Archive for NCAA Tournament

NCAA Tournament Round 1 Reactions

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2010 by sportsguru09

Wow, what a first round…one of the best in recent memory. I can officially say that my 2010 NCAA Tournament bracket is officially crushed. I have 0% chance of winning any kind of tournament pick’em challenge and will be succumbed to another victory by my wife in our head-to-head pick’em bracket. Oh well, same story, different year. But hey, the Dukies won right? All is well and they will hopefully continue their hot shooting Sunday night (5:30 PM) against Cal.

Here are a few thoughts and reactions from Round 1:

1. Really Georgetown? A double-digit loss to Ohio University? Come on, how inconsistent can you be. With Chris Wright and Eugene Monroe, you were viewed as a guaranteed first-round winner and a common Elite 8 or Final Four pick among the nation. Instead, you laid the biggest egg of the tournament so far. Ohio bruised you up and down the court, running circles around your big men and beating Wright and Freeman to the basket every single possession. With so much promise, JTIII’s Hoyas did so little. Another year, another underachieving tournament performance. Forget picking you next year, you ruined my 2010 bracket. Thanks a lot.

2. Ah, the local boys. Old Dominion beating a much better Notre Dame was a COMPLETE shocker. Now listen, I know I live in the Hampton Roads area and should be rooting for them, but did anyone honestly look at both teams and view ODU as the better team? And of course, just like G’Town, I picked Notre Dame to make a decent run and bow down to Duke in the South regional Elite 8 matchup next week. I guess I learned my lesson once again to always root for the home team, whether you like them or not. Now, the Monarchs match up against an up and running Baylor team in the bottom half of the Southern Region Saturday evening. For Duke’s sake, I’ll be the biggest ODU fan on the planet today, whether anyone else likes it or not. Who knows? Could ODU run the table? Could they be the next George Mason? Well, why not?

3. Buzzer beaters, the best thing in sports. Congrats to Murray State beating an overrated Vanderbilt with a game-winning thriller to walk into Round 2. Listen, we all look forward to the tournament every year. But honestly, it’s mostly for the close games and hopefully an array of buzzer beaters and game winning shots. Even when our own teams play, we secretly root for a game winning shot, though on the outside and for our nerves’ sake, we hope for an early half blowout. Murray State was our first Cinderella bracket buster so lots of props for them. Watch out for them to oust Butler in Round 2…let the Madness continue.

4. The ACC vs. the Big East. And who thought the Big East was overrated? I DID. They have finally been exposed for the frauds that they are. Yes, they beat up on each other in their own conference, but out of conference, the Big East took losses from teams like William and Mary, South Florida, and Loyola Marymount. I agree that the Big East is deep, but that doesn’t mean that they are good. To be honest, Villanova deserved to lose but got an early Christmas present from some of the worst referees I have ever seen. Was the game fixed? Maybe so….don’t be surprised if we find that out in a year or two once someone comes clean. But anyways, how about the ACC, huh? Wake Forest took care of Texas, Duke and Maryland dominated, and Georgia Tech took care of business.. Can’t wait to see what happens when they match up with fraudulent members of the big East. Expect Syracuse and Villanova to struggle in Round 2. Don’t be surprised if Al-Farouq Aminu leads the Demon Deacons past the Wildcats and ousts the first #1 seed of the tournament. Simply, the ACC is finally proving that IT IS the BEST conference in College Basketball, hands down.

5. One word: UPSETS.

6. The worst refereeing anyone has ever seen?

7. Year of the Mid-Major.

8. Congrats NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, well done. Much improved from last year.

9. DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA

10. Coach K, most NCAA Tourney wins ever.

Stay tuned for Round 2 reactions….GO BLUE DEVILS!

Ever Seen A Court Come Together?

Posted in Sports with tags , , , on March 20, 2010 by sportsguru09

2010 Overrated Bracket Buster Tourney Teams

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2010 by sportsguru09

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…

2010 March Madness Sleepers….

Posted in College Basketball, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2010 by sportsguru09

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. March Madness 2010As 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.

Courtney, So Much For That Guarantee…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2009 by sportsguru09

Can anyone say student loan? How about $64,000 of debt? Well, all this is now a reality for Ms. Courtney Paris, the Oklahoma Lady Sooner who failed on her guaranteed NCAA Championship as of 9 P.M. last night. The Lady Sooners lost to the Louisville Lady Cardinals in the Final Four Sunday evening by a bucket after blowing over a 10 point lead at the end of the 1st half, thus ending OU’s title hopes and crushing Paris’ guarantee. When asked the $64,000 question (literally), she said, however, that she would be good on it and would pay back the scholarship in the coming years. Paris just didn’t have the cash on her last night, of course.

What does this teach us kids? NEVER GUARANTEE ANYTHING when money’s on the line. You’re just asking to be broke. It’s all fun and games until someone goes bankrupt. This isn’t the board game Life, it IS life. Money doesn’t grow on trees…unless it’s Monopoly money.monopoly_photoshop_template

And to those in the financial offices at OU, nothing like getting $64,000 back in the mail right?

Silly Sooner…Guarantees Are For Kids…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by sportsguru09

So, let me get this straight. Before March Madness began, at Senior Night, one of the Oklahoma Lady Sooners, Courtney Paris, guaranteed an NCAA Championship?!?!? And if they didn’t win it she would pay back her entire OU scholarship, a value of $64,000?!?!? I am ABSOLUTELY STUNNED, mortified for her parents, and completely hysterical over how obnoxious this whole thing is. I know the Lady Sooners are a quality basketball team and are in the Final Four, but has Ms. Paris ever heard of the UConn Lady Huskies and Geno? They haven’t lost in what feels like a decade and they have averaged over a 20+ point margin of victory in each of their NCAA games during the Big Dance this year. oulogoAnd oh by the way, earlier this year the Huskies dismantled the Sooners by 28 points. I’m no fortune teller, but a 28 point margin is a LOT to overcome over the course of one game. Anything can happen, mistakes can be made, and flukes do indeed happen, but let’s be real here. If this were PTI and we were playing “OddsMakers,” I would give the Lady Sooners a 7% shot at winning the game. However, this may take at least 80 points from Paris in order to keep up with the Lady Huskies on the court.

Now don’t get me wrong, I admire the courage and the heroism of the guarantee. Many famous athletes, including Joe Namath for one, have done so in the past and lived up to their public, cocky statements. If the Sooners were able to actually win the game, however, the guarantee would go down as absolutely unbelievable in the history of women’s college basketball. But don’t forget, SHE’S RISKING A $64,000 SCHOLARSHIP. I don’t know Paris and her family’s financial situation but as a parent (and no I wouldn’t know), this just doesn’t seem right. Paris, yes, earned the scholarship herself but if it then disappears, guess who pays the college bills? Good ‘ole mommy and daddy (or Paris takes out a $64,000 high interest loan). Come on Courtney, don’t be silly.

And on the subject of women’s basketball, does anyone know if the WNBA even exists anymore?!

To Be A Wildcat or Not To Be…That Is The Question…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2009 by sportsguru09

Behind Door #1: 8 Years, $35M at College Basketball’s Mecca

Behind Door #2: Another year, no love and another overrated team in a pathetic conference

Mr. John Calipari, which do you choose?

The answer is simple… GO TO KENTUCKY. What better way to prove yourself? Move to Lexington, become a jockey for their thoroughbred basketball players, and restore the tradition and prowless that Kentucky hasn’t seen since the Pitino era. To boot, you get $35M to do so. Sounds like a winner to me, but hey, I’ve been wrong before.

Calipari has taken an above average Memphis Tiger team to the NCAA Tournament multiple times in his career there starting in 2000. Just last year his team was in the Championship Game, only to blow a late lead and lose to Kansas in Overtime. This year, Missouri exposed them for what they really were in the Sweet 16…overrated and untested…and knocked them out early, much earlier than so-called bracketologists predicted. 100111All in all, however, that’s neither here nor there in this debate. Now, let’s shine light on Calipari’s current predicament: coach Kentucky or continue at Memphis? We’ll strictly stay with pros and cons, don’t worry folks.

PROS:

1 – $$$$$$$$$$$$…Can anyone else spell cash?!?! John Calipari has been offered an 8-year, $35M deal to move to Kentucky and coach the Wildcats
2 – Getting to coach at one of, if not the most, prestine and richest basketball schools in the country and of all time
3 – Calipari will be a motivational blessing with a great reputation among Wildcat fans with what he’s done at Memphis over the last 9 years
4 – You get to follow Billy Gillespie who clearly had no idea what he was doing with a young, talented 2009 Wildcat group
5 – His coaching legacy will now live in the same place as Rick Pitino and Adolf Rupp…that’s pretty good company if we’re talking college basketball
6 – Calipari can leave behind the criticism and the “under-appreciation” he got while coaching Memphis who plays in an overall weak and shallow conference. He will be able to truly prove himself in a high calibar conference with lots of talent and physical play and a high level of competition
7 – I heard the Kentucky Derby’s pretty sweet to attend in person…
8 – Mr. Memphis will be able to develop a young, talented set of ballplayers, including Jody Meeks, who could make a run at Player of the Year during the 2009-2010 season
9 – $$$$$$$$…Did anyone mention money?!?!ncb_ap_calipari_200

CONS:

1 – Calipari will be taking over a set of players who are unproven and will have to live up to Wildcat standards (i.e. Pitino and Rupp) of performance over the course of their and his career
2 – By leaving the Tigers, Memphis will likely lose recruits and Calipari’s abandonment will likely leave a bitter taste in the Tigers’ mouth. They will have to start all over. But who knows, this may not even be a concern of his.
3 – Calipari will no longer be able to cakewalk through a pushover conference and literally guarantee himself recruits and a conference title each basketball season going forward. With Memphis, regular season and tournament championships were literally locked up before the year even started and a high seed in the Big Dance usually followed suit.
4 – He won’t be getting paid as much unless he regotiates his contract…which could get ugly…it usually does…
5 – He’s already married so he won’t be able to “shmooze” with any of the ladies in Lexington…we all know they’re reputation…heard of Ashley Judd?

Clearly, the odds favor the pro here. It looks pretty clear-cut as to what Calipari should do. But to sum it all up, we’ll just use the wise words of Jerry Maguire to pave the way for Mr. Calipari and his decision…SHOOOOOOW ME THE MONEY