaga has the talent this year to make that Final Four run that many have been expecting the last few years.

In the other Final Four game I have UConn against Boston College. I think UConn is the best team in the country and Boston College is coming on at the right time and their toughness will help them win their region. It won’t help them win this game.

I have Duke and UConn in the game everyone should want to see, for the championship. The two best teams all year long fighting it out for the title, a finer finish I could not dream. I believe this year’s tournament will have its usual upsets in the early rounds, but the cream always rises in the end and UConn will be the cream of the crop come the end of the great NCAA Tournament.


Travis said...

You can't be serious about telling Missouri State to play better down the stretch. But I won't dwell on that.

This is a horrible bracket. To me the worst thing I've noticed is UT having a two seed. UNC deserved that seed over UT. In fact, my mock selection committee gave UT a five, thinking they MAY get a four.

But inconsistency throughout the selections this year made it impossible to accurately forecast. Which is why none of the experts did very well. They used logic, consistency and the numbers. The committee used...well I don't know WHAT the committee used.

On to UK. I may be wrong, but I think they got the worst 8/9 draw in the dance. It was either UAB, UNC-Wilmington, Bucknell or Wisconsin. UAB is the hottest, the toughest matchup, and they beat UK out of the tourney in resounding fashion just two years ago. I think the Cats are one and done. BUT, should they survive, UConn will destroy them inside and outside.

I don't think Gonzaga has proven much this year. Every team they play seemingly takes them to the wire. That's bad news in the tourney.

Duke is limping in having lost 3 of 5.

I do like Boston College, UConn, and UCLA (very good when healthy.) I'm still working on the other bracket, but I really like Iowa. A team playing very well who is battle tested and has no weakness at any position except maybe depth.

Piccu said...

On my other brackets I will also have all those teams.

BRATCH said...

We all know that March Madness is about upsets. Even though all of us here know that UK is not very good this year and it is an 8/9 game, UAB winning is an instant upset story which is why we all watch. Just like it was when UAB played them the last time in the tournament.

Giant UK loses to puny UAB. And if UK does pull off the UAB win they get to play "new perennial power on the block" Uconn and get smashed for a backup story.

You could almost say that Tennessee getting that 2 seed is a way to get a 15/2 upset. If they don't show up, anything could happen. And they did put UNC in the same half of the DC bracket so they can fight it out in the second weekend for supremacy.

Those two instances probably aren't the best arguments, but I think the poor logic we are seeing in this year's bracket could actually be the committee seeing if they can create some good TV.

How else can Syracuse go from NIT bound to 5 seed in 48 hours? Little Jerry hitting buzzer beaters that everyone saw 1,000 time on Sportscenter could have something to do with it.