Thursday, March 22, 2012

The obligatory picking-through-the-ashes-of-one's-bracket post

Image found here.

Well, we gave it a go. I can take some comfort in the knowledge that very, very few people picked Missouri to lose to Norfolk State; I'm pleased that I picked Lehigh to beat Duke and that, as I had originally picked, Ohio U. is in the Sweet Sixteen. But the upshot is that only half of my Sweet Sixteen selections are actually going to play tonight and tomorrow. This saddens me, since I do have a small wager on all this with my in-laws: the winner gets six-packs of the beer of his/her choice from the losers.

But there may be hope yet for those three six-packs of Shiner Bock. My mother-in-law has proposed the following: that we keep all our correct choices thus far AND re-set our brackets beginning with the new rounds. This pleases me because, she informed me, I am at present in the lead but, under the old bracket, soon would not be due to the fact that none of my original Final Four selections even remains in the tournament (for your amusement: VCU, Missouri, Florida State and Belmont).

So, beginning in about an hour, we'll get to see how my following picks do, placed under the fold to spare the uninterested:


SOUTH Regional:
Kentucky over Indiana; Baylor over Xavier; Baylor over Kentucky

[Baylor is one of the tallest teams in the tournament; that fact and their athleticism keep them in most games. IF Baylor shows a little more aggressiveness in its interior play and IF their perimeter game holds up, they just might put a stop to all this send-the-trophy-to-Lexington talk.]

WEST Regional:
Michigan St. over Louisville; Marquette over Florida; Marquette over Michigan St.

[Louisville and Florida are good when they're on, but they can be inconsistent in the face of a good solid team. Marquette gets the Final Four nod due to its superior guard play.]

EAST Regional:
Wisconsin over Syracuse; Ohio St. over Cincinnati; Ohio St. over Wisconsin.

[Wisconsin forces everyone to play at its speed, and it has superior perimeter shooting; Ohio State, though, seems comfortable playing either uptempo or half-court.]

MIDWEST Regional:
Ohio over North Carolina; Kansas over NC State; Kansas over Ohio

[I really like Ohio's inside-out game, which I think the Tarheels might be susceptible to. I confess to picking KU over the Wolfpack because I haven't seen NC State play yet and because I have married into a family of rabid Jayhawks fans. But Kansas will have its hands full with Ohio in the Elite Eight game; the Bobcats do. Not. Quit. But KU has size--and, after the Purdue game, Bill Self should have his players' attention.]

FINAL FOUR:
Marquette over Baylor; Kansas over Ohio State
Marquette over Kansas

[Marquette is really playing good, consistent basketball, whereas Baylor is like the little girl with the little curl right in the middle of her forehead. After beating Kentucky, the Bears may think their work is done. Kansas and Ohio State seem pretty evenly matched, except inside: KU has two pretty good big men to the Buckeyes' one. Of the four, Marquette is, again, the most consistent team here.

Now . . . you may very well see an image of the Hindenburg leading off next week's basketball post.

4 comments:

R. Sherman said...

Sigh

I'm afraid this will become more commonplace as parity continues to rule. After last night, I doubt anybody's got a bracket left.

Cheers.

John B. said...

Heh. Yeah. After last night, I thought, "So much for my West Regional--AND, for that matter, my pick for the championship. . . and my Shiner Bock"--that last being the most painful loss of all. But, seeing as I'd already picked--and lost--Missouri as national champion, I've already become accustomed to grieving.

All that said, though, I personally welcome parity: it's healthier for the game, I think--well, okay: It's healthier for me, as an inveterate rooter for the underdog, to see the Dukes and the Kansases of the world get knocked off their high horses on occasion.

It's good to be humble, of course, but it's extraordinarily gratifying to see the mighty humbled.

Doc said...

On the eve of the championship game I have Kentucky left.

Of course, they were supposed to lose to North Carolina...

; ' )

John B. said...

Well, if not for my in-laws' graciousness in deciding to re-set after the sweet 16, I wouldn't have Kansas advancing to the championship game.

Kentucky's undeniably good, but in some of the games I've seen, it feels almost as though their opponents have decided, Well, UK's gonna win anyway, so why bother trying to interfere with that? (Baylor, for one half, and Louisville have been the exceptions to that.) When UK's been pressed, they tend not to handle that well--all those lobs in transition notwithstanding, Kentucky is really a half-court-offense team; Kansas doesn't press very often, but it'd be nice to see them do it tonight to get the Wildcats out of their walk-it-up-the-court mode. KU, on the other hand, wants easy baskets in transition; they're not very patient in the half court.

Enough of that. The more I think about this, the more I think Kansas is going to have a long night tonight.