Sweet Sixteen Thoughts

Random observations, musings, and worthless analysis for the sixteen remaining college basketball teams...

Washington D.C. Region

Connecticut: Well things are shaping up for them quite nicely, aren't they? If they make it through the region, they will have done so without playing a team better than a 5-seed. They came dangerous close to becoming the first 1-seed to fall in the first round, and then let my mediocre UK 'Cats hang around and almost steal the game. What a thoroughly unlikeable team. The starting point guard is still playing despite being involved in a theft of laptops from UConn students (I'm all for second chances, but don't there have to be real consequences first?) and the most talented team in the country does not always feel like showing up to play hard.

In 1999, UConn advanced to the final four without playing a top-four seed (before, admittedly, beating the best collection of talent in the last 10 years). They did the same on their way to the title in 2004, this time a 6-seed being their toughest region game. This year, as above, 5-seed Washington is their biggest roadblock to Indianapolis. Unlikeable and lucky. I will be rooting against them.

(A quick note on my 'Cats here: It was a disappointing season for sure, but I did enjoy them going out with their best.)

Washington: I know absolutely nothing about this team, which is why Jonathan pays me the big bucks to analyze college basketball. Nonetheless, given their opponent (above) I will be their biggest fan.

George Mason: If by some miracle the most libertarian university in the United States makes it to the final four, I think this will be a tipping point for freedom. First GMU cuts down the nets in DC, then Tyler Cowen will mount a successful bid for president, then... libertopia! Go Pats!

Wichita State: This looks like a good team. If they were in any other bracket than UConn's, I would give them a legitimate shot to go to Indy. On a given night, they could hang with Memphis, Duke, or Villanova. UConn will destroy them if they show up to play. Of course, they have to end all hope for a free world first by beating George Mason, and GMU walked into Wichita a few months back and hung an L on 'em, so that is not a given. Anyway, I would have loved to have seen this team play in the Big XII this year - they might have won it.

Minneapolis Region

Villanova: A popular pick for the championship. They are fun to watch, but I'd say the least likely 1-seed to get out of their region.

Boston College: They are the team that did the least to get this far (other than UConn, who at least earned the right to sleepwalk through the first weekend). A trendy final four pick; if you have them in your bracket as the sleeper, you are happy they're still alive, but can't feel too confident about the way they are playing. Who will show up this week?

Florida: When Rick Pitino left UK in 1997, it was between Billy Donovan and Tubby Smith for "the best job in college basketball". Most UK fans wanted Billy the Kid. We had grown accustomed to the run and gun, pressing style, and we wanted a coach who would continue that style. A lot of UK fans are unhappy with Tubby, but Donovan's Florida teams have consistently shown a lack of toughness that makes me proud of Tubby's hard-nosed teams.

Not this year. Florida's kids play good defense, they play hard, and they are tough. I'm not sure how they'll match up against Georgetown, as they don't always play smart, but they will show up to play.

Georgetown: Lost in all the controversy last weekend over Tennessee's 2-seed and the mid-major at-large selections was the fact that GU got royally screwed. Here's a team that beat Duke, finished tied with Pitt for fourth in the toughest conference in college basketball, played a reasonable non-conference schedule for a change, yet got a 7-seed while Pitt got a 5. Try switching those two up. Anyway, I'm not sure their win against Ohio State was an upset. I picked them to win, and I wish I had checked the TradeSports, because I'm pretty sure I would have taken them at even money.

Atlanta Region

Duke: A true Cinderalla story. College basketball would be a lot more fun if underdogs like them made it to the Sweet 16 every year.

LSU: John Brady may be the worst coach in college basketball. He's the anti-Tubby. Tubby Smith gets mediocre talent (given his resources and tradition) year after year, but still puts together teams that challenge for titles. His teams a few years ago that were the overall #1-seed two years running had no legitimate NBA players, and were fairly undersized, but they were excellent.

Brady has more talent than UK every year, and consistenly lays eggs in the NCAA tournament. And they got lucky to get this far, a la BC. As I was watching LSU come out of their timeout with 20 second to play and down two to Texas A&M, I told my friends, "They are not going to win this game; they have an awful coach and will not get off a good shot." I stand by my statement, LSU's win notwithstanding. They had plenty of time, got no penetration, had no semblence of a play, and settled for a fadeaway 3-pointer with a guy in the shooter's face. Some shit just goes in.

This team has the talent to win the championship. Their front line is the best west of Storrs, Connecticut, and they have competent guards. Glen Davis is a load with nice touch and tremendous footwork. If Tubby Smith were their coach, they would be the favorite.

West Virginia: Their games last year were the best games in the tournament; this year they have yet to play a single-digit seed. I'm ready for them to get going this week and do it again. They are the most fun team to watch. If, somehow, they could meet Villanova in the finals, my head might explode.

Texas: I'm not sure, but I think no team has ever won the chamionship after having lost a game by 30 points in the season. Still, I can't help but think they have more than a legitimate chance to be the first.

Oakland Region

Memphis: Admittedly, I was skeptical of this team. But I, and everyone else, forgot that they beat 6 tournament teams in the non-conference, and narrowly lost to Duke.

It's been enjoyable watching CBS and ESPN repeatedly show Darius Washington miss two free throws to miss an NCAA tournament bid last year. The cool thing about sports is watching the drama as people succeed and fail in front of millions of people, and to see their very human reactions. I liked how the Memphis team rallied around their teammate as he broke down on the court. I like how willing Washington is to talk about it now. If their is justice, Washington will hit a game-winning shot to give Memphis the title. That would be quite a story.

Bradley: But it would also be quite a story to see the first #13-seed advance to the final four. I think they could conceivably do it. This is a very good team, and actaully has a better shot than their cinderella sisters, George Mason and Wichita State.

Gonzaga: Finally got over the hump to actually advance to the second week as a favorite. Barely. They really have not played well, from what I saw, and need to step it up; however, UCLA does not impress me.

UCLA: UCLA does not impress me.

Tennessee took a lot of shit for getting a 2-seed, but UCLA was just as weak, if not weaker. They seem like a pretty flawed team, and I have always enjoyed seeing them lose. 11 titles are enough.

My Picks

UConn, Texas, Memphis, and I need a sleeper, so... Georgetown.


Prior post: Mid-Majors In the NCAA Tournament
Prior post: Mid-Majors in the NCAA Tournament, Continued
See Also: Mid-Majors in the NCAA Tournament, One More Time

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I think seven titles is

I think seven titles is enough. :grin:

Btw, I hate Memphis and hope they lose their next game. Darius Washington was a little punk-ass during the CUSA championship game against Louisville. He was walking around beating his chest and talking trash. When he made the first free throw, he looked over to his coach and said, "I got this." If you ask me, there IS justice and it was served that day.

But then again, I really hate fucking Memphis.

Go Cards. :razz:

Great deals on laptops Trent

Great deals on laptops
Trent McBride, who unlike me seems to actually follow college roundball, analyzes the next round of March Madness. To show how out of it I am, until I read Trent's post, I didn't know about UConn guard Marcus Williams' computer dealership.
Pol...

Where are the Cardinals

Where are the Cardinals playing this week? In Pitino's driveway? Can't communicate without using the f-word? Typical U of L trash. And if you like watching DWash fail over and over, tune in for those two idiots doing the Applebee's commercial to the tune of Gilligan's Island. Talk about failure on TV, only Billy Packer is worse.Anyway, Memphis is the deepest team in the country and will win it all for the first time this year. Enjoy watching their run through the west.

Awwww. Sorry I hurt your

Awwww. Sorry I hurt your feelings, honey. I'll try to be more sensitive next time. I only said I hated your team, not you. No reason to get all defensive and call me trash.

I would like to apologize to

I would like to apologize to Trent for my original comment, though. No sense in being hateful in his post. :mrgreen: