Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bracket Breakdown: Sweet Sixteen

"'Cause it's soon one morning, down the road I'm gone."

So I figured out that apparently, now-a-days, picking higher seeds will work out for you. 16-0 in my second round picks, but it's really nothing to go on about because the high seeds went 15-1 on Saturday and Sunday, with Purdue being the only "lower" seed to move on. Once again, the tournament basically produced all higher seeds making the Sweet Sixteen, which is both deserved and incredibly lame at the same time. I know that the higher seeds should be the ones moving on, but if all the higher seeds advance, what is the point of watching really? If we already know who's moving on, it defeats the entire purpose of the tournament. So, I'm at least hoping that the tourney throws us a few change-ups in the next few rounds.

Thursday Games:

7:07: (1) Connecticut vs. (5) Purdue; West Region; Glendale:

So UConn has been in the news...for basically all the wrong reasons. They have been the most dominant team in the tournament, and yet all that anyone will be able to talk about is the recent recruiting charges they may be facing. Is this going to be enough to deter the Huskies from Detroit? My thinking here is that they will be distracted, and there will be no denying that, and it will be especially evident once play hits the second half. I feel like UConn will start out strong, but I think that Purdue will be able to claw back into the game. Ultimately though, I have to stay with my original thoughts and say that UConn will have too much size for the Boilermakers.

Original Pick: Connecticut, Present Pick: Connecticut

7:27: (1) Pittsburgh vs. (4) Xavier; East Region; Boston:

Of all the number 1's, Pittsburgh has been the weakest thus far. East Tennessee State took the Panthers to the limit, then Okie State gave them a battle. These two games tell me something: Pittsburgh is resilliant, but they can be had, which definitely concerns me considering I have them going a long, long way. I've been saying all along that Xavier continues to go unappreciated, and guess what? They still are! The Xavier Muskateers are for real! I feel like I have to get on top of something very tall and just start screaming this out. Xavier is going to push Pitt to the edge...again, but Pitt will prevail, and why you ask?...

...because it's DeJuan Freggin' Blair.

Original Pick: Pittsburgh, Present Pick: Pittsburgh

9:37: (2) Memphis vs. (3) Missouri; West Region; Glendale:

Memphis just played mad against Maryland. You could almost see how much it bothered them that Cal State Northridge nearly bounced them in the opening round. Don't suspect for a moment that Calipari won't use that once again vs. Mizzou. My boy Leo Lyons for the Tigers has had an outstanding tournament, but the Tigers that I see playing with more intensity and no abandon will be the ones from Memphis.

Original Pick: Memphis, Present Pick: Memphis

9:57: (2) Duke vs. (3) Villanova; East Region; Boston:

Get ready for Chapel Hill North tonight when the Dukies go into the Garden to play 'Nova. In case you were unaware, pretty much everyone absolutely hates Duke up here, so expect all those Pitt fans and Xavier fans to be pulling for the Wildcats, because a.) they're not Duke, and b.) they are the lower seed, meaning, technically, it would make for an "easier" road to the Final Four. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. 'Nova, much like Memphis, came out and played inspired basketball in the second round, against UCLA, after they nearly were eliminated in the first, by American. Even I'm shocked that I had Duke making it this far. There will be no love-loss tonight in Beantown for the Blue Devils.

Original Pick: Villanova; Present Pick: Villanova

Friday Games:

7:07: (1) Louisville vs. (12) Arizona; Midwest Region; Indianapolis:

Yup, still kicking myself about having 'Zona out in the first round. The Wildcats proved to be legitimate with their opener against Utah and their thrashing of Cleveland State in round two. Louisville got a scare from Siena, and really had to work some magic to get the job done there. Ultimately, I think the Cardinals just have a better all-around package right now than 'Zona does.

Original Pick: Wake Forest; Present Pick: Louisville

7:27: (2) Oklahoma vs. (3) Syracuse; South Region; Memphis:

So the 'Cuse have played well, looking sharp against Stephen F. Austin, and managing a late ASU rally in the second round to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Oklahoma has been rolling along as well. Again, if Clemson plays anywhere close to their capabilities, they are in this game right now. That's what makes me so mad. I hate this team for obvious reasons, and now the degree of hatred has risen even more, which I didn't think it could possibly have done. Right now, I think Johnny Flynn is playing on an entirely different level than pretty much everyone in the tournament left, and while I love Blake Griffin's game, I hate to keep picking the team that has the best player in the country, because it never works out...Clemson should have done it...I hate the Tigers!!!!!!

Original Pick: Clemson, Present Pick: Syracuse

9:37: (2) Michigan State vs. (3) Kansas; Midwest Region; Indianapolis:

See, this is where I see State getting into the Final Four. This tour of the Big 10 now makes a stop in Indy, where State has been dominant (undefeated all-time in Indy...8-0 I think?). I think now, they have a whiff of Detroit (in a good sense), and they are one step away from playing in a National Semifinal game in their home state.

Original Pick: Michigan State, Present Pick: Michigan State

9:57: (1) North Carolina vs. (4) Gonzaga; South Region; Memphis:

Okay, here's my grand theory, and one of the reasons I had Clemson going to the Elite 8: UNC vs. OU will not's too good. The matchup of Tyler Hansbrough and Blake Griffin would be too epic, too's too easy. One of them will win I think though. So, if I have 'Cuse in the first game, I'm sticking with UNC in this one, even though I really want to see Gonzaga win here and get to the Final Four, something that program has been destined to do for over a decade.

Original Pick: North Carolina, Present Pick: North Carolina

Hope everyone has had a nice couple of days off from the madness, but get ready, because it commences once again tonight. Take care everyone. Peace.


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