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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Marching On...



As I sit here, reflecting on the month that was, I can't help but ask. Is that Steve from the Jerry Spring Show on my TV trying to get me to sell my gold? Oh, OK. It is. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't going crazy, and that my television actually was recommending that I take pseudo financial advice from a guy who's spent the past decade or so playing traffic cop to white trash and tri-sexuals....

Moving on...

What should have been a fantastic month, has more or less come and gone with a major lack of fanfare.

The Patriots had a chance to make a big splash with the Matt Cassel deal and the subsequent cap room it created. They didn't.

The NCAA tournament got going, promising to give us game after game of nail biting buzzer beaters and improbable upsets. It didn't.

And Seth McFarlane over at Family Guy had a chance to build upon the amazing start to this latest season , where the episodes had been some of the funniest TV programming I had ever seen in my life. He didn't...

Much like the tales of my stay in a Nevada area rehab facility after my pro poker career and subsequent cocaine addiction, this is a case where the reality didn't even come close to living up to the hype...

But fear not, true lovers of the soap opera that is pro sports. With a blase month like March in our rear view mirrors, and a summer full of baseball and sunshine ahead, things are only bound to get better. After all, ee have the Red Sox, Yankees, hot dogs, short shorts and bikini tops to look forward to. And if you're not done with those things...well...then I just don't know what it is I can do for ya...

This is America. If you don't like spaghetti and meatballs, then you can get the Hell out!

Ahh, Steve Buscemi. Has anyone ever summed up our country's foreign policy and social candor better than the homeless guy you played in Big Daddy? I think not...

Here's this week's edition of the Nation, boys and girls. Complete with T-Money Woods, Red Light's retirement, and a little jab at a balding black man...

Get some, and enjoy...



Final Four

When Greg Gumbel and CBS immediately anoint the Pitt/Nova game as one the "greatest in tournament history", you know this year's Big Dance has been about as exciting as a day in the life of Ted Williams' frozen head...


One of the greatest games in tournament history? Are you kidding me? First off, while it was a great shot, throwing it immediately into that pantheon of greatness is just absurd. I mean, while there may have been more on the line in this one, the action and the ending in the Pitt/Nova game didn't even compare to Siena/Ohio St. and Western Kentucky/Gonzaga earlier in the tournament, and even those games weren't that great! I mean they were, compared to just your average game, but we're talking about the tournament, here! An event that usually features shocking outcomes weekend after weekend, with unknown white kids nailing 3/4 court 3 pointers as time expires to send the big time McDonalds' All Americans back to their cushy practice facilities. Where coaches earn themselves better jobs, and obscure players rocket to the NBA lottery with amazing wins and performances. That's the tournament I'm used to. Not this watered down version, where even when the lower seed does win, they blow the higher seed out of the water!...

Secondly, I can think of 10 more exciting games from the last few years off the top of my head! I was gonna list them for you, but I figured what was the point. Even most casual college hoop fans can think of at least one or two in recent memory without even venturing towards Google. In a normal tournament year, that Scottie Reynolds shot would not be the tourney's signature, but a mere footnote in the "One Shining Moment" montage that so many hoop fans have a raging hard-on for. Not this guy, but believe me, some people treat the airing of that thing like the last episode of the Sopranos. Or for you old bastards out there, Cheers or MASH...


So, Greg Gumbel. You say "one of the greatest", I say, it just speaks to how disappointing this tourney has been. That, my friend, is where you and I will have to differ. Well that, and I can see you're hair piece now thanks to HD TV, you bald bastard. Props for the fro back in the day, though. And I loved you in the Disco remake of Roots as Kunta Kinte's down on his luck dance instructor...Nah, that wasn't appropriate...


As for the actual Final Four, my bracket is completely busted. Despite my depth of knowledge and my penchant for predicting the future, I went a clean 0 for 4, and for the 3rd straight year will fail to predict the correct champion. Oh, well. What's a pimp to do, right? At least I'm taking solace in the fact that I did predict the correct seed combination (1/1/2/3) for the Final Four teams, which I can twist into somehow meaning I was "technically" in the ballpark, and still way smarter than all those short bus office pool participants out there. So I got that stroking my ego, which is nice...

And for the games themselves, I'm just hoping and praying for good exciting basketball. Well, not praying, because I'm Agnostic, but you know just more or less focusing all my positive energy at the TV in hopes of somehow willing my dreams into reality. It didn't work for the Sox in '03, and it certainly didn't work for all those Braves teams I watched in my youth, but I'm gonna go ahead and give it a shot anyway. Figure it couldn't hurt...


If I had to pick a champ right now, I'd pick North Carolina. They were my second choice behind Louisville when I filled out my bracket, but I chose instead to believe that Ty Lawson was hurt, allowing Syracuse to upend them in the Elite 8. I didn't know if he was hurt or not, but I figured if Cuse was gonna make any sort of run, I'd feel a lot more comfortable believing Lawson was a cross over away from ending up like Joe Swanson, than thinking that Flynn and friends were really gonna upend the most talented team in the country...

Turns out Lawson is healthy, and that most talented team in the country is looking more and more unstoppable with each passing round. So I'll take the Heels. And if you need them to lose, I can't say I like your chances. Don't get me wrong, I'd be down for whoever happens to come out on top, they're all worthy champs in my eyes. It's just that right now, with a healthy Ty Lawson, a determined Tyler Hansbrough, and enough blue chips on the bench to start their own poker room, Roy Williams' bunch is primed to kick some serious ass...

The way this tourney's been goin', watching them romp through the country's elite teams would sadly be very appropriate...




Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling has retired, boys and girls, and already the Hall of Fame discussion has begun. With only 216 wins, 22 saves and career 3.46 ERA, his numbers leave a lot to be desired in the eyes of the voters. A notably picky bunch that's very set in their ways, the Baseball writers that make up the panel tend to only acknowledge pitchers that...

A) have close to or more than 300 wins

or

B) were particularly dominant over a decent period of time a la Sandy Koufax or Pedro Martinez.

Seeing as Schill has ZERO Cy Young's to his credit (2nd place 4 times), and he's nearly a c-note shy of 300 wins, I'd say he would normally be someone that would find himself on the outside looking in. And based on his comments the past few days, Curt himself would tend to agree with that assessment....

But then you get to the post season...



*3 World Series titles.

*1 World Series Co-MVP ('01) and one NLCS MVP ('93)

*Post Season Record: 11-2. 2.23 ERA, 4 complete games

*World Series Record: 4-1, 2.06 ERA, 1 complete game

Signed. Sealed. Delivered. Those numbers push him over the top, and I guarantee will be the reason he gets in the Hall of Fame within the first 5 years of eligibility. Not on the first ballot, mind you, but this guy's gettin' in, there's no doubt in my mind...

And it's weird for me to talk about Schill and his time with the Sox because of how my view of him has changed during his time here. For years before his arrival, I had Schill on a short list of guys I would die to have on the Sox along with a John Smoltz and Jim Thome. They were just players I really liked, and really though they would be a great fit for the Sox...

So when Schilling arrived, I was ecstatic!

Then, he opened his mouth. And it's not that I don't agree with his conservative views, I could care less. It's the double talk that he always pulls. Ya know, like the person that only asks you how your day was because they wanna tell you how there day was? That's Curt. He makes comments, then says the only reason he made the comment was because he was asked the question...

Gee thanks, Red Light. You want some milk with that delicious cake you're eating there pal? Listen, either make yourself available to the media, or don't. Just don't try and tell me that the only reason you are talking and saying what you're saying is because someone is asking you the question. Ever hear of "not commenting" there, big fella? You're obviously commenting because you want your views to be heard, and because you think you have something valuable to say. And don't get it twisted. He does use that big mouth of his to raise millions for various charities, but that doesn't give him a pass. Either admit you're a blabbermouth that just likes to hear yourself talk (there are millions of us out there), or stop talking to the media all together. Just don't try to sell me this BS that you don't have an agenda, because it's obvious to all of us that you blatantly do...

Strickland Propane assistant manager, Hank Hill, summed it up best when mocking a show that Schilling was on when he said "Why do celebrities think we want to watch them play poker?". That's just it, Curt. We don't. We don't wanna watch you play poker against D list flunkies, we don't wanna hear your thoughts on the war in Iraq, and we don't wanna hear you double talk about how the only reason you comment on things is because you're asked about them. We wanna see you talk at your Hall of Fame induction ceremony about how much fun you had playing the game, how much it meant to you, and how much you're gonna miss it. You were a great player for nearly two decades, you brought a championship to a city that craved it like a meth junkie, and you'll never have to pay for a drink in the state of Massachusetts as long as you live...

Just make sure when someone does buy you a drink, you simply nod and say thank you. Not because it's the polite thing to do, but because if you start pontificating about all the thoughts cookin' around in that big brain of yours, that shot of Jack very well could turn into a shot in the gut...

You're one a a kind, Curt, I'll give ya that. Thanks for the great memories, brotha, and good luck in you're future ventures that I'm sure will involve a microphone or two. Not that you asked it...


Tiger Woods

If you were waiting, like I was, for Tiger to gradually work his way back into shape, and hopefully be able to contend at the Masters, then shame on you. Shame on us! With a birdie on the 18th at Bay Hill, Tiger erased any thoughts of someone sneaking in one last major before the MJ of the fairway took his rightful place atop the throne. Simply put, he's back. And if there's anything that screams summer must be close more than T-Money Woods kickin' ass and takin' major titles, then I just don't know what it is...

Oh, that's right. Short shorts and bikini tops. In my Tiger-lust I almost forgot...


So there you have it, friends and foes. Another edition of Rooch Nation in the books...

With baseball season gearing up in less than a week, my Monday installment will be complete with all sorts of MLB predictions, and maybe even a little preview of what I think will happen in the playoffs. Hey, I may be 0 for the century with my NCAA picks, but I did predict the fall of ESPN the Phone, and the Spurs over the Cavs in the '07 NBA Finals, so you might just wanna listen up and even jot down some notes....

Until then, I leave you with this. I ripped Family Guy earlier and I feel bad, so here's one of my favorite clips...(again, if you're on Facebook, and you can't see this video, just go to www.roochnation.com)




And I'm takin' a stroll...

100..

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chalky Bracket's Got Me Buzzin'...


So that's it, huh?

4 days. 48 games. And only one "surprise" team has snuck it's way into the Sweet 16. And some surprise, too. Is this really what the world's greatest tournament is turning into? A power laden chalk fest where the outcome is about as in doubt as the latest episode of Jack Bauer's Never Ending Nuke Hunt? I sure as Hell hope not...

Then again, maybe this isn't new. After all, last year was the first time in the tournament's history that all 4 #1 seeds made it to the Final Four, right? And in 2007 there weren't any double digit teams advancing past the first weekend. Problem is, even the chalk-fest in '08 saw 4 teams seeded 10 or higher make it to the Sweet 16, and in '07 in seemed to be an unusual year with Florida defending their title, and everyone essentially knowing who the top teams were. Now, maybe it seems it wasn't so unusual, and that in the last 3 years maybe it was 2008, once the norm for a tourney full of upsets, has become the exception to what's now the new rule. Big teams, from big conferences are so much better now, that nobody else has a chance...

Case in point? The Arizona Wildcats. Nationally panned for not deserving a bid, they remain the only double digit seed in the field. A program that's made the tournament like a million times in a row, and even has a National title to their credit. If that's Cinderella, then I'm Brad Pitt...

ESPN's, Pat Forde, summed it up very nicely...

Since the tourney expanded in 1985, this combined seeding total of 49 is the smallest total ever in the Sweet 16.

That's too bad. One of the tourney's abiding charms is the mid-major interlopers who hang around longer than a weekend.

Which was the more memorable Sweet 16 entrant last year: Davidson or Villanova? Western Kentucky or Wisconsin?

A highbrow Final Four is one thing, but a highbrow Sweet 16 is a little dull. In a sport that continues to consolidate its power in the hands of the few, that's not a good trend.

He may look like the bastard child of Ivan Drago and Dana Jacobsen, but that man knows his college sports better than anyone in the country. Simply put. He will crush you. And he's right. We all love watching great teams play great, but that's supposed to be reserved for the last few rounds. The first weekends is supposed to be for upsets!...

So with all the higher seeds advancing, in what were for the most part pretty standard games, my problem isn't only with the results, but also with the always looming "bracket pool". And no. Before you even wanna go there, my bracket is not in the shitter, and this is not me getting ready to tell everyone else that they got lucky and that I'm the only one worthy of winning. Far from it. My problem, is that with all my Final Four teams and 7 of my Elite 8 teams still alive, and after being only 2 points back after posting a first round 25, I have zero chance to take home the top prize. I am, how we say in the bracket (and stud poker) biz, "board locked". No matter the result, the best I can do is like 2nd or 3rd thanks to all the people in front of me with exactly the same picks...

There in, my friends, lies my beef. Not only has this tournament lacked any flavor with it's absence of upsets, but the entrants in it's pool's are about as bland as the Oatmeal I saw on Lockdown: San Quentin. And you'd think with all the Mexicans up in there they'd have a few chili peppers in that shit or somethin'. Then again, you would think with all the creative minds out there, we'd have a few more interesting brackets out there too...


My Bracket


First off, to give you complete perspective of where I'm coming from in regards to this past weekend's games, it's only fair that I let you know how I'm doing with my own bracket selections...


So allow me to summarize:


*The Donaghy brothers showed up in the Dayton/West Virginia game, and before Bob Huggins had time to even blow a gasket, my surprise Elite 8 team was finished. IF you missed this game, and I'm sure you did, the refs basically handed the Flyers the game and West Virginia got so deep in foul trouble they couldn't even compete. What made it even more obvious was the way Dayton then got thumped in the 2nd round by Kansas. Sure we will never know what the Mountaineers would have done in that spot, but I'll take my chances with the team that's last two games are a 14 point win against Pitt and an OT loss to Syracuse thank you very much...

And speaking of my beloved Orange...

*Much to my surprise, virtually everyone and there brother in the pool of 70 entrants that I'm in picked Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Memphis and Louisville in their Final Four, with Louisville over Pitt for the National Title. That meant virtually all my "upset" picks would have to come through for me to make any money. I call this the "World Series of Poker" effect, and I'll have more on that in a little bit...


Going into Sunday, I knew if Michigan, Wisconsin and Marquette could pull through for me, I'd be in pretty good shape. And that if Dayton somehow managed to beat Kansas, I'd be in even better shape...

I won exactly NONE of those games...SICK!


Now, like the rest of you out there that actually went out on a limb, I'm board locked, with no chance of finishing first in my pool. Here I was going out on a limb, only to find it more crowded than a Sweet 16 party at Konrad's...What? You didn't get that reference? Well then you shouldn't have picked Syracuse, you pricks! That's our team, dammit. And if anyone is going to benefit from them making an unexpected deep run it should be those of us that went there, not a bunch of chalk scribbling posers!


And to be honest, as someone that follows this sport with great diligence and passion, it bothers me that in the game's ultimate test, so many of the right picks can be made for all the wrong reasons...


Hence, this next section. Complete with a weird picture of Blake Griffin. I think he's dreaming of all the money he's gonna make next year while he plays for some NBA squad that goes 15-67. Yeah, the LA Clippers sound like a great home for him. And he's bi-racial, so he shouldn't have any trouble dealing with the areas various gangs...



Where's the Justice?

Not only was I disappointed in the lack of true upsets in the first weekend, but I was, how you might say, disenfranchised more than ever with the ever omnipresent "bracket pool" system. What used to be a running joke about how the secretary that picked based on team colors and mascots always won, has turned into a poser-filled pool of people that have all the top seeds advancing with perhaps one minor upset on their mind. Granted that means they're probably doing very well, but it's a "winning lottery ticket" doing well rather than an "A+ on a test" type of doing well. It's a lot like the Main Event in the World Series of Poker. Just because you have skill and knowledge doesn't mean shit, at some point, you're gonna have to get lucky...

Well, not if I have anything to say about it! Peep my new system. It's still in development, but I feel it's more a true test of hoops knowledge, and will not only prove harder to succeed at, but will be all that more rewarding for the winner...

I got to formulating this strategy after Eric Maynor's game winner fell short and UCLA beat VCU by 1 to move on to the second round. Right around the time that shot hit the rim and the buzzer sounded, I got a text from none other than Ian "the I Man" Hanbach, telling me how I had 100% predicted exactly how that game was gonna go down. Problem was, I had VCU on my bracket sheet, and nothing to show for my Nostradamus like abilities, and I knew most people that picked UCLA had expected them to easily waltz through to the 2nd round. "There was no justice!", I thought to myself. Which is why I came up with this...


Round 1: Every game is worth 2 points. 1 point for predicting the correct winner, and 1 point for predicting the outcome against a 5 point spread. In every 1st round game, the lower seed (higher ranked team) will be given a (-5) line as the favorite. So if you had picked UCLA to win, but VCU to cover the +5 in this case, you would have gotten 2 points. If you picked VCU to win and cover, you would have gotten 1 point.

Round 2: For every Sweet 16 team your predict correctly seeded 1-4, you get 4 points. For every team seeded 5 or higher, you get points equivalent to their seeding. If you had Arizona this year, that would be 12 points.

The rest of the way out, the bracket structure would remain the same, with the exception being all teams seeded 5 or higher continue to get bonuses as they progress through the tourney. For instance, a 5 or higher in the Elite 8 gets it's seed X 2 for points. Arizona reaches the Elite 8 this year, that would be 24 points. They make the Final 4, that's 48 points and so on. Not only does this new format encourage picking upsets, but it also rewards people that can nail the 1st 2 rounds...

Oh and one more thing. If you don't have the correct champion, or at least the correct championship match up, you can't win 1st prize. The two most important things in picking a bracket are the 1st two rounds, and the title game, so I figure getting those two things right should be rewarded the most. I'm just old fashioned like that...

So what do you think? Yes? No? Perhaps? Oh, what's that? You're still convinced that I'm only proposing this because I'm bitter over the fact I haven't won a single cent in a bracket pool since 2005, and haven't won a pool since 2002? Well you can screw. I love this game, man, and if you think for one second that my lack of bracket success is going to effect my interest in the tournament, you are sadly mistaken. Matter of fact. That's you, you're thinking of, you donners of the pink hat. You fair weather posers make me sicker than the Oatmeal at...oh...right...


So, what's next, you ask? Well, seeing as virtually all my picks are still alive, I don't see the need to break down match ups. And seeing as I don't have a chance to win any significant cash, I figure I might as well focus all my energy towards the Syracuse Orange and their attempt to win their 2nd title in 6 years as a #3 seed from the South Region. Ya know, because I actually went there. NOT because I saw them win some 6 OT game/saw the highlights because I was way too big a puss to actually stay up and watch it. Get your own team, you lazy posers!...


Here's to hopin' the 2nd weekend of the tourney smashes all of our brackets, but for all the right reasons. Let the madness reign supreme!

Happy hooping, pimps and pimpettes...

I'm outta here...

100...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cardinal Rule OR Mission Flynn-possible???

Well here ya go, kids. Just for the sake of trying to stay credible, and because I promised them to you, here are my all important picks for this year's 2009 NCAA Tournament...

Hope you enjoy, cuz they'll probably only be good for a solid 8 hours or so...

Good luck to you all in your bracket endeavours, and I'll be back on Monday to break down the crazy weekend that was...

OK, Gus. Take 'er away, buddy...



First Round Upsets

(13) Portland St. over (4) Xavier

(12) Wisonsin over (5) Florida St.

(12) Western Kentucky over (5) Illinois

(11) Virginia Commonwealth over (6) UCLA


*And I have every 10 beating every 7, but I don't really consider any of those upsets...


Sweet 16
MIDWEST

(1) Louisville vs (4) Wake Forest

(6) West Virginia vs (2) Michigan St.


WEST

(1) UCONN vs (5) Purdue

(6) Marquette vs (2) Memphis


EAST

(1) Pittsburgh vs (12) Wisconsin

(3) Villanova vs (2) Duke


SOUTH

(1) North Carolina vs (4) Gonzaga

(3) Syracuse vs (10) Michigan


Elite 8

MIDWEST

(1) Louisville vs (6) West Virginia


WEST

(1) UCONN vs (2) Memphis


EAST

(1) Pittsburgh vs (2) Duke


SOUTH

(1) North Carolina vs (3) Syracuse




Final 4

(1) Louisville vs (2) Memphis

(1) Pittsburgh vs (3) Syracuse


*I've long been told discretion is the better part of valor, so allow me to be blunt with you. Do I really think Syracuse is going to make the Final 4? No, I don't. But to again quote my good friend, and college hoops fanatic, Ian Hanbach: "I didn't pick us when we won it, so I figure what the Hell".

Again, I'm with ya, I-Man. They won it as a 3 seed in 2003, and I'll be damned if I don't at least push them to the Final Four as a 3 seed this time around. Thanks for the kick in the ass/brain/heart, Ian. Go CUSE!!!...


National Championship

(1) Louisville vs (1) Pittsburgh


2009 National Champion: Louisville Cardinals

All season long I sang the praises of the Pittsburgh Panthers, but I think they fall to the hotter Cardinals in an all Big East title game showdown. Terrence Williams and Earl Clark take 10 minutes to turn pro after being named to the co-MVP's, Pitino is immediately enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame and all the Kentucky fans that actually own radios start beating their wives, kicking their pets, and screaming at the top of their SKOAL stained lungs that Billy Gillespie needs to be canned...


Now that's what I call one Hell of a "moon-shining" moment...

Good luck & God speed. And just remember. When your bracket is busted, and you have no chance left to win, you're still probably doing better than me. Just also remember, that it's not stopping me from loving every second of it...

It's the journey, kids, not the destination...

Catcha Monday...

100...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tourney Guide 2K9


So, have you filled out your bracket yet? Really? And you did so without checking in here first with yours truly? Wow. Not the strategy I would have gone with, but I guess if you don't wanna pick the brain of an expert before you throw your $20 into the ring that's your business. You ignorant wannabes...

For those of you that knew you would need to patiently wait for the good sage to come down from the mountain with his predictions and prophecies, what you're getting today might be not be exactly what you were looking for. Because while I would love to lay out all my picks for ya right here and right now, there are 2 very good reasons why that's just not a very practical thing to do...


1) Thievery: Call me arrogant if you'd like, but I know there are some people out there against whom I am competing, that would like nothing more than to have all my picks laid out before them...

2) I haven't even made my picks yet! I don't know about you, but with a few big time injuries out there, I'm waiting until the last minute before I even start making my picks. I wanna go into this thing with a clear mind and a clear image of every team in my head. If I make my picks only to go back and tweak them after hearing some injury news, I just don't think my picks will have as much flow and rhythm to them. Basically, and excuse the disgusting pun, there should be a method to your madness. If you feel go about going back and changing several picks after you've "completed" your initial bracket, then by all means. Again, that's just another instance in which you're a better man/chick than I...


So, while I won't be dishing out my picks, what I will do is give you the heads up on some keys to look for early on in each regional. I'll map out the favorites, the potential upsets and even give the heads up on some teams to be wary of. Basically, it's just like one of those 50 other tourney previews you've already seen, with the lone difference being you actually know the person writing it, and you know that he's a slave to the game of college basketball. I look at it like this. Picking the tournament to me, is like fighting a war against all those big time experts. And like in any good war, it's always the guy with the most limited supplies, the least amount of money but the most at stake that always comes out on top. In this case, I would say that describes me to a T...

So believe the "Red Coats" if you will, but in the game of picking tourney winners, you can just call me "Charlie". Not President Charlie, mind you, just the Asian guy that was apparently always beating our ass in the Vietnamese jungle...

Now without further dudes, here's you're guide to the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament. If you really wanna see you I picked to cut down the nets, check back on Thursday before the games. For now, chew on this...

It's tourney time, baby. Gus Johnson is foaming at the mouth ,and it's time for the mad dash to the cash that we all hold so close and dear...

Now fill out your bracket before Eric Devendorf takes a bite out of your face...


MIDWEST


Favorite: (1) Louisville

Rick Pitino's Cardinal's may have back doored their way to the #1 seed, but it doesn't mean they're any less deserving. Having won both the Big East regular season and conference tournament definitely give them the best resume heading into this thing. Not to mention the fact that they have the 4 most important things when it comes to winning in March. Great coaching, great defense, great depth, and at least one future pro. That's a deadly combination that should see the boys from Kentucky at the very least cruise into the Elite 8. What you do with them from there is your business...


Contenders: (2) Michigan St.; (3) Kansas; (4) Wake Forest

It's pretty much chalk city in when it comes to picking a winner for this region. Outside of the top 4 seeds, I can't really see any team good enough to make a run to the Final Four. And it's not like this 3-some instills a ton of confidence either. All 3 were earlier than expected losers in their respective conference tournaments, and Kansas in particular has a history of bowing out in the first round, when a lot of people have them picked to do a lot of damage. Mostly me...

One interesting thing to keep an eye out for, is that not only do the Michigan St. Spartans have tourney master Tom Izzo on their bench, but they're the only team that's actually excited about the prospect of playing the Final Four in Detroit...


Upset Watch: (14) North Dakota St. over (3) Kansas

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. I will only start considering a 1st round game an upset when we get to the 11/6 match ups. And even those are pretty even. But 8/9 and 7/10 games? Those teams are basically even to begin with. That's why I always find it funny when people talk about the curse of the 7/10 or pick a 10 seed as an "upset" winner. Get with the program, you floundering Teds...

In this case, I like NDSU as a possible first round Cinderella based on their proximity to home (Minnesota), and the history of their opponent. Kansas has done a good job in the past of turning my bracket into a Mexican porto potty on day 1, and if you've been through similar pain this could be the payback you're lookin' for...

Oh, and for time's sake, let's just assume that any team that's not a 15 or a 16 has what it takes to win one game on a neutral court against pretty much anybody else. That'll save me the time of telling you how exactly each of these upsets could potentially go down. Besides, not like you would know any of the guys I mentioned or actually believe they were better than the big time schools anyway, now would ya?...


Sleeper Teams: (5) Utah; (9) Siena

The Midwestern Conference got the shaft with San Diego St. and New Mexico being left out, and Utah could make the selection committee pay. The Utes have 7 footer Luke Neville in the middle and they can shoot from outside, making them a tough out for anyone. Add to that they get Arizona followed by an inconsistent Wake Forest, and these bootleg Mormons could easily find themselves dancing in Indianapolis...

As for Siena, they have the same team that ran over Vandy in last year's first round, so you know they've got what it takes. They love to push the tempo, and should they get by Ohio St. in Dayton, they would be a really bad match up for #1 Louisville...


Most Overrated Team: (8) Ohio St.

I'm sorry, but a 10-8 record in the Big 10 and a soft 3-6 record against the Top 25 just don't impress me. That and the lack of any sort of legit scoring punch should prevent the Buckeyes from winning more than 1 game, even with the home court advantage...


Hottest Team (last 12 games): (1) Louisville (11-1); (14) North Dakota St. (11-1)

Hey when you're hot, you're hot! Siena, Cleveland St. & Utah also come in smokin' @ 10-2 over their last 12. The worst record belongs to 6-6 USC, but seeing as they just came off a Pac 10 title run, the honor goes to the 12 seeded Arizona Wildcats @ 7-5...


Best Player: Earl Clark + Terrence Williams, Louisville

This 1-2 punch of future lottery picks are what make Louisville more than just a scrappy defensive team that can hit the 3. Either of these two are capable of going off on any night, and Clark is the prototypical guy you can count on in the final seconds. He can make his own shot, he can draw the double team, he can pass, and he can hit his free throws. Face it. Pitino's team is loaded, and there's a reason why they are #1 overall...


WEST


Favorite: (2) Memphis

With UCONN having gone 3-3 since the loss of Jerome Dyson, Memphis moves to the front of the line as the favorites in the West. Not only do they bring some experience from last year's squad that made it to the Finals, but they're flat out the hottest team in the country. Since moving super frosh Tyreke Evans to point guard, Memphis has gone from 6-3, to the 31-3 juggernaut you see before you today. And just like Louisville, they rely heavily on good guard play, great defense (best FG% in the nation) and great coaching. All good traits to have heading into the dance...

And no, the fact they played in such a weak conference doesn't bother me. It used to, believe me, but after their tourney success the past 2 seasons, it's basically become the boy who cried wolf...or in this case, Tiger...

...(sorry about that, it was just too easy)



Contenders: (1) UCONN; (3) Missouri; (4) Washington; (5) Purdue

In what appears to be a top heavy region crammed with 5+ potential Final Four teams, these 4 squads are what I consider the best of the rest. All have the big conference resume that suggests they have what it takes to go on a big run, with Mizzou and Purdue coming in hot, fresh off conference tournament title runs...

Oh and if you like trends, you're gonna love this. UCONN won the National Championship in '99 and '04 when they started in what region? Oh that's right. The West. Every 5 years, and the same region? I smell a feature on ESPN!...



Upset Watch: (11) Utah St. over (6) Marquette

Poor Marquette, man. They were once a team I was primed to slide into the Final Four, but after the injury to Dominic James (and a 5-7 finish) they have just become a shell of their former selves. Combined that with a match up against a 30 win Utah St. team fresh off both a regular season and conference tourney title, and I can't say I like the Golden Eagles chances very much at all. It's a damn shame, too...


Sleeper Team: (12) Northern Iowa

I'm always a big fan of the Missouri Valley Conference (or "the Val", if you will), and just because the league is down a bit this year doesn't mean their representative is any less dangerous. They make their free throws, have a 7 foot center who isn't a stiff, and they have 5 legitimate scorers who are all capable of going off at any time. My only issue with the Panthers, is they have no real legit wins this year to fall back on...


Most Overrated Team: (7) California

They are super young, and rely far too heavily on the 3. They did sweep Washington in the regular season, but that was just an instance of a bad match up combined with their streaky shooting. Not like I see anyone picking the Cal/Maryland winner to beat Memphis anyway...


Hottest Team: (2) Memphis (12-0)

Since moving Evans to point guard, the Tigers are 25-0, making them by far the hottest team in the country. Missouri and BYU are the next hottest, coming in at 10-2, while both Cal and Maryland come in stone cold @ 6-6. It's also worthy to note that while Mississippi St. comes in at just 7-5, they're riding high after grabbing the SEC automatic bid by winning they conference tournament...

Best Player: Hasheem Thabeet, UCONN

Simply put, he's the single most important player in this tournament. Even with their struggles recently, Thabeet's play could either have the Huskies cutting down the nets, or dancing their way out of the tourney by the Sweet 16. He can change the game with the way he blocks and alters shots, but if he can't stay on the floor, Jim Calhoun might have some legitimate questions to answer this time around in the post game press conference...


EAST


Favorite: (1) Pittsburgh

How much do I love the Pittsburgh Panthers? Well let's see. I detest both the city of Pittsburgh, and the state of Pennsylvania, yet I've had this team at the top of my rankings for nearly the entire season. Would they be there now? Well that's a question you'll have to wait til Thursday for. What I can tell you right now, is that this team is flat out loaded. Sam Young is the physical wing man who can get his shot any time he wants. DaJuan Blair is the beast in the middle that can dominate the paint. LeVance Fields is the floor general that can control the pace of the game. And they have plenty of role players to fill out the rest of their roster, and give them some considerable depth...

Sure they haven't made it out of the Sweet 16 in the past 2 years despite being seeded 3 and 4, that doesn't mean they're jinxed! Just take a look at what I said about Memphis and their tournament history. History will only help you make your argument once you've already taken a side. I recommend using what you've seen from Pitt this year, rather than trying to ride some sort of irrelevant trend...

As long as Fields is near 100%, not picking the Panthers to at least make the Elite 8 would be a major mistake...



Contenders: (2) Duke; (3) Villanova; (6) UCLA

It's very likely that the Sweet 16 game in the lower half of the East will be either UCLA/Duke, Villanova/Duke, or a made for TV rematch of Duke/VCU. All games I would love to see, and just might seeing as they are being played in Boston. That was a plea for tickets, by the way, so get to your nearest Intraweb broker already and hook a brother up!...

Realistically, you have to think that whoever comes out of that lower half there will have to be playing well enough to give Pitt a run for their money. Especially when you consider the fact that a UCLA/Pitt match up could be an epic teacher/student affair with Ben Howland and his protege Jamie Dixon goin' duking it out for a trip to Detroit. Howland beat Dixon in '07 to move on to the Elite 8, and you gotta think young Skywalker is on the prowl for some delicious revenge...

Oh and keep an eye out for the Dukies this year....and not to necessarily choke like the sissy white boys they are. Their new lineup with Scheyer at the point and a healthy Noland Smith have really made a difference down the stretch. Example: In his 10 games as PG, Scheyer has just 9 turnovers. Hate Duke if you must, just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons...


Upset Watch: (13) Portland St. over (4) Xavier

Look. Either you like the A-10, or you don't. If you don't, them I say go with the champs from the Big Sky. They have a win @ Gonzaga on the season, and can be deadly if they start to make it reign from 3. Not a great match up for a young Xavier squad that doesn't exactly have the big men inside to take advantage of the smallish #13 seed...

Sleeper Team: (7) Texas

Much like Georgetown and Notre Dame, Texas was once high up in the rankings before falling off the map mid season. Only difference, is the Horns didn't play in the Big East, and were actually able to still scrap together enough wins to make the Big Dance. That being said, they were ranked so highly for a reason. They've got a ton of talent. Should they be able to pull it together and actually play up to their potential for once, then it wouldn't be far fetched at all to see them crash that party I mentioned above, and be there bracket half's rep at the TD BankNorth Garden...



Most Overrated Team: (5) Florida St.

I respect everything Tony Douglas does, the man is a beast. I describe him as Johnny Flynn on HGH. He's a warrior. Problem for him, is he's pretty much the only decent player on his team, and definitely the only one I can even remotely trust to come up big with the game on the line.

Aside from Clemson, FSU is the biggest fraud from the biggest fraud conference in the land. And for once, I'm not talking about the Big 11....(and no, that wasn't a typo. Do the math yourselves and get back to me)...

Hottest Team: (14) American (12-0)

Pittsburgh at 10-2 is probably the most legit team in the region coming in hot, but when picking an upset it's noteworthy to look at American. I know the Patriot League doesn't exactly scare people, but the fact that they've won 19 of their last 20 and are top 10 in the country in FG% defense should. It doesn't bode well for them, however, as the last 2 seasons have seen the 14 seeds go 0-8...

Note: Binghamton is 11-1 themselves, while both VCU and Florida St. come into the dance having won 9 of their last 12...



Best Player: Sam Young, Pittsburgh

Much like Earl Clark, he's a jack of all trades and a near master of most of them as well. The tournament should serve as a nice audition for the future NBA lottery pick, and I think most of the country will be surprised at just how good this kid actually is. I know he's on a team loaded with stars, but when it comes down to crunch time, he's the guy you're gonna wanna watch out for. Not the big man down low, and not the dinged up point guard who specializes in running the offense...

The Panthers can make it pretty far without Young going off, but if he does show up to play, they're most certainly assured of making the Final 4...


SOUTH


Favorite: (1) North Carolina

In my eyes, the injury to PG Ty Lawson's ankle removed any clear cut favorite from this year's field. It's the reason the Heels lost in the ACC tourney, it's the reason Louisville is the overall #1 seed and it will be the reason behind whether or not the Heels make the Final Four for the second consecutive year...

However, to dismiss the Heels even if Lawson is dinged up, would in my eyes be a huge mistake...

Now I know Roy Williams said during the ACC tourney that if that were the Final Four Lawson still wouldn't be in there, but that was already 4 days ago. And while I don't wanna take either Butler or LSU lightly, the Heels probably won't need Lawson at 100% until the start of the Sweet 16, nearly 2 weeks from now! If he's still not healthy by then, they could be in trouble. But seeing as it's not a broken ankle, I'd still feel pretty comfortable giving the Heels a lot of weight to carry in my bracket. They're just way too talented, way too deep, and have too good a coach...



Contenders: (2) Oklahoma; (3) Syracuse; (4) Gonzaga; (6) Arizona St.; (8) LSU

You could make the argument that this region sports the best team from the SEC and the Big XII, and top 3 teams from the Big East, Pac 10 and Big 10. And that's not even counting wild cards Gonzaga and Clemson. And if you wanna believe that Ty Lawson is hurt, then this thing is more wide open than Lawrence Taylor's nostrils at a Columbian wedding reception...

Syracuse is fresh off a great Big East run, and they have dynamic guards that know how to score...

Oklahoma has Blake Griffin, the best player in the country...

Gonzaga just bltized through to WCC, and has only lost once in '09 (Memphis)...

Arizona St. sat atop the Pac 10 all year long, and sports a future lottery pick (Harden) to go along with a top 10 defense...

And LSU has the 3 headed monster of Temple, Mitchell and Thronton, not to mention they were the best in the SEC this year. The SEC may have been down, but tack on the fact that Mitchell and Temple played on that Final Four team with Big Baby and Tyrus Thomas, and all of a sudden Trent Johnson and his Tiger's start lookin' all the more dangerous...

To quote my buddy Ian right after the bracket came out and we saw where Cuse was headed...

"They didn't do us any favors"

No they didn't, IMann. No they didn't...

Should be fun to watch, though...



Upset Watch: (12) Western Kentucky over (5) Illinois

Not only is Western Kentucky giant killer #1, but they face an Illinois team that will be down a ket player in Chester Frazier. Not too many guys average around 5 points, rebounds and assists per game, and his presence will be dearly missed on both sides of the ball. This Illini team thrives on quick and crips ball movement, and with one of their cogs missing in action, it could cause the whole damn machine to fall apart...


Sleeper Team: Winner of LSU/Butler game

This goes right back to how you feel about Ty Lawson and UNC. If you don't think they're ready for prime time, then the LSU/Butler winner should be the team you pick to knock them out. I know I just got finished saying this region is loaded with great teams, but for the sake of your bracket, this would be the game to knock UNC out. Should it come to fruition, it would be a pick nobody else would probably have, giving you a leg up. And seeing as you don't think UNC is gonna go very far anyway, you might as well get them out of there at a time in the bracket where it's the most advantagous for you to pick up a few extra points...

Both LSU and Butler are dangerous teams that won't be afriad of playing UNC in Greensboro. It doesn't mean they're gonna win, mind you, but having been in these situations before is definitely an advantage, and a legitimate reason to pick them as the first big time upset...


Most Overrated Team: NONE

Deepest region in the country if you ask me. It's not until Michigan at 10 do I see a team that's not capable of representing this region in the Final Four. Should be a blood bath...


Hottest Teams: (12) Western Kentucky (11-1); (4) Gonzaga (11-1)

UNC comes in @ 10-2, but it's the Mid-Major reps that have been hottest over the last few weeks. Western Kentucky made the Sweet 16 as a 12 seed last year and sports a win over Louisville this year, while the Zags come in fresh off a WCC romp and get to play their first two games in Portland, Oregon. Now I'm no crystal ball reader or anything, but I would say that bodes well for both of them...(hint hint hint)...



Best Player: Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

I was one of the few that picked Griffin as pre season player of the year over Hansbrough, so I'm certainly not gonna get off his bandwagon now. His talent alone should be enough to lead the Sooners to a meeting with either Syracuse or Arizona St., I just don't know if it's enough to take them any further than that. Then again, neither Cuse or ASU are all that consistent, something
Griffin and the Sooners have in spades...


So there you have it, boys and girls. All you need to know to make your picks for this years tourney. I did my best to make sure you're prepared, while at the same time leaving it wide open for you to make your bracket your own. Throw in that random mascot pick, send a team you hate home a round or two early, or pick Syracuse to lose in the first round just to spite yours truly. Hey, I did it in 2005, and look how well that worked out! Granted I didn't do it to spite myself, but I think you get the point. The key is to go crazy, while not risking falling out of contention all together in the first session of games. I think I've laid forth som good ground work for you to do exactly that. The rest, my friends. Is up to you...

And if you're not feelin' some of my advice? Well then feel free to check in on what my man Whitey has to say over at CollegeFlips.com. He's a rather pale individual, but he's one of the few people I repsect when it comes to intelligently talking about college hoops. That, and he loves when his neighbors complain to him via poem, and ordering Chinese food at all hours of the day...

Wisdom From the White Man: http://collegeflips.com/blog.aspx?GUID=7062aa1b-4812-de11-ab10-00301b43f3ed

G*d bless him. He truly is one of G*d's chosen people...


And like that, I'm gone...

Catch me on Thursday right before the tip of the 1st games for my Final Four picks, my 2009 National Champ, and Mike Edelman's white Jewish ass...

...and possibly his girl friend's nipple...

Enjoy the madness, kids. I'm outta here!...

100...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Orange You Glad You Didn't Go To Bed?...

So I'm off to the Big Apple to see some friends, and wouldn't you know it, an extra dozen dudes decided they wanted to be there for the big event...

...and I have it on good authority that one of them is a rabid white supremacist...







Syracuse 127 UCONN 117...

6 freaking overtimes...

Epic, my friends. Truly epic. And if there's a clearer signal that we have an historically hectic March on the horizon, it's gonna have to come on the side of a 1980's era Miami blimp...



So now that Syracuse has fired the initial shot across the bow, don't you want in on some of this March Madness yourself? Well if you thought that segue was neat, then you're gonna love the latest concoction of the Rooch Nation Bracket Challenge. Sure I might not be running it, and yea maybe it's been more than 5 years since I've seen dollar ONE in any sort of NCAA tourney pool, but that doesn't mean I'm any less inclined to invite you all to take your best shot...


Here's what you do if you want in...

Step 1: Click on the link below. If you don't have a CBS SportsLine account, you're gonna have to sign up for one before you go any further. And don't worry, you cheap bastards, that part is free...

http://feelthemadness2007.mayhem.cbssports.com/brackets

password: jimnance

Step 2: After you have your username and have joined the group, email me @ bferruccio@gmail.com to let me know you're in, and the name of your entry...

Step 3: Mail me the standard entry fee. That will be discussed further in the email, but make sure you make it clear you're gonna pay...and then actually pay...

Step 4: Sit back, enjoy the madness, and watch my bracket flop around like the fish in the end of the Faith No More video...

And honestly, is there a better way to start your summer than by winning a huge chunk of money in quite possibly the world's greatest tournament? Un-freakin-likely...

So get off your ass, get in the game, and see if you have what it takes to hot box with me, the self proclaimed bracket master. Believe me, you'll be glad you did...

...or maybe you won't. And yeah, there are definitely no refunds when you realize your Cinderella is actually a dude with a beard...

Catch you on Tuesday for the complete bracket breakdown, kids. Cuse got it kicked off, and I'm gonna kick that sucker down...

After all. It's up to me...

New York, New York...

I'm outta here...

100...

Monday, March 09, 2009

College Hoops Top 25 (3/9): Come Hither, Hoops Fans...


I can feel it, can you?

It's a mix between the feeling you got right before Christmas when you were a little kid, and the feeling you get now when it's 3 AM, your 8 beers deep, and that cutie in the corner just went upstairs while giving you that "come hither" finger waggle...

It's the NCAA Tournament, boys and girls, and with Championship week already in full swing, it can't be all that far away. Matter of fact, in just 10 days from today we'll already have seen the first 2 sessions of games played out, and as many as 8 teams could already have bid a swift farewell to their '09 title hopes. Granted most teams don't actually have realistic title aspirations, but that's why you've come here. To figure out who's actually in it to win it, and who's just there taking up space on the dance floor like that creepy 45 year old at the local college dive bar. Sure you could call the cops on his jail bait huntin' ass, but you're better off letting him buy all the girls drinks before he limps home all alone...

That, my friends, is when you get the "come hither" finger waggle. And from there, you'd have to be a complete tard not to be able to close the deal...

No tards here, though as I unveil the final Rooch Nation Top 25 for the 2008-2009 season. Next time we speak, we'll be talkin' tourney...

Get some, kids...

Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25



1. North Carolina (27-3) 1

As is often the case, I was one week ahead of the pollsters when I made the Heels my team to beat in last week's rankings. Needless to say, 2 wins later, and I still have them at the top. I know, I'm shocked at how logical that sounds too...


2. Pittsburgh (28-3) 2

Much like the Arizona St./UCLA match up discussed here last week, don't take too much credence in the fact that Pitt swept the season series with the UCON Huskies. It's just a bad match up for UCONN, and there is little to no chance the two will ever meet in the NCAA Tournament...

If they do meet, I'll most likely take Pittsburgh. As for UCONN, I still like their chances against anyone not named Pitt, UNC, or...


3. Michigan St. (25-5) 4

Winners of 5 straight and 8 of their last nine, Tom Izzo's Spartans are already a lock in my mind to be the chic pick by the analysts to take down the '09 title...

They have all the makings. They weren't in the ACC or the Big East. They're on fire. They have a ton of great guards. And most of all, they have Tom Izzo. He's the only coach I know where people will pick his team simply because he's the guy on the bench. Not Pitino, not Calhoun, not Boeheim, and not Calipari. Peeps love Izzo. And while it's a deserved admiration, it just makes it even easier for me to predict the fact that MSU will end up in a lot of the "experts" Final Four's....

Will they make mine? Well you'll just to have to check back next week and see....

That my friends, is what we call a tease. Kinda like if that "come hither" waggle turned into a case of blue balls. Expect this one won't hurt any area of your groin...

4. UCONN (27-3) 3

5. Louisville (25-5) 7


6. UCLA (24-7) 6

I don't care what the standings say. With Ben Howland on the bench and Darren Collison still runnin' the show, I'll take my chances with the Bruins long before I'd put my money on the Washington Huskies...

7. Oklahoma (27-4) 5

8. Washington (24-7) 10

...but I'd still bet on the Huskies. Washington OR UCONN...


9. Memphis (28-3) 9

They may be a tad overrated nationally, but Cal's Pal's, as I have dubbed them, still can lay claim to being the best team outside of a major BCS conference. And it's not that they aren't good in comparison to the boys in the big conferences, it's just that a season's worth of weak opponents always has me a little concerned...

Then again, they played the same lousy Conference USA teams a year ago, and that didn't seem to hurt them much now did it?

10. Duke (25-6) 8

11. Villanova (25-6) 11

12. Kansas (25-6) 12

13. Gonzaga (25-5) 16

14. Wake Forest (24-5) 19

After going 3-3 during a stretch in January, Wake Forest is back to playing like the team they appeared to be when they started the season 16-0...

Much of the reason for their improved play during their recent 4 game winning streak has been the improved play of sophomore forward, James Johnson. He's tallied 21 or more 4 times over the last 6 games, during which time he's averaged more than 19 points, 5 more than his season average...

With Johnson clicking, and Teague and Aminu being their normal "uber aggressive" selves, playing Wake in the tournament should be alot like inviting the Tazmanian Devil to a sex to party. If you're not careful, you're gonna get screwed from every angle imaginable...

15. Louisiana State University (25-6) 13

16. Illinois (23-8) 17

17. Purdue (22-9) 15

18. Arizona St. (22-8) 14

19. Syracuse (23-8) 24

Call me out as a fanboy if you want, but the fact is the Orange are shooting well. Sure they still can't play any defense, but when you have the talented scorers that they have, in a one and done format, defense might not even matter...

...at least for a round or two...

20. Butler (26-4) 20

21. St. Mary's (25-5) NR

I might be jumpin' the gun here, but the return of Patty Mills has me diggin' the Gaels. Not sure what a "Gael" is exactly, but any team that gets their leading scorer back right before the post season begins, is A-OK with me...

Now the only question is whether or not they can gel in time to take advantage...

22. Xavier (24-6) 18

23. Florida St. (23-8) NR

My main man Kevin "Frosco" Tomasso is actually in his old stomping grounds of Tallahassee this week, so I'll use that as a little Seminole karma. Welcome to the top 25, Florida St. May your stay be as long as the white T's you wear, and your run be as entertaining as the latest Lil Wayne collaboration...that you can undoubtedly purchase from a nearby car trunk...and may or may not have a local DJ screaming in the background of every track...

On the other hand, with this whole cheating scandal going on at FSU, it does concern me that these kids might actually have to study in the coming weeks and that it could distract them from their ultimate goal...

Hahahaha...Yeah, and Bobby Bowden is a young man with absolutely no problems passing viable stool that doesn't end up on the inside lining of his reusable adult diapers...

Gross/appropriate comparison to drive home my sarcasm. What can I say, explicitly is my thing. Especially when it comes to old people, crazy old people, anything to do with meth and of course, the Williams Brothers...

24. Clemson (23-7) NR

25. Tennessee (19-11) 23


just missed: West Virginia, Utah, Michigan, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin, California, Davidson, Missouri, Texas A&M

dropped: (21) Davidson; (25) Creighton


Dancing Shoes?...Check!






These guys have already earned their automatic tourney bid by winning their conference tournament, and actually have a shot at winning a game or two. The champs may come from the bigger conferences, but we all know Cinderella likes herself a small school guy, preferably with a wacky nickname. So does the slipper fit for any of this years early entrants?

Survey says!?.....

Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley Conference)

Always gotta love the Val come tourney time. And while Creighton was the beast of the conference all season long, Northern Iowa shouldn't disappoint as the possible lone representative in the field of 65. They've won 5 straight, rebound well, and play a complete team game that could very easily frustrate any opponent...

Morehead State (Ohio Valley Conference)

Not exactly a power, MSU beat two of the top 3 seeds in the Ohio Valley tourney on their way to earning their automatic bid. That means they are playing well against teams that know their style, which means a team not familiar with their game might be in for a dog fight as well...

Hey, when you're hot, you're hot. Right?

Cornell (Ivy League)

We did this already, didn't we? Wicked smahhht kids that need to hit their 3's to have a shot...


This team, not so much...

Radford (Big South)

The Big South is awful, and I refuse to believe any team from that conference has even the remotest chance of winning a game. Simply put, if it ain't Winthrop, I ain't buyin' it...



There you have it, boys and girls. The next time we speak, the bracket will be out, and I'll be ready to make the bracket my bitch. I'm gonna give that thing a come hither look that would have Hugh Hefner tripping over himself to get at his Viagra...

It's an orgasm waiting to happen, and the man with the magic touch, is Gus Johnson...

See you next week, pimps, and be on the lookout for a Tourney pool invite. It's coming to an email inbox near you, and you don't wanna miss it...

100...