Sunday, February 25, 2007

NCAA Hoops: Getting Down to It

First and foremost, let us celebrate the glorious win of the The Truly Righteous and Morally Good Georgetown Hoyas over the Drug-Addled (maybe) Degenerates of Pittsburgh!

Georgetown Beats Pitt, 61-53--The AP writer called this win "ugly". I disagree. It was defensive, yeah, but Jeff Green showed enough to make this game, on occasion, absolutely beautiful. If you haven't watched Jeff Green play, you may have missed the 4th best player in college basketball. Smooth, quick, confident with the ball, Jeff Green lets the game come to him. I watched this game, and I saw Pittsburgh celebrate on the court after taking a lead in the second half (with like 12 minutes left in the game) and I remember thinking--ya'll are celebrating way too soon. And Jeff Green proved me right. I love this Georgetown team, and not just because the first College basketball game I ever saw live in person starred Patrick Ewing and Sleepy Floyd. Pitt loses for the first time on the road in Big East play. Both of these teams have their tickets punched. And Pitt is good on the road. Watch out for both of these teams. The Big East is being overlooked this year, and most of the teams from the Big East deserve to be overlooked. But these two teams are dangerous! One of the reasons the totally saucy lady behind Leave the Man Alone digs me is our shared love of Georgetown.

UVA beats GA Tech (take that, Barnyard)--UVA is hugely dependent on guard play. I love them, but I think upperclassmen Guardplay is overrated in NCAA play. They couldn't possibly stop the likes of Pitt's Aaron Gray, for example. UVA could make it into the Sweet 16, but it really depends on them playing Guard based teams.

Suddenly, the Wisconsin/Ohio State tilt is more significant. Florida will not be #1 come Monday. They got whupped. Worked, really. LSU didn't even have Big Baby playing, but LSU was aggressive, and Florida all of a sudden can't hit jump shots. Guys you have never heard of totally outscored every player on Florida that you have heard from. LSU held Florida to under 30 points in the first half. I watched this game, never expecting LSU to win. They grabbed the lead early, and held on, shockingly easily. A guy named Temple outscored the trio of Humphrey, Green, and Noah, 17-15. Temple went four of five from the field, and missed only one free throw. Humphrey, Green and Noah went a combined 5-18, which is roughly 27%. The obvious #1 Team in the Nation lost Twice this week, and barely avoided losing last week. Clearly, Ohio State & Wisconsin is now hugely important. Whoever wins that game has a chance to establish itself for the Default #1.

Notre Dame beats Marquette, 85-73. One brand of Catholicism is more powerful than the other. These are teams, hovering right at the 25 spot, who probably belong in the 50 spot. Look for match-ups, but don't be surprised if these teams don't make past the first round. Marquette can be stopped if Dominic James is stopped. Any team with good defensive guards can shut Marquette down. Beating Notre Dame is also easy--there are dozens of teams who have more athletic talent. Shut down the white boy gym rat outside shot, and you beat Notre Dame.

Oklahoma State is ruining Mario Boggan's career. They lost to Texas Tech, and are mired at 5-9 in the Big 12. Boggan will probably have a long and not super-celebrated career in the NBA. But I don't think he can carry to this team any more. He's clearly tired. Top to botton, the Big 12 is probably the second most dangerous conference after the Pac-10 (but just barely ahead of the MVC).

Texas A&M doesn't stumble against Baylor. Acie Law has been maybe the best guard in the country, and the common thinking amongst the Sports World is that Kevin Durant at Texas is the best player in the country. Don't get me wrong, Texas is a team that, if all the pieces (young, young pieces) come together at the right time, could be very difficult to stop. But you do not call Kevin Durant the best player in the country, when it isn't 100% that he's the best player in state. Acie Law went 10-15, was perfect from the Charity Stripe. Kevin gets a lot of the Press out of Texas, and you may be tempted to think that Texas is somehow better than A&M. That's a mistake. Acie Law is the best player in the Big 12, and has the best supporting cast (yeah, better than Kansas' all-around team).

Watch out for the Jimmy Chitwoods of Butler. Crone and Graves are enough by themselves to beat a very good team, on offense. On defense, few teams play it tougher than Butler does. Butler is too highly ranked to face a jump & run team like Memphis. But I think Butler would kick Memphis' ass.

Alabama shouldn't be ranked, and shouldn't be invited to the tournament after this loss. You can't beat Auburn, you aren't the 25th best team in the country. You are no where close.

Kansas are Dicks. They are insanely talented dicks. But Kansas is always insanely talented. They never win. Is this the year? Elite 8, I say. National Champions? Please, this is Kansas.

Boston College is still in the mix, but beating up on Clemson ain't nothing special. BC still needs a real run in the ACC tournie to get a decent seed. We are done pretending that Clemson's 17-0 start is somehow meaningful.

There's been talk that the Big 10 will now send maybe 6 teams, due to teams beating Ohio State or Wisconsin. Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State are suddenly locks. Purdue is getting talked about. That's fucking atrocious. I, and my team of rag-tag chuckers deserve to be in the tournament more than Purdue does. The Big 10 is basking in reflected glory. I think Wisconsin will be the only Big 10 in the Elite 8.

Watch out for Tennessee. Ten-Ten-Tennessee. More accurately, look out for Chris Lofton. He alone could put this team into the Sweet 16.

going back to the ACC, I'd say watch out for Zabian Dowdell of the VA Tech Hokies, but they are getting balanced scoring. They are the most overlooked ACC team. It won't shock me if they win the ACC tournament, and play themselves into a #2 seed.

1 comment:

Badcock said...

Fine round-up, Big BM.

Ever want to post some pictures of some of these players/games in your column?

Spice is the spice of life, as they say.