While I love a good upset more than just about anyone, I couldn't be happier with this year's "all chalk" tournament and this weekend's all one-seed Final Four. Upsets are what make the first two weekends of the tournament interesting and make cubile progonsticators feel very smart when say Davidson beats say Georgetown. But two years ago the tournament had an upset every day of the first two weeks and the Final Four that year was among the worst ever. In fact Final Fours are usually so anti-climatic that you never hear anybody rank Final Fours like you do the Super Bowls or World Serieseses. None of them have three memorable games that people talk about until Midnight Madness the following year. I think the potential for that exists this weekend. The four teams (add Tennessee but their hype was always reserved) that everyone was talking about all year long as the best in the country playing each other. You could make a legitimate case for each as to why they'll be cutting down the nets on Monday. Memphis had the best regular season but against an inferior schedule than Carolina, Kansas, and UCLA. I'm glad we have this weekend to find out without any doubt or controversy who the best team in the country is.
Who am I rooting for? Once again I am rooting for my wallet and my wallet has UCLA.
I am currently in 9th in my office pool out of 50 but am one of only two with UCLA as my chosen champion. The other person has UCLA beating North Carolina, I have UCLA beating Kansas. Therefore if UCLA wins the National Championship by beating Kansas, I PPD win the Berrttuccci's NCAA Office Pool to add to my Super Bowl Squares winnings and a job in the Marketing Department, and a new apartment. Am I THIS lucky? No but I just wanted to make you aware of the possibility. Here are some more random thoughts...
If North Carolina can play in Raleigh, and then Charlotte. Syracuse can play in Syracuse when it makes it and becomes a #1 seed (you see why this argument is moot now) you just take away the opportunity for SU season ticket holders to purchase tickets and you can justifiably call it a neutral site, as neutral as Charlotte was.
Anyone else notice Gus Johnson being groomed to take over for Jim Nantz who we all know would much rather be doing Masters research right now. I was shocked that he got the final game of last weekend and the lead-in to 60 Minutes. I think CBS is starting to take notice of his positive reception. The only thing that could ruin things for Gus...openly rooting for one team over another (see the Davidson-Wisconsin game after Brian Butch hits a three, Gus says "ugh", I swear).
Any coincidence that rumors are circulating about Brett Favre coming back so recently after Tyler Hansbrough becomes ESPN's new boyfriend?
That redhead Kansas cheerleader gets a lot of camera love just for looking slutty.
It'll be a shame in five years when Memphis has to take down this year's Final Four banner if the NCAA finds out Calipari used old means to get these guys to come to Memphis.
File me under "not so crazy" about the NCAA's new seating configuration
for domed stadiums hosting the Regional Finals. For the Final Four I'm all for it, the demand is there and when filled its a striking sight but for the Sweet 16, if the good travelling state schools don't make it, you see A LOT of empty seats. Plus the coaches look goofy on those stools.
You may be thinking "Syracuse has a domed stadium, will they try this". You have to weigh Dr. Daryl Gross' desire to make as much revenue on basketball as he can vs. Syracuse's tendency to poo-poo new ideas. Then think the NCAA will most likely want them to use this configuration when they host the Regionals again in 2010. Maybe a 'dry run' during the 2009 early season would be a good idea. Then again, the only opponent that CNY could turn out 50,000 to see would have to be a big time out of conference opponent and I say it ain't happening til it absolutely has to in March of 2010.
Next year the East Regionals are held at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. SCZA should starting pitching his blog idea now to make sure he gets credentials.
Labels: College Sports, March Madness