Thursday, March 20, 2008

Poseur's Brackets

I was all set to do a tourney preview until I looked in the mirror and admitted it would all be a bunch of bull. Look, the teams with little numbers next to their names are better. That's why they ahve such high seeds. The four #1 seeds are the best four teams in the country and everyone outside of Tennessee knows it. But here's the catch, this is a one-and-done tournament, which encourages upsets. Inferior teams are going to win games (exception: last year's tournament, which was the most boring March ever). With any luck, inferior teams are going to win lots of games. The key filling out your bracket is accurately predicting those inferior teams. So here's the answer: No one knows.


The other thing to keep in mind is that the gap isn't that wide between a 6 seed and an 11 seed. You wouldn't bat an eyelash if St Joe's beat Oklahoma on February 9th, so why think it will be an upset now? The real gap is between the very top teams and the rest of the field. Once you get past the top three seed lines, everyone is on fairly equal foooting until you get to about the bottom three seed lines. So what follows is a Peter Gammons style notes commentary based just on random guesses from watching too much basketball...

Hansborough is the perfect symbol for UNC: he scores lots of points, he plays hard, and he's a deserving Player of the Year, but at the end of the day, you just aren't that impressed by him... If UNC thought Clemson was tough, they should get a load of Louisville... Winthrop and George Mason are not as good as the team's which won our hearts in previous tournaments... I have no idea what to make of Washington St.. Butler and Tennessee is potential matchup that would be an awesome contrast of styles, but defense normally wins out in the tournament.

I think this is the bracket most likely to get blown up, meaning that I've jinxed it and only the top seeds will advance... The typical Michael Beasley game is scoring 35 points in a losing effort... Face it, if there was another school's name on the jersey, Kansas would be an overwhelming pick to win the title, but they have choked so many times in the past... I expected Georgetown to be so much better this year... Clemson beats Duke and suddenly they are a great team? Did I miss something?... I hope Davidson wins just so I can see Stephen Curry play twice... Wisconsin is the matchup from hell, but they really lack athleticism, I'm not sure how much that matters... Final upset alert: Siena is pretty good. Ask Stanford.

If the first thing negative you say about a team is that they stink at free throws, that means that team is really, really good... Texas would love to play Memphis in Houston, but Stanford creates huge matchup problems for them... I refuse to be burned by Pittsburgh again: every year they do great in the Big East tourney and every year they lose in the big Dance. I refuse to buy the hype again... Which Drew Nietzel is going to show up for Michigan St?... Will Jesus call Oral Roberts home if they lose by double digits in the first round again?... Kentucky's 12-4 conference record says a lot more about the SEC than it does about Kentucky.

Who did UCLA blow to get this draw? Take a look at the region, every team's weakness is: lacks a powerful big man, which is UCLA's strength (well, one of them)... Arizona-West Virginia should be spectacular, so should be the encore of the winner vs. Duke... I'm partial, but I really do love this Baylor team. Purdue is gonna press a team with tons of guards who love to play in transition, rarely a recipe for success... Georgia is the lowest seeded team from a major conference ever... OK, Drake, time to put your money where your mouth is... I've ignored UConn all year. I honestly have no opinion on them, but they do seem like the sort of team that can make a surprising run.

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