What better time to turn things around then the NCAA tourney?
But first, as anyone who watched the CBS selection show yesterday must realise, Billy Packer is an ass. And while Dickie V. might be an ass as well, he's at least the kinder, gentler, Shrek-inspired Donkey. Billy is just mean-spirited, ill-tempered, and totally beholden to the "power conferences". In my intial rant, I had forgotten that lovely aspect. Big East/ACC/Big Ten = good, Mountain West/A-10/Missouri Valley = bad. At least in the World According to Billytm. Don't bother letting the head of the selection committee congratulate the teams that made it, just jump right down his throat about how your pet leagues didn't get enough bids (equals money = broadcasting revenue = cash for Billy. What a prick.)
That being said...committee...Air Force? Can I say that they don't belong without being accused of hating the troops? Tennessee as a #2 seed? BC a #4 and GW #8??? How come GW gets penalized for an injured star who may or may not be able to play, yet Villanova doesn't. The Allen Ray play was ugly by the way. (In college I poked a teammate in the eye in practice, and they found my thumbprint on the top of his eyeball. Yech.)
The BC-Duke game was one of the better college games I've seen in a while, easily among the top 5 I saw this year (off the top of my head, the Gonzaga-Michigan State game from Maui and the first UCONN-Nova game being another 2). I have a strong visceral dislike of Boston College, and I've decided it's all one players fault. Sean Marshall. (You may remember him as the player who screamed in Redick's face for no reason for about 20 seconds the first time BC played Duke this year) A very low game:noise ratio. Craig Smith is awesome, though unfortunately he's the classic dominant college big man who's 3 inches too small to make it big in the league. I thought everyone handled the little dust-up between Paulus (who else?) and Hinnant. Especially Al Skinner, the BC coach. I'm surprised things like that don't happen more often, where someone gets all excited and makes contact with an opponent - cue donnybrook. Oh yeah. Josh. McRoberts.
Moving on to the tourney itself, some observations in no apparent order
- As I mentioned before, George Washington got screwed. Where the overrated at #6? Probably, but congratulations kids (and Pops) assuming you win a tough first round game, you get the #1 overall seed.
- Has there ever been a team more primed to be upset in the first round than Syracuse? I know a little something about basketball, so I know you can't expect the Cuse-in-the-house-ohmigod-ohmigod to win this game. I wouldn't be surprised if they lost by 15-20.
- Texas is primed for a run at a rematch with the Dukies. Will they make me look good?
- Kansas-Gonzaga in the Oakland regional finals. Memphis and UCLA are overrated it says here. (Sorry X)
- UCONN should beat everyone in their sub-region by 20 at least. Even though I think Washington is a better team, Illinois would give them a tougher time because if Big 10 teams know how to do anything, it's how to ugly up a game vs. a more skilled team.
- Michigan State-UNC will be a phenomenal second round game. A very, very important game for Paul Davis' NBA future as well. I think if he handles Hansbrough decently, his stock will rise plenty. UNC-UCONN would have a higher aggregate skill level than Knicks-Bobcats right now.
- Nevada could not have gotten a worse second round match-up then BC. They're best player is a finesse-oriented big guy, who will get the everloving crap knocked out of him for 40 minutes by Misters Smith, Dudley, Williams, etc... If Ray isn't effective for 'Nova, BC beats them comfortably as well.
- The bottom half of the Minneapolis bracket sucks. Someone will have to make the elite 8 from there, it will probably be from a power conference, and Billy Packer will talk about what an outstanding coaching job whomever has done by taking an bunch of McDonald's All-American's to three wins vs. Davidson, the Washington Generals and the Tennesee women's team.
Pooh's Elite 8 Predictions
Texas over Duke
Kansas over Gonzaga
UCONN over UNC
BC over Florida
UCONN beats Texas in the title game.
Of course, I could be and probably am wrong on about 80% of this.
P.S. for the best pool around, go here