Thursday, March 17, 2011

The New Format and My Sweet Sixteen Pick

First off, let me say I am loving this new format of having the games on CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. As one game ends you get the next one in the second half. It's AWESOME.

Now, it seems every year you have one team make it the sweet sixteen that is a double digit seed. My pick: Moorehead State. I know the game is already underway, and 3/4ths through the second half, where Moorehead State is down 48-47, but I had them in my brackets going to the Sweet Sixteen.

Finally, my final four:

Kentucky - Of course!

Duke (Didn't really want to pick them but can't see Uconn running the table here, nor can I see SDST and their struggles from behind the arc getting here, and that leaves me with AZ, who I was tempted to pick, but I think they are cocky SOB's. So, my pick is the Uncle Toms.)

Kansas (Toss it between Kansas and Purdue, but had to go with Kansas, although I was tempted to have Illini go, but really they'll be lucky to make it past the first round)

Kansas State (I don't like Pitt, Kansas State has been hot towards the end of the year, and BYU is down a critical player).


Kansas v. Duke


Kansas (although they almost ALWAYS fail me).

Some Predictions

This is the first year of staggered start times for the NCAA Tourney, which means we don't get four games kicking off at once but instead a constant stream of games - in theory. I'm curious to see how it works.

Here's what I suspect will be some of today's better games. And yes, I AM tempted to just say "All of them." We don't get Gus Johnson today, but we DO get THIS GUY - and who better for announcing on St. Patty's Day? Get 'em, Raftery!
12:15 PM: Clemson vs. West Virginia @ Tampa, FL. Closer to home for Clemson, but they're well travelled, having just beaten UAB in Dayton a few days ago. I just think the Tigers are peaking at the right time. And it's a 12 v. 5. Still, Huggy Bear and Co. won't go down without a fight.

Also early: ODU/Butler, Morehead State/Louisville

2:10 PM: Penn State vs. Temple @ Tuscon, AZ. It's a battle for Pennsylvanian supremacy! Seriously though, I think Talor Battle wants this, bad.

Also in this time area: Princeton/Kentucky, Richmond/Vandy

6:50 PM: UC-Santa Barbara vs. Florida @ Tampa. Don't say I didn't warn you when this turns into an upset bid, even at home. For some stupid reason I can't believe in this Gators team.

Also: Belmont/Wisconsin

9:57 PM: Utah State vs. Kansas State @ Tuscon. GO AGGIES. I have them in the Sweet Sixteen. Frankly, I doubt I'll even remember most of this game, because it's, umm, past my bedtime. And it's frickin' St. Patrick's Day!

Other blackout games: Michigan State/UCLA, Gonzaga/St. John's, Mizzou/Cincinnati.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time...

March Madness is here, ladies and gentlemen, as you are well aware if you haven't been living under a rock for the last week.

I just wanted to make a little list of some of my favorite things about this time of year, especially in 2011:

1. Yogi's Marathon Day - This Thursday is not only the first day of the tournament (not counting the play-in games) but it's also St. Patrick's Day?! Ohhh man. Who smells trouble?

This will be the fourth year in a row for the all-day Yogi's marathon in the little bar, and when you're already planning for something back in December, I mean, how can I even overstate how excited I am? I will eat chili (with cheddar, onions, and green peppers on top), Caesar salad, wings (hot garlic? Hawaiian fire?), and certainly one of my new favorites, the pot roast melt, which has somehow eluded me all these years.

Oh, and there's also basketball. Some unbelievably epic games always seem to happen Thursday (see: Last year and the year before), and of course quarters will be flying back and forth all day long on every possible bet.

2. The Bulls are in first place in the East! At 48-18 after dumping the Wizards today (even without Boozer and Noah), this team is a force to be reckoned with, and a joy to watch. Too bad we can't say the same about IU basketball. They also busted out the green jerseys today. Which is sweet.

3. Northwestern's annual NIT trip. For once, can we please get out of the first round, guys? For the record, Noffke and I are doing an NIT bracket challenge, and we both have the 'Cats making the Elite Eight. He has Va Tech winning. I've got Colorado. Regardless, should be a pretty solid tourney this year. God willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll have more NIT coverage SOON.

NU plays UW-Milwaukee (Bruce Pearl's former team) at Evanston tomorrow.

4. Uh, the actual Big Dance. Let me remind you of just a few people. Kevin Pitsnogle. Ali Farokhmanesh. The Western Kentucky Hilltopper. Excited yet?

5. Bloomington in springtime. It's supposed to be 58 tomorrow. And 70 and sunny on Thursday. Ohhhhhh yes.

6-10: Gus Johnson. No further comment. Enjoy this website.

Monday, March 14, 2011

NCAA TV Listings

In Case you need to flip around. I still have no idea what channel truTV is for me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Biggest Draft Sleeper

There are a couple guys I like in the draft, but one guy I thought was great when I saw him play, even though it was one of his few plays: Mario Fannin. The guy is huge, fast, and in my opinion has first round talent. He weighs 231 pounds, ran a 4.37 40 yard dash, and has a good vertical at 37". Maybe I'm just getting lost in his work outs, but I am really impressed by this young man, and I believe you ALWAYS draft the best player available, especially in the later rounds. His potential is out of this world. So, if he is there in the 5th round (or even the 4th) I'd be ecstatic if the Bears took him.