As we approach the 24 hour time period before March Madness really begins, I have to vent about a few teams that I simply tired of hearing about in the media and in the college ranks. Take a look and let me know what you think about these 3 ghosts of March. No way any of the 3 stand a chance to cut down the nets in Indy…
1. Purdue Boilermakers
Honestly, has anyone heard of Robbie Hummel? If you have, you know that he is the biggest talent on Matt Painter’s Purdue roster. As the backbone and only leader on the team, Hummel is an All-American. However, if you haven’t realized it, he’s nowhere to be found, out with an ACL injury through the rest of the 2009-2010 season. What does this mean? It means no chance for the Boilermakers to make a run at the NCAA title. Already given the privilege of getting a more-than-generous #4 seed in the South Region, Purdue isn’t making it out of the 1st Round, let alone cutting down the nets in Indy in a few weeks. Matched up against an always dangerous, and proven Siena team, Purdue simply doesn’t score enough points without Hummel to be anywhere near a “true” #4 seed. Come on NCAA Committee, what are you thinking here? Maybe they did it for such a high potential for ratings when Siena knocks off Painter’s club. I mean, for goodness sakes, Siena is close to being favored in the game according to Vegas. Look for Painter’s bunch to take a backseat to Siena’s speedy and guard heavy squad in the 1st Round. Sorry Boilermaker fans, No Hummel = No Championship.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
Evan Turner this, Evan Turner that. Come on guys, can we get off the Evan Turner bandwagon now? Most people hate OSU (rightfully so), but have begun to take a ride on the Tuner bandwagon all the way to a potential NCAA championship. Let me start by saying that I agree that Turner is a great player. He is a one man wrecking crew. However, we must remember that this tournament format pits the best teams in the country against each other, in a race to win 6 games and grab a plaque in April. Turner has done a great job so far carrying the weight of an entire basketball program on his back. That job will be too much come the end of March. In this style of tourney, I absolutely cannot give a team that has one “proven” player a chance at winning the title. It’s too much pressure, too much to carry throughout 6 hard-fought games in the NCAA bracket. Sure they’ll win two or three games, but when they match up against Kansas later in the tournament, an exhausted Evan Turner has ABSOLUTELY NO SHOT at taking down Bill Self’s experienced and NBA-ready Kansas Jayhawks. The OSU Buckeyeres? Very overrated. Wow, this sounds a lot like college football season. I mean, I guess that’s what happens when you play a cake schedule, right OSU fans? Get a grip…
3. Tennessee Volunteers
Bruce Pearl, how I loathe you and your Orange suits. What do I hate more? Your athletic team’s massive underachievement and laziness. The only way Wayne Chism actually proves his worth is by wearing his headband awkwardly on his hand. One week, they’ll go out and be the best team in the country. The next week they can’t roll with the bottom of the barrell in the SEC. Shouldn’t that orange suit be lucky or something Bruce? I hope so because there is absolutely no other reason that anyone in their right mind would wear it. Watch out for Sand Diego State, watch out! If your team does their usual Jekyll and Hyde performance, the #6 seed could easily, and likely fall in the 1st weekend. With so much talent, it’s a shame that it will and has gone to waste. Stick to football Volunteers…
Another year, another March, another month of Madness. That’s right folks, it’s a new year and a new bracket of teams with no hope, some hope, or a good chance of cutting down the nets in Indianapolis. As everyone scrambles to start filling out fifteen different scenario-pending brackets, we all bask in the glory and anticipation of a tournament filled with buzzer beaters, upsets, and the potential for a #1 seed to finally bite the bullet and get canned in the first weekend (except my Blue Devils). Trust me, if Duke gets canned, you won’t hear much more from me in the latter half of March. The Thursday deadline is approaching fast so let’s kick the Madness off with a few upset specials I’ve got up my sleeve….
1. Temple vs. Cornell in the Round of 64
Yes, I know everyone likes Temple and their guard play this year. But you know what? Cornell is one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. They fire up threes like the ball is on fire. With any space, a 3-ball is headed toward the rim from the Big Red. Cornell is one of the leaders in the clubhouse in 3-point percentage and attempts in the NCAA Division 1, and there’s no reason to be gun-shy here in the tournament. I mean, for goodness sakes, Andy Bernard (the Office) went there, so they must be good. With that Ivy League brain power, they might very well just have the fortitude and the swagger to knock off Temple. As we all know, the 5-12 matchup is always an intriguing one. Every year, at least one 12 seed does its thing and takes care of business against an often too-comfortable 5 seed. Look for this year to be no different.
2. Notre Dame vs. Villanova in the Sweet 16
Let’s skip a few rounds and head on to the Sweet 16 where I really like Notre Dame to upset a very overrated Villanova Wildcat team. With Harangody back and Little-Hansborough playing well from the perimeter, Notre Dame has taken on an identity that was present with the ballclub last year. I know the ‘Cats still have Scottie Too Hottie and an array of guards, but there is not one soul on the Villanova that can truly contain Cool Hand Luke in the paint. If the Fighting Irish make it this far and Villanova doesn’t lay an egg against Richmond in Round 2, look for the Green and Gold to fight on and lose to Duke in the Elite 8.
3. Florida vs. The West Region
All I have heard this week is “Oh, my Hokies didn’t make it, what is the committee thinking?” or “My Hokies or My Bulldogs deserve a spot in the NCAA Tournament.” Well, to be quite honest, they might as well go ahead and worry about the NIT because neither Miss. State, nor VA Tech had a chance of cutting down the nets anyways. Who got in instead? My super sleeper team, the Florida Gators. Watch out folks, watch out for the Gators to come chompin’ on your doorstep. Billy Donovan is a prove winner and his team ALWAYS plays well during tourney time. Now that they’ve been given a chance by the NCAA committee, count on them to prove their worth in the West Region. Not only do I have them upsetting BYU in Round 1, but I have them taking down Kansas State to secure a spot in the Elite 8, where they will eventually succumb to their Orange counterpart, Syracuse and Jim Beoheim. Florida is deep with young talent, they endured a learning season in the brutal SEC, and have a young star by the name of Chandler Parsons who can light it up from 3-point land or dribble to the basket among the trees. No one has heard a lot about Florida this year, but any team coached by Donovan makes me a believer. Everyone is on the K State bandwagon, but watch them unravel under the pressure when they face the Gators early into March Madness. I like Florida and their potential here, and why not? No one’s ever able to “call” the next George Mason run in the tourney….da Gators have the best chance of anyone. Count it, and the foul.
Sorry for the delay guys, but I am officially back! Stay tuned for March Madness analysis!
With next week’s U.S. Open on the horizon, it’s time to pick a winner. And yes, I’m going to take the easy road and take Tiger Woods at Bethpage BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT I like Phil to put up a good fight. Tiger at Bethpage? Usually it’s a lock, and you might as well tally another trophy in the trophy case for Mr. Woods and Co. However, Phil Mickelson, who’s wife was recently diagnosed with breast cancer but encouraged him to play in next week’s tournament, has fate on his side. I am a very big believer in fate and the Lord rewarding good deeds for good people. Phil is one of those people. If I had to guess, Phil might even be in the final group on Sunday, but it will be too tough to overcome his wife’s current situation and battle Tiger mentally and physically for 18 grueling holes. Tiger will pull it out in the end, but it will be the heroic story of Phil Mickelson making a run at the title that steals the show. Tiger, a gentleman in the same regard, will applaud Phil’s performance and those two will overtake the spotlight on the final day at Bethpage. What does this mean? Great ratings and another good show and heartwarming story for the PGA Tour and its fans. But even though I like Tiger next weekend, you know I’ll be pulling for Phil…he deserves it…