Bracket Takes ’10
It’s that time of year again. Time for my longest-running gimmick post, and everyone’s least anticipated annual event - my takes on the NCAA bracket. Optimally, I like to write this during the selection show, but being in Korea seeing the selection show is impossible. Instead, I will write my first thoughts upon viewing the bracket. I still haven’t looked at it yet, and the anticipation is killing me.
A word of warning - you will not find worse predictions than here. In last year’s post, I predicted that North Carolina would not make the Final 4, and in fact got all Final Four picks wrong. Last year, I also had the advantage of actually watching college basketball, I wan in America for much of the season. This year, I’ve seen a game and a half on extremely choppy Justin.tv streams that were of such poor quality that I eventually gave up trying. At least CBS streams the tournament, so I can watch games again starting this week.
On with the show:
Kansas is the overall one seed. No surprise here. I think we probably earned that regardless of the outcome of the Big 12 Tournament, and beating K-State was the gravy that made that a sure shot. We play Lehigh. I know two things about Lehigh: Lee Iacocca went there, and they are arch-rivals with my buddy David’s alma mater. The game will be live at 11:30 a.m. on Friday in Korea, presuming CBS still does their feed internationally. I will be watching.
On to areas that I know less about: Not Kansas. Presuming we beat Lehigh (and we goddamn better) we’ll get UNLV or UNI. UNI is apparently Northern Iowa, which I had to google. Michigan State or Maryland would be our likely Sweet 16 matchup, so revenge is a factor either way. The other half of our bracket allows for potential match-ups with Oklahoma State or Tennessee, the only two teams that beat us this year. The big dogs on the other half of out bracket are Georgetown and Ohio State. I know absolutely nothing about either this year, other than THE Ohio State is always a sham in basketball.
Syracuse gets Vermont. Syracuse lost to Vermont in the first round in 2005, but that definitely won’t happen again. Not as a 1 vs 16, and not in Carrier Dome West. Good to see Murray State back in the mix. I’m fine (elated in fact) to have a tournament without North Carolina and Arizona (and what the hell, UCONN too), but the Big Dance needs Murray State. K-State gets sent to Oklahoma City as a 2, which also seemed to be a no-brainer. I don’t like the way this West Regional shakes out though. If KU is the overall one seed, the West Regional should have the overall 4 Seed. I also don’t like the potential K-State-Syracuse regional final. I wouldn’t know who to cheer for here. I mean, I hate Syracuse and I want them to lose every game, and generally I’d want our little brother to beat them. Then again, I want no part of a fourth KU-K-State game. We’ve beaten them three times, winning a fourth would be tough. Plus, for revenge purposes, I’d much rather take out Syracuse.
In the East - Kentucky doesn’t get any favors early. A lazy Texas team fell to an 8 seed, but they have enough pure talent to beat anyone on a given day. Wisconsin is 4 there, I have no idea if they’re good. The two major positives of no longer living in Chicago are: 1) no Chicago winters, and 2) not being forced to watch Big 10 “basketball.” Temple is a 5, the only thing I know about them was that KU murdered them early this year. Missouri could actually be a frisky 10 seed, but as per usual I wish them nothing but ill will.
In the South - wow, what a surprise, favorable match-ups for Duke, even though they must be the overall 4 seed. Somehow they get the play-in winner. Amazingly, they open in Jacksonville. I don’t think Duke has ever played an opening round game outside of the state of North Carolina. Purdue could be a tough out for Duke in the Sweet 16, or Texas A&M could be especially tough in Houston. Baylor got a 3, good for them. They were literally the worst major conference basketball team a few years ago, and were rocked by scandals involving drug dealing, hush money, murder, and cover-ups.
Now I suppose I’m going to need to look at my bracket and make picks. I suppose I really can’t do worse than last year, when I inexplicably sent BYU to the Final 4 (they lost in the first round, of course). My quick and dirty Final Four right now - Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky, Baylor. Kansas beats Kentucky and that cheater Calipari to win its second title in 3 years - and I’ll again have the privilege of watching the game feed and then Lawrence party on an internet feed, alone in my apartment in Korea at an odd hour of the morning.