Monday, February 25, 2008
I'm not going to lie, I watched a LOT of TV this weekend. Whether it be the NBA, Bracket Busters, some game with # 1 and 2, the PBA (Norm Duke, yeah!) or Omar Little getting capped...I was all over the dial. But today, I'm going to review the entertaining weekend that was in college hoops with a little "winners/losers" list. How about it? I'm here to help you win your NCAA tournament pools. You don't have a ton of time to watch all of these teams, but I do. Let me help you out.
Winner: Tennessee - Well, it wasn't pretty. The first 5 minutes of the game were about as crazy a basketball pace that you will ever see. But Bruce Pearl and the boys pulled off the somewhat large upset. The most impressive aspect of this win for the Vols is that Chris Lofton (favorite player of this blog) didn't make a 3. That is unbelievable. There is no other team in the nation that can run with Tennessee. That is a fact. And don't sleep on Memphis now either, I still expect to see them as a 1 seed and make the Final Four. By the way, my preseason Final Four prediction over at Storming The Floor had the Vols, Memphis, UCLA, and Louisville...I'm still loving that.
Loser: Indiana - Yeah, they struggled to beat a shitty Northwestern team that hasn't won a Big Ten game since Vietnam. But Dan Dakich sucks. Even as an interim coach, expect to get knocked out of the tournament early. He was fired at Bowling Green less than a year ago! You think he's going to lead the Hoosiers to a Final Four??? I think not. IU is a mess in case you are living under Oscars presenter (why I don't know), The Rock. They almost had a mutiny, will have their only two good players leave after this season, and didn't have a great recruiting class coming in anyway. If Xavier's Sean Miller turns down the job, it could be a tough search in Bloomington. I don't think the Hoosiers get to the Sweet 16...they seem ripe for an upset due to their shitty head coach.
Winner: Kent State and Drake - It wasn't the best weekend for the MAC, but the one game that they needed to win, they did. Kent went in to St. Mary's at 22-5 but with not really any big wins. Now they've got theirs. I couldn't believe that I was rooting for those guys but it's been too long since the MAC was a two bid league and it appears that we have positioned ourselves to return to glory (as long as KSU doesn't win the MAC tourney). And how about Drake!!! Now that I have 90% given up on my RedHawks this season (seriously, giving up 99 points to Valpo?), Drake is my team. How great was that Drake/Butler game? Fantastic stuff. Drake really impressed me here. Not many visitors leave Hinkle Fieldhouse with a smile. Josh Young is a baller. With that win, Drake went from an 8-9 seed, to a 6...good for them. By the way, Bracket Busters is the best idea ever.
Loser: Akron and George Mason - The Zips, who are coached by the biggest douchebag on the planet, could have used a decent win this weekend. No, they aren't a bubble team, but for credibility purposes, that would have helped. A 5 point loss at home to tourney-bound VCU was pretty pathetic. I hate Keith Dambrot (pictured looking like the weasel that he is). He should've been arrested for stealing that win in Oxford on Tuesday night. Garbage. Also, George Mason could have used a nice win at Ohio. They built up what felt like a 40 point first half lead only to choke it away in a matter of minutes and lose by double figures. Nice job. That loss may have burst their bubble. I was never fooled...Jim Larranaga never was a good coach. I believe that he, too, was fired from Bowling Green!
Winner: Louisville - On New Year's Day, you could have argued that the Cards were on the fast track to the NIT or CBI. But Ricky Pitino finally has his team healthy and they are playing like we all thought that they would. A solid road win at Pitt has capped off a fantastic February for the 'Ville and has them tied for the Big East lead and a likely top 4 seed in the Dance. The only things that were holding this team back were consistent guard play and way too much of a reliance on the 3 pointer. Both issues have been corrected and the Cards look dangerous again.
Loser: Ohio State - You can't spell N-I-T without Ohio State. Well, that's not true, but you get the point and I'm ecstatic. When was the last time that the Buckeyes have actually won a game? At 18-10, no good wins (Florida and Syracuse are NOT good wins), and a bitch of a schedule left (@IU, MSU, @ MIN, PUR), they will be lucky to get 2 more wins. That won't be enough. If they don't win the Big Ten tourney, enjoy hosting Akron or Ohio U in the first round of the NIT. And why didn't Thad start Jamar Butler yesterday? I realize that most good coaches bench their only good player, but this issue was not addressed at all. Seemed like a strange decision to me. Oh yeah, Wisconsin will be the first high seed to get upset in the tournament...just like they are almost every year.
Honorable Mention Loser: Sedric Toney - I know what you're saying, who??? As I stated earlier, my RedHawks faced Valpo on Saturday evening on ESPN Classic. It was not a classic at all as we lost 99-94 in double overtime. It sucked. But the commentating skills of Toney were so bad, that I almost cut my ears off. He is the Jerome Boger of announcing. Some of my favorites:
1. Calling Miami's star guard Mike Bramos "Bramo" and stating that he was a bench player on numerous occasions (he isn't)
2. Calling Miami's twins Tim and Eric Pollitz "the Pollick twins" (where was Kevin Pollack!)
3. Referring to Charlie Coles as Coach Cole
4. Saying that Miami stud guard Kenny Hayes "won't give up because he grew up in Dayton" whatever that means...and wouldn't that also mean that they do give up considering that if you voluntarily live in Dayton, you've already given up on life???
It was terrible. The guy will never be more than ESPN Classic announcer. He sucks. If he was of any importance at all, he would have received the Middle Finger tomorrow.
Well, there you go, a rundown of the weekend. Honorable mention winners are Stanford, Arizona, Villanova, and Notre Dame who all had really nice wins this weekend. I'm out, back tomorrow for some venom spewing.