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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

2013 Final Four: Orange You Glad You Didn't Take My Advice?


It truly is great to be in a win/win situation. A place I've been lucky enough to find myself throughout this entire NCAA Tournament in regards to my Syracuse Orange. I say they'll underachieve? They end up making to their first Final Four since when I was a sophomore there in 2003. You know, the year they happened to win the National Title? Yeah, that's something I still make sure to tell anyone that even shows the slightest interest in college basketball or sporting events at large. "Oh, you like hoops? Yeah, well I was up in Syracuse in 2003...". I try to slip it in casually, but I'm sure I still come off sounding like a combination of Donald Trump & Johnny Miller. You know, a equal parts arrogant name dropper and pretentious douche?..

But enough about old bald bastards who can't stand the fact that they're further past their prime than a "breakfast dog" from 7/11. It's time to break down the prime time players and teams that have found their ways to Atlanta for the Final Four. And by "break down", I mean making sweeping generalizations and several attempts at humor, while still continuing to undersell my Orange. I definitely don't mean "break down" as in Kevin Ware's leg. The gruesome snapping of which brought to mind both Lawrence Taylor and Jon Voight. Something that, needless to say, isn't all that easy to do...

And while I could explain to you how I got to those two legends in my head 6 Degrees of Keivn Bacon-style, it's better if we all just move on. Ya know, before this turns into me looking for nude shots of Ali Larter and Angelina Jolie. Because, yes. The Jon Voight I was thinking of was coach Bud Kilmer in Varsity Blues, and the reason I was thinking of him was because I had heard Ware's leg snapped so easily due to the fact that it had probably been seriously injured numerous times before. Not saying Ware needs to take over and start coaching the team on crutches, Lance Harbor style. But at least we've come to peace to the madness that's going on in my head, and can move onto the madness that'll actually be occurring on the court...

SO, like a case of Codeine cough syrup, it's off to Atlanta. And here's to hopin' this weekend's slate goes down smoother than a liter of Lean...

Enjoy, friends...


2013 Final Four

(9) Wichita St. (+10.5) vs (1) Louisville

All good natured ribbing aside in regards to Kevin Ware and his busted limb, the performance Louisville put on after his departure truly was impressive. A little too messy for my tastes, emotionally. But the way they played only went to prove why so many people picked them as the team to beat. And why many, including yours truly, are still picking them to be the last team standing. OK, maybe Michigan has crept into "1B" territory. But you see what I'm saying. The Cardinals faced adversity, and shoved it down Duke's throat. That's the mark of a champion, right there. And while it doesn't guarantee anything going forward, it does give me enough confidence that they'll dispatch their Final Four opponent in a reasonably comfortable fashion. Just not a double digit blowout... (double digit Final Four favorites only 1-4 all time against the spread)

As for the Shockers, who I haven't given much love to at all during the tournament, I'll give them this. If not for their presence here, I would have never been presented on Twitter with the opportunity to predict what Jim Nantz's call would sound like should they win the title. My response? "Throw up the Shocker, friends. Wichita St. has just forcefully inserted itself into the record books!" Yep, I am hilarious and Twitter is the jump off.  As if you really needed further confirmation of either fact...


(4) Michigan (-2) vs (4) Syracuse

In the nightcap, we have the time honored classic match up of the unstoppable force (Michigan) and the immovable object (Syracuse). Defense versus offense, as two of the country's most prestigious programs battle for a spot in the National Championship...

Naturally, I'm taking Michigan. But it's no longer because I don't have faith in the Syracuse offense. They've actually been quite efficient, with Fair getting involved and MCW limiting the turnovers. Nope, I'm picking the Wolverines because, led by Trey Burke and his ability to penetrate, they have the skill set to bust the zone and control the tempo. And I'm not trying to gloss over the fact the the Syracuse zone is playing at a level not seen since the title run in 2003. But I just think it's only a matter of time before it's exposed. At least to the extent that they'll finally lose...

I also like the fact that John Beilein is yet another coach familiar with Jim Boeheim's defensive tendencies (Boeheim even helped get John started in major D1 hoops while @ LeMoyne college). Granted, that's essentially the same scouting report I gave for Indiana before the Orange rolled them up like a crisp Vanilla Dutch firmly packed with Canada's finest. But this Michigan team is playing at another level, and if they're able to execute what should be a sound game plan from their coach. I don't see how the Orange will be able to keep pace...

Besides, it wouldn't be the 2013 tournament if I weren't picking against my boys, would it? NO, it most certainly would not. And while they're run has given me the opportunity to buy cool new Final Four gear, I'm afraid it stops here. Just short of a fresh championship hoodie. Oh well. T-shirts are cool. As are hats. And while that particular hat has no official connection with the Final Four, I just couldn't resist. Mostly because it's the jump off, but mostly because it's got that rather unique pattern goin' on. Well done, Mitchell and Ness. And I look forward to donning your creation with great pride and swagger...

I'll take great pride in watching Cuse this weekend, too. Even though I fear the worst. That's one of the great and unique things about the NCAA tournament. Unlike the Super Bowl or the World Series, most of the time you make the Final Four, or even the Elite 8 for that matter, everything else is just gravy. And for me, to be watching my team play, in my favorite sport, while the chunky gravy is flowing like the Salmon to Pedro Serrano. Well, it just doesn't get much better than that. So let's just say I'm as appreciative as I am pessimistic. Which for me, is about as good as it's gonna get...

Enjoy the weekend, friends. Oh, right. And here's to hoping your bracket goes up in flames. That's right. SCREW YOUR BRACKET, YOU LUCKY TED BASTARDS!

There. Got that out. OK, now you can enjoy the games. You lucky Ted bastards...

Twitter Picks: 148-100-12 (.592)*

*Sweet 16 & Elite 8 Picks: 8-3-1 (2 of 3 losses due to betting against Syracuse)




I'll catch you next week, and we'll talk baseball. I know, I know. But we have to. And I'll try to make it mildly hilarious. Or I'll throw in some nudity. Depends on how I'm feeling that day. How about this? Cuse wins the title, we'll go with the nudity. Maybe some quality side boob, or somethin'. Deal? Good, it's a deal...

OK, friends. One final time. Enjoy the games, and your weekend. And I'll catch you on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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