Cats Run Wild Through NCAA’s!

I am a little late on this, but I was on Spring Break in Myrtle Beach over the majority of the tournament (it should be recognized that I didn’t miss a single minute of a Kentucky game however). I was very impressed with how the team played. I knew right away what the gameplan against Ohio State should be; let Harrellson take on Sullinger, just don’t let them dish out for the three. And they didn’t. Ohio State has a very balanced team. They have a big man inside to even out the floor for their deadly three point shooters. You can’t give them open looks or they will kill you. Kentucky played a very disciplined brand of basketball and were able to capitalize on the offensive end of the court. Ohio State hadn’t seen such a talented defensive team this season.

With North Carolina, it wasn’t so easy. Ohio State’s team is not as long and athletic as Kentucky’s. However, North Carolina’s was very close. I knew it wouldn’t be as easy to take advantage of particular matchups. They were able to frustrate North Carolina’s team in the first half and never caved in the second. A big key to the victory was getting John Henson in foul trouble early. Harrison Barnes (whom I have no respect for) tried valiantly in the second half to help the Tar Heels back in to it. His efforts fell short however. He can work on pushing off with his forearm some more during the offseason. Best of luck to you Harrison. You chose to play for an idiot, so you’ll need it.

Now, on to the Final Four (you can see yourself out, Harrison). How do you plan for Connecticut? Last time we met up with them, it was the Kemba Walker show. I don’t expect that to change. I think the best way to go about this game is by letting Harrellson handle Oriakhi one on one. Let Brandon guard Kemba, but Brandon should receive help when he drives. Put DeAndre on Jeremy Lamb and don’t let him get going. Make Kemba beat you. Don’t let the supporting cast beat you. I think by putting Brandon on Kemba with help, Kentucky can win this game. They have to keep hitting their shots though. I am still going to take Connecticut, because I haven’t expected UK to win the last two and in case this is a trend, I’m not picking the Cats.

Go Big Blue! I can’t wait until Saturday…

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100 Things to Do Before I Die (#16)

Learning to play the guitar has always intrigued me. The problem is that I have no knowledge of guitars and am on a fixed budget. I haven’t taken the jump yet. I love working with my hands and learning new skills. Learning to play the guitar fills both. I’m not much of a country fan, but acoustic is the way to go for me. I have no intention in turning it into a profession, so I am perfectly fine with my subtle tones. One day, I’ll get my Garth Brooks on…as opposed to getting it on with Garth Brooks…In learning guitar, I plan to do it without a soundproof room. That’s right. Too expensive. So good luck and I’m sorry in advance to whomever chooses to live with me in the future…

1. Spend time in all 50 states…without a terrorist.

2. Attend a BCS Title Game Featuring UK…without “the” recruiting room.

3. Go on a cruise…without Stewie Griffin.

4. Play Slamball…without LeBron.

5. Learn to Scuba Dive…without BP.

6. Take a plane ride…without luggage.

7. Eat authentic Italian food in Italy…without Jersey Shore.

8. Ride in a Limo…without the mafia.

9. Sit front row at a game of one of my favorite team’s…without Make-A-Wish.

10. Get a hot dog at the original Nathan’s…without some guy named Nathan.

11. Eating Authentic Brooklyn Style Pizza…without Jersey Shore.

12. Travel across the Atlantic to Europe…without a girl named Rose and a guy named Jack.

13. Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square…with Dick Clark.

14. Attend a World Cup game…without vuvuzelas.

15. Attend the Olympics…without the Taliban.

16. Learn to Play the Guitar…without a soundproof room.

My 2011 Bracket

Field of 64

EAST

OHIO STATE vs. UT-San Antonio/Alabama St.

George Mason vs. VILLANOVA

West Virginia vs. CLEMSON

KENTUCKY vs. Princeton

XAVIER vs. Marquette

SYRACUSE vs. Indiana St.

WASHINGTON vs. Georgia

NORTH CAROLINA vs. Long Island

WEST

DUKE vs. Hampton

Michigan vs. TENNESSEE

ARIZONA vs. Memphis

Texas vs. OAKLAND

CINCINNATI vs. Missouri

CONNECTICUT vs. Bucknell

Temple vs. PENN STATE

SAN DIEGO ST. vs. Northern Colorado

SOUTHWEST

KANSAS vs. Boston

Nevada-Las Vegas vs. ILLINOIS

VANDERBILT vs. Richmond

LOUISVILLE vs. Morehead St.

GEORGETOWN vs. Southern Cal

PURDUE vs. St. Peter’s

Texas A&M vs. FLORIDA STATE

NOTRE DAME vs. Akron

SOUTHEAST

PITTSBURGH vs. UNC-Asheville

Butler vs. OLD DOMINION

Kansas State vs. UTAH STATE

Wisconsin vs. BELMONT

ST. JOHN’S vs. Gonzaga

BRIGHAM YOUNG vs. Wofford

California-Los Angeles vs. MICHIGAN STATE

FLORIDA vs. UC-Santa Barbara

 

Field of 32

EAST

OHIO STATE vs. Villanova

Clemson vs. KENTUCKY

XAVIER vs. Syracuse

WASHINGTON vs. North Carolina

WEST

DUKE vs. Tennessee

Arizona vs. OAKLAND

Cincinnati vs. CONNECTICUT

Penn St. vs. SAN DIEGO ST.

SOUTHWEST

KANSAS vs. Illinois

Vanderbilt vs. LOUISVILLE

GEORGETOWN vs. Purdue

Florida St. vs. NOTRE DAME

SOUTHEAST

PITTSBURGH vs. Old Dominion

UTAH ST. vs. Belmont

ST. JOHN’S vs. Brigham Young

FLORIDA vs. Michigan St.

 

Sweet Sixteen

EAST

OHIO STATE vs. Kentucky

Xavier vs. WASHINGTON

WEST

DUKE vs. Oakland

CONNECTICUT vs. San Diego St.

SOUTHWEST

KANSAS vs. Louisville

Georgetown vs. NOTRE DAME

SOUTHEAST

PITTSBURGH vs. Utah State

St. John’s vs. FLORIDA

 

Elite Eight

EAST

OHIO STATE vs. Washington

WEST

DUKE vs. Connecticut

SOUTHWEST

KANSAS vs. Notre Dame

SOUTHEAST

Pittsburgh vs. FLORIDA

 

Final Four

DUKE vs. Ohio State

KANSAS vs. Florida

 

National Championship

Duke vs. KANSAS (72-64)

Playing the Field

On Sunday, the NCAA Selection Committee released their field of 68. Yes, 68. Three more than last year. Why three? Beats me. The NCAA will have four “play-in” games.

  • UT-San Antonio vs. Alabama St.
  • UAB vs. Clemson
  • Southern Cal vs. Virginia Commonwealth
  • UNC-Asheville vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Of those teams, UT-San Antonio, Alabama St., UNC-Asheville and Arkansas-Little Rock all won their conference championships thus winning the automatic berth owed to them. So now you’re telling me that those teams must win a game before they even show up on a bracket? Those teams aren’t going to win the NCAA tournament, so give them some reward by at least letting them see their names on the bracket. Why make it even tougher for a Cinderella to win? Is it money you want? Is UT-San Antonio vs. Alabama St. really a money maker?

If you’re going to make someone play their way in, then why not take the Joe Lunardi-esque route and do last four in, last four out to determine your playoff games? Make them play for the 11 or 12 seeds.  They didn’t do enough to earn their bid during the season, so make them work for it. At least then, you have somewhat of a noteworthy game. A Colorado vs. Miami (FL) matchup is much more appealing than UT-San Antonio vs. Alabama St.

The Selection Committee is turning the most exciting time of the year into the college football bowl series.  They are over saturating the playing field to showcase such marquee games as Ohio University vs. Troy in the R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

The setup was fine the way it was. As the old backwoods saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” As far as I can tell, we are on the fast track to expanding the NCAA tournament to 96 or even 128 teams. It may seem progressive, but just watch. No one is comfortable with continuity. If you aren’t changing something, then you’re at least thinking about it. So stop thinking before you ruin something special.

The NCAA Selection Committee Fails Again

Some things occur every March. Conferences hold their tournaments for the chance to obtain an automatic bid. And the NCAA Selection Committee makes shotty choices. It’s tradition.

I have a big problem with some of the choices that the NCAA Selection Committee made. I also have a problem with the way that the NCAA has decided to run this year’s tournament. I’ll focus on that in a later spot though.

After starting the season 29-2, Brigham Young University finished 3-2.  The only difference is that the Cougars suspended Brandon Davies who averaged 11.1 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. Prior to Davies being suspended, BYU had defeated San Diego St. twice by a total of 26 points. On Saturday, they lost to the same San Diego St. team by 18 points. The BYU team has lost a lot of toughness and haven’t shown the ability to play with the upper echelon teams in the country despite valiant efforts by their star, Jimmer Fredette. I have nothing against that BYU team, but they did not deserve a #3 seed over any of the #4 seeds (Texas, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Louisville).

The University of Kentucky finished the season with a 25-8 record, winning 8 of their last 9, including a 16 point drubbing of #2 seed Florida in Sunday’s Southeastern Conference championship. Of those 8 losses, all came on the road or at a neutral venue. And of those, five were by two points or less. The others being 18 (UCONN), 7 (Georgia) and 4 (Vanderbilt). All of which are in the NCAA tournament. The Associated Press ranked Kentucky as the #11 team in the country after this weekend’s performance, which would give them a #3 seed. Florida on the other hand was ranked #15 in the most recent standings and was STILL given a #2 despite losing two out of three to the Wildcats. Not only were the Wildcats given a #4 seed, but the WORST.  They would face the tournament’s #1 overall (Ohio State) in the Sweet Sixteen. As a Kentucky fan, I am biased. However, if you can make sense of this to me, then by all means try.

AND BYU and Florida are in the same portion of the bracket. The WORST part of the bracket. The Southeast.

An obvious omission from the field of 68 was the Colorado Buffaloes. The Selection Committee has all year long to tweak their rankings and they still manage to fail on an annual basis. I’ve heard mentioned several times that the NCAA Selection Committee should release their field of 68 on a weekly basis. I like that idea. Hold them accountable, because their current decisions are ruining the best time of the year.

100 Things to Do Before I Die (#15)

Last week, I wrote about my desire to attend a World Cup. Well now I’m writing to express my interest in attending the Olympics, specifically the Summer Olympics. I love following along to the medal counts. My favorite stuff to watch is the swimming, because it’s practically a hobby of mine. I’m also a very loyal person, so I would love to cheer on my country. The past few Olympic games have been somewhat frightening given the unsteady political unrest across the world. However, in the future, I would love to go to the Olympics.

I wouldn’t mind doing so without the involvement of the Taliban though. I touched on this in the first paragraph, but I don’t want to be concerned about a potential terrorist attack while I am at the games. With that said, stay in your caves until further notice…

**Runner-Up was “without the Mayans being correct”, but I couldn’t remember the supposed date in which humanity is supposedly to meet its demise.

1. Spend time in all 50 states…without a terrorist.

2. Attend a BCS Title Game Featuring UK…without “the” recruiting room.

3. Go on a cruise…without Stewie Griffin.

4. Play Slamball…without LeBron.

5. Learn to Scuba Dive…without BP.

6. Take a plane ride…without luggage.

7. Eat authentic Italian food in Italy…without Jersey Shore.

8. Ride in a Limo…without the mafia.

9. Sit front row at a game of one of my favorite team’s…without Make-A-Wish.

10. Get a hot dog at the original Nathan’s…without some guy named Nathan.

11. Eating Authentic Brooklyn Style Pizza…without Jersey Shore.

12. Travel across the Atlantic to Europe…without a girl named Rose and a guy named Jack.

13. Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square…with Dick Clark.

14. Attend a World Cup game…without vuvuzelas.

15. Attend the Olympics…without the Taliban.