Posts Tagged ‘ncaa march madness’

Zigga-zigga-Zoot-Zoot Spinback: Why We Picked the Racers

In march madness on March 20, 2010 at 7:07 am

The Murray State Racers have been on an emotional roller coaster ride this year, with heart-stopping play leading to their best record ever.

Recently however, the roller-coaster took a horrific turn and suddenly came to include the death of their PGs mother – in a car accident the day after selection day. Heartbreaking.

The team regrouped quickly after the funeral and all agreed they were meant to travel and meant to play.

Once they were committed, they became YH’s choice for a first round upset because, taking it back to February 6th of this year against Austin-Peay, you could see the Racers have a lot of heart.

The Racers won our hearts this year with grittiness.

We were also enamored with the solid play off the bench by Canaan whose amazing long distance shots thrill on youtube.

Many congratulations to the Murray State Racers for their composure and fine play in the face of adversity and grief. Best wishes against Butler – YH salutes you.

Rivalry Weekend Upsets Reflect Parity in March

In march madness on February 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

That was a great weekend of basketball with huge games for Louisville, U Conn and Pitt. It’s obvious to everyone now that the Big East is a monster conference! Just stacked with talent and great coaching. And it’s also clear that this year’s Tourney is going to be tough to call.

The idea that the Huskies, last year’s runner-up to the National Championship, are a bubble team is hard to get over – presumably to be attributed to Calhoun’s illness. Thing is, if he is better it may not be a factor. And if they let the Huskies in? Calhoun with something to prove is a scary idea.

That said, they may not make the tournament and Louisville, despite their big win over ‘Cuse is most likely out.

What’s crazy is WVU is now likely in and they are totally suspect. Their triple overtime loss to Pitt was very telling: the Mountaineers FT% in that game and really all season long has been atrocious. I think teams like WVU and TX are overrated this year as Tourney entrants. I like both to get to the Sweet 16, at best, but certainly not further.

Kansas is rolling along and the defeat of A&M to keep them perfect in the Big 12 reveals a little about the conference and about some of the other teams that A&M has beaten. The coaches of the Big 12 are the most guilty of stacking their schedules against weaker opponents!

That may not be purposeful – who knew the SEC would be this bad? But Baylor, Tech and A&M couldn’t possibly hang with Purdue or Michigan State or Duke or West Virginia. I think the Big 12 teams who do get in are in for a rude shock. Kansas and K-state are legit, but the rest? How is it that up to last night’s loss against Kansas, A&M was ranked higher in conference play than this vaunted TX team? and that Baylor at 19-5 is just one win away from a tie with TX? Says something about over-rating the Big 12.

ACC teams are too small. Duke looks great because of Coach K’s system. But they can’t hang with the big beasts of the East. UNC is done.

Pac-10 this year is worse than last year which is the big shock. Surveying reasons, I like Moll’s discussion of why.

I like the Big Ten teams a lot. I am convinced Ohio State goes far and could beat say, Georgetown or WVU or TX.  Ohio State in the Final Four is something I can visualize now.

Michigan State is thrilled to have Lucas back and they will make a strong play because Tom Izzo is great – trouble is the post game. Purdue and Wisconsin both also look good and should not be dismissed easily. If Wisco’s trip through is anything like the Mock Draft (see previous entry), I feel they have a slim shot at the Final Four, a strong shot at the Elite Eight.

Still, Kansas is the team to beat and Bill Self and his boys are NOT going to lose the game for you. You have to beat them. I doubt Kentucky can do that at crunch time – too young. Cole is big. and strong. and ready.

Could Syracuse beat Kansas? That’s starting to look like my NC game. and Ohio State is creeping into that other FF matchup in my book:

‘Nova, Kansas, ‘Cuse and Ohio State. hmmmm.

NCAA Releases Mock NCAA Men’s Bracket

In predictions, Uncategorized on February 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm

The NCAA has begun releasing a mock selection bracket for March Madness a month in advance of the actual selections.

There’s a pretty complex set of stats, algorithms and processes involved in creating this hypothetical and you can read about it at the NCAA website – they even have videos explaining it all, but for now,

here’s the mock bracket, itself

Check out the Mock NCAA Men’s bracket for yourself – set the .pdf to 50% of actual size and you can see the whole bracket on one screen easily.

If selection were to go this way I would definitely put money on Kansas to win it all. (Oh yeah, I already did!).

And looking at Syracuse’s bracket, you run into an opportunity in that game against Texas in the Sweet 16. I’m a Longhorn, but I gotta say ‘Cuse’s play against the BIG men of the BIG East is impressive – Dexter Pittman and Wangemele neutralized and the three high-scoring freshman of Texas under heavy defensive pressure? I like Syracuse.

Lots to look at in  this mock bracket, including Georgetown’s bear of a bracket having to face Belmont, Xavier and Ohio State to get to the Sweet 16 … hmmm. And they’d end up facing a Kentucky team that has a much easier road.

I like Wisconsin in their bracket too. I figure they’d make it all the way to the Kansas matchup and then fall in the final four.

If Purdue and K-State manage to get through some tests against Maryland and Butler, I like that game a lot – K-State D versus that Purdue team wil be a blast to watch. Early, of course, but I’m taking K-state. And if Nova makes it past OK State or Illinois or Wake, I actually like K -state or Purdue in that matchup because of fatigue. G’Town took Nova apart.