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Before You Gripe About the Return of Dickie V…

Posted by Mike on February 5, 2008

The game is blacked out from ESPN in North Carolina. The regional coverage is on Raycom/LF sports. Which means that if you live in local viewer market and aren’t in the Dean Dome, you’re stuck with…

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Vodpod videos no longer available. from tarheelmaniac.vodpod posted with vodpod

 

┬áSo just be glad you won’t have to listen to Billy Packer. Yet.

Posted in ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EARS!, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Billy Packer, Duke, Tar Heels | 3 Comments »

Ohio State vs. Florida Live Blog: 2007 NCAA Final Four

Posted by Mike on April 2, 2007

Tonight Ohio State plays Florida for the National Championship in basketball. If Ohio State wins, I will have lost my bracket pool to a bracket determined by coin flips and picked Davidson to face the Buckeyes tonight. At least I will be in the company of three friends:

Hurricanes Are For Drinking

Run Up The Score

The Sports Flow

8:39 pm: Watching the ESPN preview. If Bruce Pearl were a broadcaster, he would be the heir apparent to Dick Vitale. He has the energy, and he really knows his basketball. You probably knew that; the Vols would be in big trouble if he didn’t.

9:00 pm: Everyone is picking Florida to win. Under normal circumstances I would consider that a clear sign that the Buckeyes will win tonight. But Florida is such a good team, and this tournament has been so chalky, I don’t know what to think.

9:15 pm: Ladies And Gentlemen, Jim Nantz and Billy Packer!

9:23 pm: The game begins! Florida wins the tip, but misses their first shot. OSU fares no better.

9:24 pm: 3-2, Florida. A bad inbound pass is stolen by Mike Conley, who gets the easy layup. Florida runs the break and Brewer hits a quick three.

9:25 pm: 5-3, OSU. Great passing leads to an open three by Ivan Harris.

9:27 pm: 5-5. Noah steals a pass in the halfcourt, and Humphrey gets the easy layup on the break.

Considering the strength in the middle, I’m surprised that both teams are settling for outside shots so far.

9:28 pm: 7-5, OSU. Conley drives to the right and gets another layup to give the lead to the Buckeyes.

9:28 pm: 9-5, OSU. We finally have our first true points in the paint, as Oden hits a shot with his left hand.

9:29 pm: 9-7, OSU. Taurean Green drives in for a tough basket in the lane. The Gators did a good job of creating space for him.

As we hit the first official timeout, Florida is using their bench early, much more so than the Buckeyes.

9:33 pm: 9-9. Walter Hodge ties the game with another inside drive. I didn’t expect to see so much inside play by the guards against some of the best big men in America.

9:36 pm: 11-11. Florida is doing a good job of pressuring Conley. He’s being forced to make bad passes, and he almost threw one away there.

9:37 pm: Considering how tight the refs are calling this game, you think that Oden would have been called for a foul for elbowing Corey Brewer in the ribcage.

9:39 pm: 14-11, Florida. Green give Florida the lead on free throws. Jamar Butler comes in for Conley, who has two fouls.

9:40 pm: 17-11, Florida. Hodge steals the ball from Butler and gets three the hard way. Conley is being missed already. Florida has been very opportunistic, getting 10 of their 17 points off OSU turnovers.

9:42 pm: 17-13, Florida. Official timeout.

9:46 pm: 20-15, Florida. Brewer hits another three on the fast break.

Greg Oden has played for 10 straight minutes, but he’s been putting in a lot of effort. He needs a breather.

9:47 pm: 21-15, Florida. Conley is back in the game despite foul trouble. Ohio State needs the ball handling.

9:49 pm: So far it’s clear that Florida is the deeper team. I think they can take the approach UNC normally takes in their games, dictating a faster tempo until they run Ohio State ragged. It’s foolproof, because unlike the Tar Heels, I don’t see a mental collapse from these Gators.

Official Timeout. 7:59 left, first half.

9:53 pm: 23-17, Florida. Horford get his first basket, a bank shot from the left side. Conley drives in for a layup on the next possession.

A lot more points are coming from the guards today than one would expect.

9:54 pm: 23-19, Florida. A great pass by Conley, and Mark Terwilliger gets the emphatic dunk! The Buckeyes are a completely different team with Conley at point instead of Butler.

Florida is starting to miss free throws. This could become trouble later, as the game winds down and their legs get tired.

9:56 pm: 27-22, Florida. Ivan Harris hits a three to bring the lead to two, but Lee Humphrey responds immediately.

9:57 pm: 30-22, Florida. What a sweet shot by Brewer. He hasn’t missed one yet from three.

9:58 pm: 33-22, Florida. Taurean Green hits another three for the Gators, as they take the game’s first double digit lead. Florida has been on fire from the bonusphere. Their effectiveness is sort of sneaky, in that so much emphasis is put in Florida’s frontcourt, but games like this they kill you from the perimeter. Although Lee Humphrey shooting lights out should not surprise anyone.

10:03 pm: 35-24, Florida. Brewer swipes Conley clean, breaks away and delivers the windmill jam. Brewer has 11 points. Not that it matters now, but it would have been a lot of fun to see Brewer vs. Kevin Durant in a college game.

10:07 pm: 37-26, Florida. Oden has scored the last two baskets for Ohio State, but he’s looking very tired. He didn’t even challenge Horford’s jumpshot.

10:08 pm: 40-27, Florida. Green hits another three. The Gators are 6 of 8 for beyond the arc, and have made their last 5.

10:09 pm: The first half ends, and Florida leads, 40-29 at halftime. Florida dominated the pace of the game in the first half, and in particular did a great job taking Oden and Conley out of their comfort zone. To comeback in this game Ohio State will need to clamp down on perimeter defense, win the rebounding battle, and attack inside against Florida’s frontcourt, who already have two players with two fouls each.

10:31 pm: 40-31, Florida. As the second half begins, Oden gets position inside and gets an easy shot off the glass. He’s scored the last 9 points for the Buckeyes.

10:32 pm: 42-35, Florida. Conley steals from Green and makes a great pass to Ron Lewis, who posterizes Corey Brewer.

10:33 pm: 42-36, Florida. As I suggested, Ohio State is attacking the inside, and Noah picks up his third foul.

10:34 pm: 44-36, Florida. Chris Richard gets an easy dunk, a putback of a miss by Brewer.

This has nothing to do with the game, but I saw an ad for CBS featuring CSI: Miami, and I just couldn’t resist showing you the best CSI spoof ever.

10:36 pm: 49-38, Florida. Lee Humphrey cannot be stopped.

10:46 pm: 51-42, Florida. Conley brings the Buckeyes within five, as Ohio State finally gets to the free throw line. But Florida gets an easy shot inside on the next possession.

10:47 pm: 51-44, Florida. Ohio State continues to score in the paint, where they have 32 of their 44 points.

10:50 pm: 53-44, Florida. With 12 minutes left, Florida’s frontcourt is in deep foul trouble now. Let’s see if Ohio State can use that to take the lead back.

Official timeout.

10:53 pm: 53-46, Florida. Conley hits the tough revers layup, as Ohio State tries to attack the foul troubled frontcourt of the Gators.

10:54 pm: 56-46, Florida. On the very next possession, Lee Humphrey fakes out Jamar Butler and hits another three to give Florida a double digit lead.

10:57 pm: 58-47, Florida. In spite of the foul trouble, Florida is running Oden ragged. He can’t outfight the Gators for a rebound anymore, and Horford is able to slam it on the other end uncontested.

10:59 pm: 61-50, Florida. Noah picks up his fourth foul but Oden is absolutely exhausted now. Before the commercial break, I think I heard Jim Nantz say “The F—eyes!”

8:23 left.

11:01 pm: 64-52, Florida. A great initial block by Oden, but how can anyone leave Humphrey so wide open?

11:04 pm: 64-56, Florida. Ohio State scores two straight baskets, and is starting to run a press against the Gators. With Florida’s good passing, this could backfire.

6:14 left.

11:11 pm: 66-60, Florida, 5:00 left. You have to commend Greg Oden, He’s had to play three different Florida players for 33 minutes and is still producing a solid performance.

11:12 pm: 69-62, Florida, 4:30 left. Just as Oden cuts the lead to 6, Taurean Green hits a three at the top of the key.

11:13 pm: 73-62, Florida, 3:25 left. Florida is beginning to kill time. Richard and Horford both hit shots inside, and Florida regains a double digit lead.

11:14 pm: With two and a half minutes to go, the Gators up 11, and Ohio State running on fumes, this game looks pretty much over.

11:17 pm: So that’s why Ohio State is losing. Jim Tressel isn’t wearing the sweater vest.

11:19 pm: 75-63, Florida, 2:15 left. As Florida is closing in on being at the pinnacle of college basketball, I begin to wonder: whatever happened to Teddy Dupay, one of the players that first put Billy Donovan’s team on the map? He was their star point guard when they shocked Duke in 200 en route to the 2000 NCAA Tournament finals before losing to Michigan State. Yet I have not heard from him since.

11:22 pm: Damn. If you thought Joakim Noah was ugly, you should take a look at Yannick. Nnnyyyagghhh…

11:29 pm: It’s official: Florida wins, 84-75, and captures their 2nd consecutive national championship. Congratulations to the Gators, who executed a near perfect gameplan, giving Oden and Conley fits all night, shooting lights out from three, and silencing all the critics (myself included; I had them losing to Maryland in my bracket). Most importantly, with Ohio State’s loss I am spared the embarrassment of losing a bracket challenge to a penny. Corey Brewer is the Most Outstanding Player, which he deserves. His overall play was insane tonight.

I’ll be liveblogging the Women’s National Championship tomorrow night, but now I’m going to bed.

Posted in #1, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Basketball, Big Ten, Billy Packer, Bracket, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Final Four, Florida Gators, Live Blog, NCAA Tournament, Ohio State, SEC | 12 Comments »

Previewing the Women’s Final Four

Posted by Mike on April 1, 2007

Between Billy Packer, the unceremonious exit of the Tar Heels, the potential for boring games , and the fact that I may lose a bracket challenge to a penny, I’m not paying too much attention to the Men’s Final Four this year. Thankfully, in the Women’s Final Four, none of those factors come into play. There’s no Billy Packer (or Dick Vitale for the matter), my Tar Heels are still alive, all of the game have the potential for excitement, and I don’t have a women’s tournament bracket. I might mention the fact that I will get stare at women for two nights, but I would need professional help if my intimate fantasies involved Rashanda McCants and Sylvia Fowles.

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On to the previews:

LSU vs. Rutgers. Normally I would be at all surprised to see the Tigers in the Final Four. They are one of the most talented teams in the nation, Senior Sylvia Fowles is perhaps the best pure post player remaining in the tournament, and they beat Tennessee to win the SEC Tournament in March. But LSU has had to deal with the resignation of their coach Pokey Chatman, who left due to allegations of her “les-ing out”, as Cartman would say, with one of her former players. Bob Starkey, the interim coach, has done a great job of keeping the Tigers focused, and they crushed UConn to win their regional and get to Cleveland.

Rutgers is the surprise of the Tournament. They managed to beat the heavily favored Duke Blue Devils, 53-52 in the Sweet 16 (although it didn’t hurt that Lindsey Harding absolutely choked at the end) on their way to the Final four, prompting Tar Heels like me to dance in the streets. The Scarlet Knights pride themselves on defense, having allowed no more than 57 points in postseason play (7-0, Big East and NCAA Tournaments). Still, they will need a great defensive effort out of center Kia Vaughn and good perimeter shooting if they want to beat the talent of the Tigers.

Pick: My heart says Rutgers, but my head says LSU. I’ll take the Scarlet Knights in overtime.

North Carolina vs. Tennessee. A lot more attention will be paid to this game. It features perhaps the nation’s two current most prominent women’s programs, coaches (Sylvia Hatchell and Pat Summitt), and players (Ivory Latta and Candace Parker). Ivory may be the emotional leader of the Tar Heels, but make no mistake. UNC is here because of their frontcourt. The Tar heels perform at their best when Camille Little gets offensive touches, Latoya Pringle plays good defense, and Erlana Larkins is able to get UNC’s offensive rebounds, where she is most effective at scoring. Pringle will most likely be assigned to defend Candace Parker, who is by far the best athlete in women’s basketball right now. If the Heels are able to shut down Parker (and that’s a big if), it will be up to underclassman point guard Alexis Hornbuckle to bail the Vols out. Tennessee’s road to the final four was decidedly unimpressive, with wins over a 16 seed, an 8 seed, 13 seeded Marist, and 7 seeded Ole Miss. They haven’t had to play under pressure yet in the tournament.

Pick: The Tar Heels beat Tennessee by 13 in December at Carmichael Auditorium, but this crowd will be decidedly less favorable for UNC. I will still pick North Carolina in a very close game.

Championship: North Carolina over Rutgers.

I’ll be liveblogging game one of tonight’s action here, and game 2 on Tar Heel Mania. Even though we won’t get to see Maryland or Duke like last year, this will be a very exciting end to the Women’s Tournament.

Posted in #1, ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Basketball, Big East, Billy Packer, Bracket, Championship, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Live Blog, LSU, NCAA Tournament, North Carolina, Pat Summitt, Rutgers, SEC, Tar Heels, Tennessee Volunteers, UNC, women's basketball | 1 Comment »

NCAA Final Four: Prepare Yourself for Billy Packer

Posted by Mike on March 30, 2007

It’s that time of year again, the Final Four, the time we finally determine the best team in college basketball. It also means one can no longer avoid listening to Billy Packer. So to help you prepare for the his onslaught upon your eardrums, I have assembled a collection of clips to help you prepare…and survive.

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(Photo: Billy Packer looks into a mirror.)

First, the clip of Gerald Henderson’s elbow to Tyler Hansbrough. Who can forget this call by Packer?

By Comparison, here’s a call he made in a Duke-Kentucky NCAA Tournament game.

Here are some lesser known Billy Packer moments, many of his outbursts that never make it to television. I think this is what you’re most likely to see beginning tomorrow night.

I hope that you are now immune to whatever Billy is going to say on Saturday and Monday. Lord help us if he’s in a Taco Bell commercial.

UPDATE: I saw this after I posted and uhh…wow.

That’s it. I’m going to avoid him for the sake of my sanity and watch the Women’s Final Four. At least the Tar Heels are participating.

Posted in #1, ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Basketball, Big East, Big Ten, Billy Packer, Bracket, Buckeyes, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Final Four, Florida Gators, Funny Videos, Georgetown, Hoyas, NCAA Tournament, Ohio State, Pac 10, UCLA | 3 Comments »

Georgetown vs. Vanderbilt Live Blog: 2007 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16

Posted by Mike on March 23, 2007

Tonight #6 seed Vanderbilt plays #2 seed Georgetown in game 1 of the 2007 NCAA Tournament East Regional Semifinals. Georgetown will rely on a halfcourt offense and their frontcourt of Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert. Vanderbilt will look to get big contributions from their backcourt of Derrick Byars, Dan Cage, and Shan Foster. Whether or not Vandy can shoot lights out from the outside will likely determine whether or not they can win this game against the heavily favored Hoyas.

7:28 pm: 2-0, G’Town. The Hoyas draw first blood as they force a turnover, and Green makes a great pass to DaJuan Summers, who slams it in. Green hits a jumper on the next possession to make it 4-0.

7:29 pm: 4-2, G’Town. I wonder if John Thompson II, announcing on Westwood One radio, will say during tonight’s broadcast “THAT’S MY BABY!” about his son and current Hoyas coach, JT III.

7:32 pm: 5-4, G’Town. Foster gets a great pass from Cage in transition and makes an easy layup.

7:33 pm: 9-5, Vandy. The Commodores are doing a good job of keeping Hibbert out of the paint. He now needs to defend the perimeter, and Cage is having a field day with it. He hits two straight shots, the last a three, to give Vandy the lead.

7:34 pm: 12-5, Vandy. Alex Gordon hits another three for Vandy, and they are now very much in control of this game.

Official timeout, as Hibbert commits an offensive foul.

7:37 pm: Vanderbilt’s lack of size has actually given them an advantage. The Hoyas have had to adjust with a smaller lineup.

7:39 pm: 15-6, Vandy. Byars finally gets on the board with a three.

Either Vanderbilt fans are well represented, or all of the Tar Heel fans have learned the cheers and are rooting for the Commodores. I’m guessing the latter.

7:40 pm: 18-6, Vandy. Georgetown’s smaller lineup has given them a new problem. Vanderbilt has been able to get offensive rebounds on the Hoyas, the latest leading to a three by Cage to give Vandy a double digit lead seven minutes into the game.

7:45 pm: 18-13, Vandy. After JT3’s timeout, Georgetown has scored three straight baskets, the latest by Patrick Ewing (?!?!?), to cut the lead to five before the official timeout.

7:50 pm: 20-13, Vandy. As we reach the midway point of the first half, Foster hits a tough turnaround baseline jumper.

7:51 pm: 23-13, Vandy. Byars has only hit one shot, but that doesn’t mean he’s a non-factor. He drives inside and makes a great pass to Foster, who hits a wide open three from the right wing to bring the lead back to double digits.

Nine minutes left, first half.

7:54 pm: 25-13, Vandy. The Hoyas are going deep into their bench, as the team is now in foul trouble.

Official timeout.

8:00 pm: 27-14, Vandy. Foster has an unbelievable turnaround jumper.

8:01 pm: 27-18, Vandy. Summers gets a putback inside, the Hoyas’ first basket in quite a while. Hibbert’s first basket of the game bring the difference back to single digits.

8:04 pm: 27-19, Vandy. The Commodores’ outside shooting has suddenly gone cold, and the Hoyas are finally attacking the inside. G’Town seems to be playing the game they’re more comfortable with now.

8:09 pm: 27-24, Vandy. Now that the Hoyas are attacking the inside Vandy will be in foul trouble very soon. Now that their outside shots aren’t falling, Georgetown will have more possessions (and more importantly, possessions on their terms).

8:12 pm: 32-24, Vandy. Just as it looks like G’Town has all the momentum, Cage hits a three, Vadny gets the steal on defense, and Byars is able to score on a putback.

A great stat: Vanderbilt has 12 field goals on eleven assist. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Commodores have done a great job of passing.

8:15 pm: Alex Gordon is unable to get a good shot before the buzzer, but Vanderbilt leads 32-24 at halftime. Vanderbilt has done a good job of keeping the game in the perimeter rather than in the paint. For the Commodores to hang on in the second half, they will need to continue dictating the style of the game and keeping Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert neutralized.

8:19 pm: Florida leads 35-29 at halftime. The Gators have scored the last 14–

Whoa. Clark Kellogg has a scary stare into the camera. I think I now know why he normally keeps looking away from it. I think he just hypnotized thousands of grannies across America to rise up and watch “How I Met Your Mother” with that stare.

8:37 pm: The second half begins.

8:38 pm: 32-28, Vandy. That’s what happens when you allow Hibbert inside position. He hits two straight baskets that were way too easy.

8:40 pm: 33-31, Vandy. Hibbert kicks the ball out to Summers, who drains the three and makes it a one possession game.

8:41 pm: 36-33, Vandy. Byars hits his first three of the game, but Hibbert continues to dominate the offensive glass. The Commodores need to keep him out of position.

8:42 pm: 36-36. Summers ties the game with another three. If Vandy can’t keep Hibbert out of the paint, this game will get away from them.

8:47 pm: 38-36, Vandy. Backup center Ted Skuchas drives inside for layup to give the lead back to Vanderbilt. Let’s see if he can stop Hibbert.

8:50 pm: 38-37, Vandy. Skuchas gets two quick fouls in one minute. He has to return to the bench with four.

8:51 pm: 41-38, G’town. Green drives inside and gets the layup to give Georgetown the lead. Hibbert dunks a putback on the next possession.

Vanderbilt is really struggling in their shooting in the second half. They’ve only scored 2 FGs in over 7 minutes.

8:54 pm: 43-40, G’Town. This is a near replica of the BC game: They keep a lead at halftime because they’re ale to contain Hibbert and keep him from getting the ball, but in the second half he takes over the game.

8:55 pm: 43-42, G’Town. Official Timeout.

8:59 pm: 44-43, Vandy. Beal makes a great alley-oop pass to Foster, whose dunk rattles in as Vandy takes the lead back.

9:00 pm: 46-44, G’town. Summers hits a three on the next possession, and Georgetown gets the lead again.

9:01 pm: 48-46, G’town. Beal’s midrange jumper rattles in to tie the game, but Green strikes back.

9:02 pm: 51-49, G’town. The two teams are now exchanging outside shots. Byars finally hits a three in the second half, but Summers is on fire for the Hoyas tonight. Which is odd, because he’s their lowest scoring starter from the regular season.

9:06 pm: 51-51. Ross Neltner catches the Hoyas frontcourt out of position, and he ties the game with an easy layup.

Vanderbilt commits their first turnover in over 23 minutes. Their ball control is amazing.

7:27 left in the game.

9:11 pm: What the hell? CBS put us in Butler-Florida! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nail biter, but I want to see the Georgetown game!

So let me get this straight, James Brown: Does Butler have a 4.0 basketball IQ?

9:12 pm: 54-53, G’town. …and we’re back. Hibbert commits his fourth foul.

9:13 pm: 56-54, Vandy. Foster hits a three, and Vandy has the lead back! He drives inside in Hibbert’s absence and gets an easy layup.

58-54, Vandy, 4:30 left.

9:15 pm: 58-57, Vandy. Georgetown hits a three, but are dealt a huge blow as Hibbert fouls out with four minutes left. Vanderbilt should now be able to dictate the pace of this game. Jeff Green, Big East POY, must step up now for the Hoyas.

9:20 pm: 60-60. Jeff Green gets the amazing tip in, and the foul to tie the game. 3:30 left.

9:21 pm: Byars has an open three, but he hurries his shot to beat the shot clock, and it falls short.

UPDATE: Florida wins over Butler, 65-57.

9:23 pm: 62-60, G’town. Sapp makes an unbelievable drive to get the tough basket in the lane.

9:27 pm: 64-61, G’town, 1:00 left. An great play by Johnathan Wallace, driving like he’s going inside, but then pulling up for the open midrange jumper.

9:30 pm: 65-64, Vandy, :17.9 left. Vanderbilt is getting theor points a t the free throw line, and with a one point lead, Ewing commits a push foul. Dan Cage hits his free throws to give the Commodores the lead.

Teams like Tennesse and Virginia Tech have been punished so far in this tournament for not shooting well from the free throw line. The shot’s importance has certainly magnified in the last few weeks.

9:33 pm: With 2.5 seconds left, Jeff Green hits a tough shot, from the baseline, double teamed, off the glass to give them the lead. Vanderbilt can;t get a good shot off, and Georgetown wins, 66-65. What a heartbreaker for the Commodores, but Georgetown previals in spite of many obstacles: Vandy’s perimeter shooting, their free throws, Hibbert fouling out, and Green not playing well until the end. Georgetown will go to the Elite 8, as many had expected. However, the path has been much tougher than anticipated.

I will now go to Tar Heel Mania to live blog UNC vs. USC.

Posted in Basketball, Big East, Billy Packer, Bracket, Butler, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Florida Gators, Georgetown, Hoyas, Jeff Green, Live Blog, NCAA Tournament, SEC, Tar Heel posts, Vanderbilt, Vandy | 3 Comments »

Previewing and Live Blogging the Sweet 16

Posted by Mike on March 22, 2007

I’ve so far done a terrible job of licking the first two rounds. After going 15-1 on the first day, I went 11-5 on day 2, and 9-7 in the 2nd round. Normally I can take solace in that my final four is still intact, but so is everyone else’s. Tonight, the world’s greatest sports tournament resumes, and I’ll be liveblogging SIU-Kansas and UT-Ohio State. Last week, the greatest week in sports, was missing what makes it great: upsets. UNLV is the only true underdog in the Sweet 16, and if they win against Oregon I guarantee that my bracket will deliver itself to Allah. But enough about my bracket’s jihadist tendencies. Looking at the Sweet 16:

West Bracket:

#4 So. Illinois vs. #1 Kansas (Thursday, 7:10 pm): Frankly, I’m scared about the Salukis. Virginia Tech may be inconsistent, but Southern Illinois (and in Particular Jamaal Tatum) did an excellent job of dictating their pace throughout the game and keeping their opponent completely out of sync. That can be deadly for an inexperienced team like Kansas, who love to play at a fast pace and would be very uncomfortable with a halfcourt game, Still, I think they have too much talent.

#3 Pitt vs. #2 UCLA (Thursday, 9:57 pm): I’m taking UCLA in this one. They have more talent that the Panthers and they are also very good at disrupting their opponent’s game plan.

West Champion: Kansas

South Bracket:

#5 Tennessee vs. Ohio State. I’m rooting for the Vols in this game, for two big reasons:

  • The sooner a big threat to the Tar Heels goes down, the better.
  • I have never been a fan of THE Ohio State University. There’s just something about the Buckeyes that tick me off.

My heart says the Vols. They even have the talent and the offense to pull this off against a Buckeyes team that struggled to get a victory against Xavier. But my bracket says Buckeyes, so I have to stick to my guns.

You know what? Screw my bracket. Rocky Top! WHOOOO!!!

#3 Texas A&M vs. #2 Memphis. From the beginning of this tournament, Memphis has been considered a weak #2 seed because they came from essentially a 1 bid conference. And while those arguments are valid, they did a good job of handling a tough Nevada team last Sunday. And their strength is the Aggies’ weakness: depth. Memphis likes to run a fast paced game, and John Calipari has no issue putting 10 to 11 players in a game. Texas A&M is only 7-8 deep, but their advantage is experience. They have more upperclassmen than the Tiger, including the best point guard in America, Senior Acie Law IV. Which makes me wonder, Who are Acie Law I, II, and III? In this tournament, experienced guardplay can make or break you. I’ll take the Aggies.

South Champion: Texas A&M.

Midwest Bracket:

#5 Butler vs. #1 Florida. This is the big upset that I would love to see. Two of the four #1 seeds must go down before the Final Four, and I think Florida should be one of them. Butler, much like SIU, wants to slow down the game by clamping down on defense. That won;t be an easy task against the tall, athletic Gators. I think that Butler will play well in the first half, but Florida’s depth will be too much for the Bulldogs to handle late.

#7 UNLV vs. #3 Oregon. I seriously underestimated UNLV in this tournament. But they have a good combination of experience and depth, even if a snail is more athletic than their point guard. But I have to pick Oregon because when they can shoot lights out, very few teams can beat them.

Midwest Champion: Oregon

East Bracket:

#5 USC vs. #1 UNC. It shocked me to see the Trojans dominate Texas is most likely Kevin Durant’s last game in a college uniform. They did a very good job of containing the rest of the team. Having said that,they don’t have enough size to contain the Tar Heels in the paint. Hansbrough and Wright will tear them apart.

#6 Vanderbilt vs. #2 Georgetown. See #5 Tennessee vs. #1 Ohio State.

East Champion: North Carolina.

Tonight, I can finally rise from what has been a very boring Monday through Wednesday in sports, save the UNC Women’s close game against Notre Dame.

Posted in ACC, Basketball, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Billy Packer, Bracket, Bruce Pearl, Butler, Championship, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Florida Gators, Georgetown, Horizon League, Jeff Green, Kansas, Kevin Durant, Live Blog, Mid Majors, NCAA Tournament, Pac 10, Salukis, SEC, Southern Illinois, Tar Heel posts, Tar Heels, Tennessee Volunteers, Tyler Hansbrough, UNC, UNLV | 3 Comments »