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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wicked Sweet, Guy...


Well, friends. The first weekend of the tournament has come and gone. And you know what I learned? That if I fashion more of my "posts" in "list" form, then more of you will continue to enjoy them. I also learned that a lot of people picked Wisconsin because of their middle of the pack defense...or something like that...

But, I'll get to that, recap the incredibly entertaining weekend that was, and likely attempt to throw in all sorts of other tidbits, but settle for snark and a few condescending quips. I'll do it in list form, though. Because, ya know. Apparently that's the jump off. Oh, and I'm going to pick each Sweet 16 game against the spread, too. Because why the Hell not? And, yes. Those picks will also be in list form. So no cause for concern on that front..

Enjoy...


(10) Stanford vs (11) Dayton (+3)

Oh all the teams in the Sweet 16, Stanford is the biggest surprise. Never gave them a second thought when looking at that pod, yet here they are. Mostly for the same reasons the Dayton Flyers are here. Most notably, the fact that they've played "OK" while going against teams that have more or less been sputtering to a stop. Like, I don't know. Syracuse? But, yeah. Both the Flyers and Cardinal have played great team basketball to get this far, and one of them is destined to play just one more round. And seeing as I view these teams as more or less scrappy equals, I'll roll with the Flyers since they're being spotted 3 points...

And to put a cap on the Syracuse season, they just didn't have enough offense to be elite. Was a fun ride, though. And if both Ennis and Grant decide to return (asking a lot), there's no reason to think the Orange won't be right at the top of a short list of 2015 National title contenders. Especially considering the expected impact of another stellar recruiting class...


(2) Wisconsin vs (6) Baylor (+3.5)

If I hear another person tell me about how they picked the Badgers to advance because of their legendarily stout defense, then I'm..I'm...I don't know. I'm gonna bitch about it on my blog, I guess. But, yeah. Those Teddy-come-latelys are the WORST. Yes, Wisconsin usually has one of the nation's best defenses. BUT THEY HAVEN"T HAD ANYTHING CLOSE TO THAT TYPE OF DEFENSE ALL SEASON LONG! Yeah. The reason the Badgers are as good as they are, and as unique a bunch as we've seen Bo Ryan throw out there during his tenure, is because they're so talented on OFFENSE. But, yeah. Whatever floats your B, friend. Oh, and take Baylor with the points. Because, you know. Wisconsin can't stop anybody...


(1) Florida (-4.5) vs (4) UCLA 

The Gators put on quite the clinic in their physical dominance of Pitt in the round of 32, and it's that type of play that should give them an edge moving forward. UCLA is both as hot and as talented as they come, but this is just a bad draw. Florida is too deep, and too good defensively for a two man team like the Bruins to handle. That's why I'll lay the 4.5, even that number seems a little high...


(1) Arizona vs (4) San Diego St. (+7.5)

Both of these teams struggled in their first game, but dominated in their second en route to a rematch from a game played earlier this season. A game won by Arizona, all be it with a healthy Brandon Ashley. I'm still not high on Mountain West teams playing on the road or at neutral sites, but with this game being played in Anaheim that's just too many points to lay. I like Zona to move on, but 5 points sounds about right. Plus, there's always the chance SDSU could walk away with the win. At least that's the thinking of one Jay Bilas. So there's that...


(2) Michigan vs (11) Tennessee (+2)

Well? Are you in on Tennessee? Because you freakin' should be, if you listened at all to what I had to say before the tourney. Remember? Duke sucks and Tennessee rules? Yeah, you remember. And their physical brand of ball of up tempo has made them a force with which to be reckoned. It'll probably be tough for Michigan to match all of that physicality on the interior, but their better skill players (notably Nick Stauskas) should provide the edge. That being said, anyone inclined to bet this game should roll with Tennessee and the 2 points. If for no other reason than you could do the Tennessee Two Step as they fight their way down the stretch. Don't exactly know the Two Step, myself. So I'll just be doing the C Walk. But you get the picture...


(3) Iowa St. vs (7) UCONN (+1.5)

In-tournament injuries are the worst (see: Marshall, Kendall). Which is why I feel for anyone that put their money on Iowa St., who will now have to play the rest of the tournament without star sophomore, Georges Niang. Who they lost in their first game to a broken foot. Surprised they were able to get past UNC, actually. And I don't like their chances moving forward against anyone that can play defense. Unfortunately for them, UCONN is one of those teams. And this is where I get pissed. Because anyone that has UCONN going this far made a good pick. Anyone picking them to have gone any further, will just be getting incredibly lucky. FACT...

...or maybe they just went to UCONN. Whatever. Confirmed Ted. That being said, take UCONN and the point. FREAKING RAT BASTARDS! EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU!


(4) Louisville vs (8) Kentucky (+4)

IT'S THE BATTLE FOR THE BLUEGRASS, BITCHES!

Yep, they don't get much better than this. Calipari, with his youngsters finally finding their stride. Pitino, his unheralded defending champs trying to pull off the impossible. Should be good. Especially if the Kentucky team from the past 2 weeks shows up. Which I'm expecting it will. I mean, it pained me when I heard it. But when Calipari said he had made some obvious "tweaks", and the Cats were going to be a different team. He was right. They're playing well right now, and a lot of that cream is finally rising to the top. Mostly due to the better play of the Harrison twins, on the perimeter. But all around that team is finally starting to gel. Take the Cats with the points. If for no other reason than to salvage a soon to be busted bracket that likely had Louisville in the Final Four...


(1) Virginia vs (4) Michigan St. (-2)

And finishing off a back loaded Friday slate, we have what I'm thinking will actually be the best game of the 8. Which is a shame, because it's not gonna start until past 10 and will probably end around 1 in the izzim. Should be a great match up between two complete teams that can defend AND score from every position, though. Will be a shame for one of them to have to go home...

I hope it's the Cavaliers that go home, though. Mostly because I have a lot of eggs in the MSU basket, but MOSTLY because I don't care for schools where their cheer (Wa-Hoo) isn't easily connected to your school name or mascot. Like WAR EAGLE, and whatnot. Call it petty, but most of the people I went to school with think that our school's mascot was/is a bird called a "Bombardier". Mostly because our mascot was an EAGLE, while our team nickname was/is the "Bombardiers". So, yeah. In lieu of lifelong ignorance, I like to keep it simple. SPARTY ON! See? Now that's a cheer I can get behind...

Gratuitous screen cap from the latest Rick & Morty episode. Because
it's the best show on TV. Yep. I said it...
And there it is, friends. It's been a great tournament, and it only figures to get better. OR worse, because the bar has been set to high due to statements such as that one I just made. But, either way. It should be entertaining. And hopefully profitable. But, yeah. There's not that great a chance of that, either. So, yeah. Just watch these things on TV and have yourself  3-8 frosty mugs of your beverage of choice. Probably the safest bet...

OK, catch you next time...


#BAGSMUNMAN

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