sports

Bracketology

1. Anyone who argues that the NCAA men’s field should be expanded to 96 teams should be made to watch tonight’s play-in game between the Winthrop Eagles and Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions on an endless loop. The teams combined to shoot 28% in the first half. It was abysmal basketball. The winner should promptly withdraw from the #16 seed out of respect to James Naismith.

2. If Duke is the weakest of the #1 seeds, why did it get a cake bracket? I hate Duke.

3. Number 12 seeds have 34 first-round wins in tournament history; #11 seeds have 31. (We learned this little stat here.)

4. If you’re going to root for any one player in this year’s tournament, Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds is a good candidate.

5. I know Gonzaga can’t be the mid major Cinderella every year, but it kills me to not pick it for an upset. Because if the Zags did come close but fall just short of knocking off Syracuse, I would feel responsible. I also hate Syracuse.

6. I get as much pleasure out of picking a huge first-round upset (huge being #12 seed or lower) as I do picking the tournament winner. But if picking the tournament winner also meant winning other people’s money, I’d rather do that. (It has never happened. Yet.)

7. This year’s big first-round upsets: Utah State over Texas A&M; Siena over Purdue. Eleven over six isn’t “huge,” but Washington will beat Marquette.

8. And ditto to this: John Calipari — The Sleaziest Coach in a Sleazy Game.

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6 thoughts on “Bracketology

  1. 1. Amen.
    2. Amen. P.S.–As an Ohio State fan, why did *they* end up in such a tough bracket? Are they really the worst #2 that they end up with Kansas? Really?
    3. Thank you for giving me–in a game that loves all things statistical–yet another statistic. This one might be just as useful as any other in picking my brackets.
    4. Fair enough.
    5. Make the case for me that the ‘Zags get out of the first round. It’s virtually a toss-up to me, but I’m feeling Florida State.
    6. Agreed. I won in both the groups I played in last year, but neither was for money. Chances are, as soon as there’s money on the line, I finish dead last.
    7. I’m tempted to agree about Siena, because I don’t believe in Purdue at all. Utah State, Texas A&M… I have no idea, but I love that we have a battle of the Aggies in round one. What makes you call Marquette getting upset? I don’t see it.
    8. Amen and amen.

  2. As someone that’s watched 90% of UK’s games this year, and who has read/watched several interviews with Wall/Cousins, I find it incredibly ridiculous for that writer to think neither of those two kids want to win a title. I get especially pissed off when both are cheaply referred to as “thugs,” especially Wall. They’re hardly Kenyon Martin (Yes, I went there, you stinkin’ Bearcats). I don’t know, I suppose I’m extremely biased here, as a UK fan, but I like these kids. They’ve given me zero reason to hate/distrust them, and this is coming from a guy who always disliked Antoine Walker, and he gave us a title in ’96. Mostly, I just want them to win for Patterson. I LOVE that guy. Deserves to go out a winner.

  3. I was counting on a spirited UK defense from Matthew Leathers. Good work, sir!

    I like Wall/Cousins, and I see no reason why the writer needed to bring them in to make his point about Calipari.

    Speaking of Employee #8, wouldn’t it be fun if every NCAA squad could bring back one alum for the tourney so long as that alum was retired from professional basketball? I was thinking about this during Louisville’s last game at Freedom Hall when they showed Never Nervous Pervis in the crowd.

    Just think: ‘Toine. Nick Van Exel. Larry Johnson. Butch Lee. Danny Manning. Scotty Thurman. Eddie O’Bannon. Bryce Drew. Alonzo Mourning. All rubbing shoulders and trading elbows with today’s undergrads. You know MJ would be all over this.

    Which alums would get destroyed and break down sobbing on the bench at the thought of failing their alma mater once again? Which ones would be like those cagey 50-somethings in pick-up games who know all the tricks and stunts to keep the whippersnappers in their place?

    And what if Duke was ONLY allowed to bring back Christian Laettner every year? It would drive Dukie hatred through the stratosphere. (I think for this to work, the alums would be required to play the full 40 minutes. They could also not foul out, but each foul over their fifth would result in one scholarship being cut from the program.)

    This would also drive my Gonzaga obsession to all new levels if it meant Stock coming out of retirement for a month every year.

  4. 1. That game is a farce. It’s unfair to both teams and the fans. I’d much rather watch Erik Brueggemann eating a sandwich to “One Shining Moment” than the play-in game.

    2. Ditto for Syracuse.

    3. Well, that’s interesting.

    4. Agreed, but John Wall isn’t a terrible one either.

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=jn-wall120409&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    5. People have forgotten how good Syracuse is (like NC last year).

    6. I suck so much at it that I don’t even try anymore.

    7. Maybe. Wrong (but trendy!). Wrong. Also, I lied on #6- bet against Xavier.

    8. I won’t dignify that libel with any form of response other than “Well done Mr. Leathers”.

    How are you going to put Antoine as the UK player and not Mashburn?

    I gotta give the edge in that tournament to
    St. Vincent- St. Mary’s.

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