Pages

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: Headed For a Showdown...


Weeeeeee!

That means it's time for the NCAA Tournament. And, no. I'm not channeling that pig from TV. I was saying that long before he was. In fact, I have a theory that they inceptioned me and took that slogan. But there's no time for that. It's time to get ready to fill out your brackets. And we'll start, by watching this video. OR, more importantly, listening to this song. You know, to get us in the mood. OK, I'll give you a minute...


OK, great. Now that my official ALL TIME NCAA TOURNAMENT THEME SONG (not trying to replace the iconic jingle, just seeking to supplement) has gotten us pumped up and primed for action, let's get to some logistics. And I'm going to give them to you a little differently than in year's past. This year, instead of breaking down each region, I'm just going to provide you with a few valuable tips and pointers to help guide you through the rigorous selection process. An "Elite 8", if you will. That way I don't "give away the store", as they say (or at least used to), and I help you come to your own conclusions. You know, so that when you win, you won't have to give anyone any props. Because we all know you'd otherwise be "good like that"...

But enough pleasantries. You came here to pick my brain, and/or mock my arrogance and/or naivete. So I'll leave you to it. Enjoy...


Tip #1

If you're not a college hoops nerd like me, then pick your champion first. And pick from this list:

(4) Michigan St.
(1) Florida
(1) Wichita St.
(1) Arizona
(1) Virginia
(2) Michigan
(2) Kansas
(4) Louisville


Those aren't in an exact order, but those are the only teams I honestly feel can take it down (Kansas only if Embiid comes back). Except for maybe UCLA. But you wouldn't have to take them to win. Getting them into the finals would probably be enough to take down your pool. And Lord knows they have the talent to get there (see: Anderson, Kyle. That's him, bumpin' butts with whitey)...

And I say "pick your champ first", because if you're not really working from any base of knowledge, I find that's the best place to start. Helps you go a little crazier in the early rounds. For what that's worth...


Tip #2

DO NOT pick any of these teams to win it all. I don't care how big a fan you are:

(3) Syracuse (What? We've lost 5 of 7!)
(3) Duke
(6) Ohio St.
(7) Texas
(8) Kentucky


All of those teams obviously have their strengths, but the typical fan favorites also have more weaknesses than their legions of supporters would like to admit. Kentucky's play of late should have probably kept them off this list, but they're just too trendy. Oh, and Duke is mostly here out of spite. Though they're vulnerable on the glass and can often become stagnant when Jabari "takes over"...


Tip #3 

Don't concern yourself with which upsets happen the most frequently. 10/7, 12/5, etc. Just know that there are going to be some, and sprinkle them through your bracket appropriately. Here are some good potential upsets for the 1st round...or 2nd round. OR whatever the Hell they call it now:


(10) St. Joseph's OVER (7) UCONN

(11) Providence OVER (6) North Carolina

(11) Dayton OVER (6) Ohio St.

(11) Iowa/Tennessee OVER (6) UMASS


(12) Stephen F. Austin OVER (5) VCU

(12) North Dakota St. OVER (5) Oklahoma

(12) Harvard OVER (5) Cincinnati

(14) Western Michigan OVER (3) Syracuse (What? we can't freaking SCORE!)


Not saying any these will happen, but rest assured I wouldn't label you crazy for advancing any of the teams to the rd of 32. And for a few of them, possibly beyond. But that's where I makes my cakes, so that'll have to remain a mystery...


Tip #4

See those double digit seeds above? Fall in love with one of them, and blindly move them into the Sweet 16. What? This thing is more art than science, anyway. So whip that brush out and stroke away. Wait...

No, but seriously. One of those teams (or some other rogue double digit seed) is going to advance. It doesn't make sense now, (unless it's Tennessee, in which case KenPom and I TOLD YOU SO!) and it probably won't make much sense later, either. But it's going to happen. So go ahead and pick that worse. And...stroke it? Wait, no. I think I'm mixing metaphors again. And possibly (definitely) being mildly perverted...


Tip #5

Take another listen to this jam. I mean, come on. It's even the Kingpin version! The song boots up at 2:15, but it's all pretty much the jump off...BIG ERN IS FINALLY ABOVE THE LAW!!!


But just in case, here's Jennifer Tilly's rack circa 2006. It may seem like a gratuitous cleave shot, but it loosely ties in to Tip #6. As if anything "loose" could tie into those! OH!...


Tip #6

If you're filling out multiple brackets (and Lord knows you should be), use 1 of these strategies:

1: THE ALL IN

All of your brackets should look more or less the same. Especially when it comes to your Final Four, title game, and champion. This obviously maximizes profit, should you hit. It'll also end your March Madness experience with a mighty thud, should one of your basketed eggs somehow go the way of Humpty Dumpty. But that rush, man. That all or nothing rush. Some peeps dig it. When it comes to the NCAA Tournament, I am one of those peeps...

2: THE TWEAK

Stick with the picks that you're the "surest" of, but vary your "upset" picks, and maybe even toss in another champ or two, from bracket to bracket. This obviously isn't as profitable, long term. But will help keep you in at least one of the pools, which is always nice. This is the strategy I'd recommend most to the novice, if only for the pure enjoyment factor. Savs like me, on the other hand. Like to go broke the painful way. So I'll more than likely be utilizing strategy #1...

FALSE! Stick to writing about the habits of caged birds....

Tip #7

Go back and check out the last Top 25 I posted on here before the conference tournaments. Lord knows I won't. Even though history tells me that's where all the best answers lie. Or is it lay? Either way, I've already out thought myself. I mean, how else do you explain the Maya Angelou quote below the ta-ta's of Tilly? You can't!...

And finally...


Tip #8

When in doubt, go with the "team" in the early rounds, and the "team with the most dynamic player(s)" in the later rounds. Overachieving "teams" (often from smaller conferences) often thrive in the early rounds, but despite recent history, don't tend to last. And they're usually done in by the squads with superior talent. More notably, they're done in by a team that has a player that can straight up take over a game. Like say, Andy Wiggins or Dougie McBuckets, up there. Not so much my boy, Ennis. But it was too good a photo to pass up. Despite the less than flattering jersey/shorts combination...


And speaking of too good to pass up, I guess I can't resist in providing you with my Final Four. Even though I know full well that disclosing such information will likely end in my being board locked by one of my friends by Friday afternoon. But, whatever. I guess I just can't resist. Probably helps that I'm still naively buoyed by the fact that I enjoy the game more than I value the money. Which I'm sure serves more or less as beer muscles in a situation such as this. So, here they are...

SOUTH: (1) Florida (though I'm fading UCLA to combat the bandwagon below)

EAST: (4) Michigan St. (the bandwagon upsets me, but it should still be a good ride)

WEST: (1) Arizona (they miss Brandon Ashley, but they're too well rounded for that region)

MIDWEST: (4) Louisville (more or less a toss up with Michigan)


But that's as far as I'll go. And the rest, good patrons. Will have to remain a mystery...at least until I start bitching on Twitter about how all of my teams have been knocked out...

But until then, my friends. That's all I've got. Good luck to you all in your tournament ventures, so as long as your interests don't conflict with mine. Little Godfather reference, right there. Though I'm sure you already knew that...

Enjoy the tournament, kids. And I'll catch you next week for a recap...


#BAGSMUNMAN

0 comments:

Post a Comment