Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bracket Breakdown: Elite Eight

"I'm not growing up, I'm just burning out."

Sorry I put this up so late. I got kind of hung up yesterday and was not able to get writing before the games started. Again, sorry for the lateness.

Saturday Games:

4:40: (1) Connecticut vs. (3) Missouri; West Region; Glendale:

Mizzou was dominant against Memphis, but they allowed the Tigers to get back into the game. UConn has been either the most or second-most impressive team in the tourney, and right now, I think the Huskies just have too much of everything. All things considered, Mizzou has established themselves as a presence and a team on the brink of being a national powerhouse.

Original Pick: Memphis, Present Pick: Connecticut

7:05: (1) Pittsburgh vs. (3) Villanova; East Region; Boston:

I'm in one of these elimination pools where your team has to beat the spread to continue on. Long story short, I ended up with Pittsburgh, who is favored by two. However, if I have to make a pick, regardless of my personal potential financial gains, I have to go with the 'Cats in this game. It is between 'Nova and UConn for who is having the most impressive tournament. I loved Pitt from the beginning, but as the tournament has gone on, it is clear that the Panthers do not quite have it.

Original Pick: Pittsburgh, Present Pick: Villanova

Sunday Games:

2:20: (1) Louisville vs. (2) Michigan State; Midwest Region; Indianapolis:

The Cardinals have had one of the luckiest draws in recent memory, not having to play anyone above a 9-seed in the first three games. The Spartans have been scratching and surviving through the last two games, especially last round against Kansas. I feel like the Cards will get a taste of reality here. Plus, the Spartans are this close to getting to the Final Four in Detroit. I don't remember the last time a team had basically a home game in the Final Four.

Original Pick: Michigan State, Present Pick: Michigan State

5:05: (1) North Carolina vs. (2) Oklahoma; South Region; Memphis:

So the matchup that I never thought would happen is happening: Blake Griffin vs. Tyler Hansbrough. If this was a one-on-one contest, I'm taking Griffin every time. However, the game will not be just about these two guys (although a large majority of it is). The Tar Heels are absolutely loaded, and they have been playing well even with Ty Lawson clearly not at 100%. The Sooners blasted 'Cuse last round, and they were also going up against a team who had a point guard in less than optimal shape. I feel that ultimately, Lawson's injury will creep up again, and the Sooners will be able to take advantage of it. To me, this game will come down to coaching, and as much as I like Jeff Capel, he has never been this far as a coach. I feel like Roy Williams' experience will take over, and the Tar Heels' depth will shine through.

Original Pick: North Carolina, Present Pick: North Carolina

I swear I really had 'Nova winning yesterday. What a fantastic finish. In any event, we will not have four #1's in the Final Four again, and I hope that never happens again. 'Nova is adding a little spice to a tournament that, for the most part, was totally mundane. Anyway, enjoy the games today. Peace.


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