Before I start breaking down this year’s NCAA Tournament bracket, I just want to be clear that I don’t count the “first four” (aka play-in games) as the first round. These games shouldn’t even exist. 64 teams was perfect and the NCAA trying to squeeze every nickel and dime out of the tournament that they can really bothers me. If every team isn’t playing, it’s not the beginning of the tournament. I have no idea why ESPN calls it the first round, because it isn’t. They’re play-in games and they’ll always be play-in games. Just wanted to get that out there so when you hear the analysts on TV talking about the 2nd round (1st round), 3rd round (2nd round) and so on there isn’t any confusion. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s halfway through the NCAA Men’s Basketball season and we’re seeing more and more of what’s become a trend over the last 3 seasons- parity. The teams that were supposed to dominate from start to finish aren’t doing so and mid-major teams are creeping into the top 25. Only 1 undefeated team remains- 9th ranked (way too high for a team that doesn’t play quality competition) Murray State after Syracuse’s 20 game win streak came to a halt at Notre Dame. While tiers have emerged, there is no clear cut lock to take home the National Title on April 2nd. Let’s take a look at the most recent polls: Read the rest of this entry »
|16||San Diego State||15-2||282|
Teams Ranked Too High: Read the rest of this entry »
The first updated AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls came out on November 14:
AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 North Carolina (62) 2-0 1,620
2 Kentucky 1-0 1,519
3 Ohio State (1) 1-0 1,486
4 Connecticut (2) 1-0 1,429
5 Syracuse 1-0 1,358
6 Duke 2-0 1,274
7 Florida 1-0 1,132
8 Louisville 2-0 1,122
9 Pittsburgh 2-0 1,084
10 Memphis 0-0 1,017 Read the rest of this entry »
This year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball season kicks off on November 7th, but the ESPN/Coaches Pre-Season poll is already out:
|ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll|
|1||North Carolina (30)||0-0||774|
After a few days of extensive labor talks with mediation, no progress has been made in the NBA lockout situation. The owners are trying to use the current NHL CBA as a model, and that’s not going to fly with the NBA players.
So first the pre-season was cancelled. Then the first 2 weeks of the season. Now the first 4 weeks have been cancelled. Personally, I don’t see an end in sight and I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose the entire 2011-2012 season.
The real losers here aren’t the fans, it’s the players. Any rookie that came out of college early is flat-out wearing it. Tristan Thompson (who the Cavs absolutely REACHED for) has gone back to Texas, who was nice enough to honor his scholarship even though he no longer has NCAA eligibility. He’s taking classes and working out at their facilities. He’s one of the lucky ones, but as for his ex-teammates Cory Joseph and Jordan Hamilton? Your guess is as good as mine. Kentucky’s Enes Kanter is probably still living off that pro money he got in Turkey. I’ve seen Josh Selby in a few of those pickup games, maybe he gets some free sneakers or something out of the deal. Most likely the majority of guys followed suit with Delonte West and are now working at the Home Depot. Read the rest of this entry »
The Final Four is basically the first major sporting event of the year. Even if you are not a die hard college basketball fan, you can’t help but get wrapped up into it due to the number of office bracket pools. Even if you don’t know who is good this year, you can generally get a way with picking two or three number one seeds and sprinkle in an upset or two in there.
North Carolina. Check. Kansas. Check. Kentucky. Check. Duke. Check. Well at least you got one of those right. Tournament staple, and perennial national championship contender, North Carolina, didn’t even make the field of sixty-five. God it pains me to have to type sixty-five. It just doesn’t fit. Kansas, led by four NBA prospects, bowed out in the second round to the University of Northern Iowa. In their elite eight matchup with West Virginia, Kentucky started out missing on their first twenty (that’s right TWENTY), 3-point shots of the game. They were on their way to shooting an unfathomable 4 of 32 from 3-point range in their loss to West Virginia. They lost by 7. But hey, at least you picked Duke to reach the Final Four.
If you were looking for that super-model, sexy looking Final Four, you’re going to have to settle for Kirstie Alley. Sorry. Michigan State (#5 seed), Butler (#5 seed), West Virginia (#2 seed) and Duke (#1 seed). If you didn’t have that Final Four in your bracket, don’t worry. Neither did the other 99.9% of America.
In the early game on Saturday, Michigan State will take on Butler. Since this year’s Final Four is being played in Indianapolis, Butler will essentially be playing at home. With their campus only about fifteen minutes away, you can expect Lucas Oil Stadium to be rockin’ for the Bulldogs. Butler carries a nation long, 24 game winning streak into the game. So if these two factors aren’t enough for Michigan State to handle, they will also be playing without their starting point guard, Junior Kalin Lucas. Lucas suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the Spartan’s second round win over Maryland. Michigan State will have to rely heavily on Coach Tom Izzo’s experience to get them to the championship game. Izzo is leading his Spartan’s to their sixth Final Four appearance since 1999. On the other hand, Butler has been slaying everyone in their path on the way to the Final Four. After going undefeated in the Horizon league (18-0), 33 year old coach Brad Stevens has led the Bulldogs past #1 seed Syracuse, and #2 seed Kansas State along the way. Home crowd, being on a total roll, looking for respect. I believe this is Butler’s game to lose. If they come out early and his 3-pointers like they have all season, this game could be over before you know it. I like Butler to play for the national championship. Butler 74 Michigan St. 65
In the second half of the double header, Coach K’s Duke Blue Devils take on the Bob Huggins lead West Virginia Mountaineers. Duke has made 15 Final Four’s, and last made it there back in 2004. West Virginia is making only its second Final Four appearance ever. The other time was all the way back in 1959, when that guy who the NBA logo is fashioned after, led them to the national championship game. In case you didn’t know who it was, it’s Jerry West. This game just feels like a Final Four type game. It’s got flavor and pizzazz. Two big time schools with big time coaches, and the love em’/hate em’ opinion that nearly every college basketball fan has for Duke. A Duke staple for the past 20 years is that they always had great guards. This year is no exception. Although Nolan Smith and John Scheyer may not be top NBA prospects, they team up with G/F Kyle Singler to form the highest scoring threesome in the college game. What is different about this Duke team is that they have three big guys who can rebound. They are the biggest Blue Devil team in years and one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country. Against Baylor, Duke ripped down 23 offensive boards, leading to 23 second-chance points. Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas, and the Plumlee brothers are sure to give Westy V all they can handle.
Da’Sean Butler, one of the best players in college basketball, can do it all. He can score in big bunches, to the tune of over 17 ppg. He is going to be the focal point of Duke’s defense. The Mountaineers are going to need secondary scoring, like they got in their upset victory over Kentucky. Kevin Jones and Devin Ebanks will have to take it to the Duke big men and step up the scoring. With starting point guard Darryl Bryant doubtful for the rest of the tournament with a broken bone in his foot, backup guard Joe Mazzulla will have to have a big game like he did against Kentucky. His 17 points were a huge lift for West Virginia.
Having the two top remaining seeds battling it out for the right to play for the national championship, it’s going to be a close battle to the end. I like duke’s big three to take over this game in crunch time. I’ll take Duke 78 West Virginia 76