Tell Me I’m Crazy – The ‘Zags

Tell me I’m crazy, but I think that this year’s Gonzaga team is the best team that they have ever had.

I know, I know, they have had 3-seeds and even a 2-seed, but did they really have better years than this team did? 

I know, I know, they have had guys like Adam Morrison and Dan Dickau, who were drafted in first round (Morrison even went #3), but were those guys any more talented than any of the guys on this year’s team?  And, even more obviously, they weren’t surrounded by the talent that this year’s squad has.

Well…this team went 14-0 in the WCC and dominated the conference tournament.  And, as a direct result of Gonzaga’s success, this is probably the best WCC ever.  And, look at the non-conference schedule.  To start the season, they won a warm-up game against a D-II school, then they beat a solid Idaho team by 34.  Then they won five straight away from home against teams from MAJOR conferences, including three tournament teams (Oklahoma St. by 12, Maryland by 22, Tennessee by 9, Indiana by 16, and at Washington St. by 22).  They only lost five games all year–all 5 to tournament teams, and all but one within single-digits.  These losses included Memphis, UConn on a neutral floor, and road games against Arizona and Utah.  The only spot on the whole schedule that you could question was a 7-point home loss to Portland St., who made the tournament, as a 13-seed and gave Xavier a run for its money in the first round.

Well…Austin Daye is a future first-round draft pick.  Jeremy Pargo will probably be drafted by someone, or at least signed as an undrafted free agent.  If Josh Heytvelt was not such a head-case, he would probably be a first-rounder.  Matt Bouldin should at least get a cup of coffee in the NBA.

So, they may or may not beat the most talented team in the country tonight, but regardless of the outcome, I think this is the best Gonzaga team ever assembled.

 Tell me I’m crazy…

The Sweet Sixteen – Day Two

7:07 on Friday in Indianapolis, IN
#1 Louisville vs. #12 Arizona

The one “Cinderella” is one of the winningest programs in NCAA history–Arizona.  A 12-seed, who very few thought should even have made the tournament proved themselves and now gets a chance to crash the Big East party (aka the Elite Eight).  But, to do that they will have to knock off the #1 overall seed, Louisville.  This year is strange because, when trying to analyze a game (or fill out a bracket, even), all I keep thinking about are the flaws of each team.  Every team is flawed–even the best teams–in pretty significant ways.  I can’t imagine this Louisville team winning it all with their awful free throw shooting and mediocre guard play.  So, I want to pick Arizona, but then I think about the ‘Cats abysmal RPI away from home and the fact that outside of their three NBA prospects (including two potential lottery picks), they are pretty bad.  I am going to go with Louisville here, but only because I think their run-and-gun style forces opponents to use more guys and Arizona is pretty weak after Budinger, Hill, and Wise.  Oh, and I do have a legitimate man-crush on Terrance Williams, so what?

7:27 on Friday in Memphis, TN
#2 Oklahoma vs. #3 Syracuse
You know after that 6-overtime game, you would think that Syracuse is pretty tir…if I hear that one more time.  It was TWO WEEKS AGO!  This group of 18-21 year olds are not still tired from a game two weeks ago.  As far as this game goes, I am (like everyone else, including just about every NBA scout, agent, and general manager) in love with Blake Griffin’s game.  I picked Oklahoma as “My Favorite” to win it all in my preseason preview and still believe that they can.  I took them, in Vegas in December, at 25-1 to win the championship, and I still like that bet.  That being said, I think this is a bad matchup for the Sooners.  The Orange are playing with incredible confidence and have a made-for-college team with shooters like Devendorf and Rautins, a not-so-big-but-big-enough-for-college big guy in Paul Harris, the wide bodies down low, and the consumate college drive-and-kick point guard in Jonny Flynn.  And, the worst part for the Sooners is that the biggest weakness in Syracuse’s game–their incredibly high turnover rate–is something that Oklahoma has not been good at capitalizing on all year long because their perimeter defense is mediocre.  Plus, how do you beat Syracuse’s vaunted 2-3 zone?  Ball movement and outside shooting, which puts all the impetus on good guard play.  Griffin might be frustrated all night because he just can’t get the ball.  As much as I HATE to do it (and I do HATE to pick any Boeheim-coached team, especially over “my favorite” of the year), I have to go with Syracuse to pull off the upset and put an incredible FIVE Big East teams in the Elite Eight.

9:37 on Friday in Indianapolis, IN
#2 Michigan State vs. #3 Kansas
Two of the nation’s best coaches square off in Indianapolis tonight.  I think that Bill Self might be the national coach of the year for what he has done with these baby ‘Hawks.  And, Tom Izzo should probably be in the running every year because, well, he is Tom Izzo.  I have been down on this Jayhawk team all tournament, and I haven’t really seen anything that has changed my mind.  They struggled with a good 14-seeded North Dakota State team and then played well to beat an 11-seeded Dayton team.  Yes, Aldrich looks fantastic, but I’m not sold on Collins’s ability to bring it every night.  And, on the other side, it’s a Tom Izzo team with multiple seniors and a lot of talent.  You what that sounds like?  A Final Four team.  I’m picking Michigan State, as the only easy pick of the night.

9:57 on Friday in Memphis, TN
#1 North Carolina vs. #4 Gonzaga
For the second straight night, the nightcap is the game I am most interested to see.  UNC is clearly the most talented team in the country, but the most talented team does not always win these things.  In a topic for a post later today, I love this Gonzaga team and think that they have a real, legitimate shot at “shocking the world” tonight and beating the Tar Heels.  This team is no longer just a well-coached, mid-major with one star mid-major player that teams take lightly.  This is a well-coached, mid-major, BIG-TIME program, with a roster full of big-conference players.  Then again, they are playing THE big-time program these days.  Ty Lawson is healthy and don’t forget that Tyler Hansbrough is still on this team (you know, the all-time leading scorer in the ACC?).  I really want to go the other way, but North Carolina is just too talented.  It’s a shame because in any other region, I would have like the ‘Zags in the Final Four, just not here.

Random Top 5 Lists for the Sweet 16

Note: For Bry’s preview and picks of Thursday night’s games, scroll down. 

Top 5 Freshmen in the Sweet 16:

5. Kemba Walker, UConn:  This New York City native is poised to become the next great star at UConn.  His lightning quickness gives the Huskies instant offense when he comes off the bench.

4. Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas:  Taylor originally committed to Marquette but he fell into Bill Self’s lap when Tom Crean took the Indiana job.  The guard averaged just under 10 points this season and, very impressively, shot over 50% from the field.  He has the makings of a superstar in Lawrence, but in this tournament they just need him to be a reliable third option after Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich.

3. Willie Warren, Oklahoma:  A year after snagging Blake Griffin, coach Jeff Capel showed that he is no one-hit recruiting wonder when he went into Texas and signed this sharp-shooting guard.  Warren averaged 14.7 points, went over 30 in back-to-back games in December, and played best in some of Oklahoma’s biggest games.  He shot 38% on 3’s, but he also has the size and quickness to get to the basket consistently.

2. Samardo Samuels, Louisville:  Compared to the last few couple years in college basketball, it’s surprising that Samuels is the only freshman starter for a #1 seed this year.  Not only has he started, but this 6’9″ man-child has been one of the best players for this title-contending team, and he may go down as the greatest basketball player ever to come out of Jamaica.

1. Tyreke Evans, Memphis:  The best player to come out of Chester (and probably the whole Philly area) since Jameer Nelson, Evans unfortunately did not decide to stay close to home.  This guy just screams “NBA player”, as a 6’6″, long-armed, freak of nature that can score in any way possible, and get it done on the defensive end as well.  He easily led Memphis in scoring (16.6) and steals (2.1), and flirted with triple-doubles on a couple occasions.

Top 5 Point Guards Not From a #1 Seed:

5. Scottie Reynolds, Villanova:  Reynolds used to be a gunner, but he’s made himself into a solid all-around PG, and has been more than willing to share the spotlight with Dante Cunningham.

4. Jeremy Pargo, Gonzaga: It’s a tough call to put Pargo ahead of Reynolds, but he is the reigning WCC Player of the Year, and while the WCC is not the Big East, it shows the amount of respect that Gonzaga’s opponents have for what Pargo can do.  His points and assists are down from last year, but in tournament crunch time, you want the ball in this senior’s hands.

3. Kalin Lucas, Michigan St.:  Lucas took home the Big Ten Player of the Year award this year, but I still think he’s underrated.  He is one of the quickest players in the nation and Michigan St. would be almost nowhere without him this season.

2. Jonny Flynn, Syracuse:  Between Cuse’s 6-overtime win a couple weeks ago, and now their run to the Sweet 16, Flynn has gotten a lot of much-deserved attention.  The sophomore averaged 17 points and 7 assists for the Orange, and he could be playing on the next level next season.

1. Sherron Collins, Kansas:  This junior out of Chicago is the only one on this list that has won a national championship, and that is no accident.  Collins won’t be intimidated by any situation in this tournament, and he’s already off to a flying start, racking up 57 points in the Jayhawks first two games. 

Top 5 Post Players Not From a #1 Seed:

5.  Josh Heytvelt, Gonzaga:  You know there are a lot of good ones on this list if Heytvelt is 5th.  Heytvelt led the Zags in points and rebounds.

4. Cole Aldrich, Kansas:  The fact that Aldrich could barely get on the floor as a freshman last year shows just how good that team was.  Aldrich certainly got on the floor this year, and he averaged a double-double, with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

3. Dante Cunningham, Villanova:  The amount of improvement for Cunningham throughout his career at Nova is really impressive.  He’s emerged as clearly the best player on this excellent team, and he can really torch teams with the mid-range jump shot he’s developed.

2. Jordan Hill, Arizona:  As I noted in a post earlier this season, Hill is another player that has improved a ton througout his career.  His combination of size and athleticism may make him a Top 5 pick in the NBA draft in a couple of months.

1. Blake Griffin, Oklahoma:  Bit of a no-brainer here.  I’m really looking forward to watching him this week.  As the consensus National Player of the Year, and soon-to-be 1st overall pick in the draft, it will be interesting to see if Griffin can put his team on his shoulders and carry them to the Final Four.

Tell Me I’m Crazy – “Chalk”

Tell me I’m crazy, but I really like it when an NCAA tournament is “chalky.”  Yes, I know, the games you “remember” are when Bryce Drew and Valpo beat Ole Miss or when Harold “The Show” Arceneaux and Weber St. knocked off UNC.  I know that the games that are still talked about are Richmond over Syracuse, Steve Nash and Santa Clara over Arizona, and Hampton’s fat coach being carried around the court after beating South Carolina.  Yes, these games are “memorable,” but tell me I’m crazy, I think that the overall enjoyment level of the tournament may be higher without them.

I know this is a tough sell, and most people have written off this argument already, but that’s what these columns are for, right?  So, humor me.

Look at the schedule of games for tonight and tomorrow night.  Pretty awesome, right?  Right.  Now, what if you had these great “Cinderellas?”  What if it was Portland St. taking on Pittsburgh right now?  How excited would you be?  What if Northern Iowa (a pretty good mid-major) took out Purdue and then Washington and we got UConn versus Norther Iowa tonight?  I’m guessing that when your friends call and say “hey, wanna hang out Friday?” you’d be jumping at the opportunity if the alternative was to stay inside and watch Michigan State battle North Dakota State.

All these games would be good and “fun,” just like Davidson was “fun” last year, but I think you’d be lying if you didn’t admit that the true basketball fan in you won’t even consider going to bed until the last whistle (probably well after midnight) of the Duke-Villanova game tonight.  Would you do the same for Duke versus American or even Minnesota-Villanova?  I doubt it.

See, you like the chalk, too.  Tell me I’m crazy.

The Sweet Sixteen – Day One

The Sweet 16 round of the tournament is probably where we all get to see the best basketball of the year, in my opinion.  The stage is not yet “too big” for anyone, yet almost all of the games are big enough for that big stage.  It is going to be fantastic!  So, without further ado, here is a quick BSB preview of tonight’s first half of the Sweet 16 round. 

7:07 on Thursday in Glendale, AZ
#1 Connecticut vs. #5 Purdue
The most impressive team in the first two rounds was undoubtably the Connecticut Huskies, as they dismantled both Chattanooga and Texas A&M.  Now UConn gets a tough, cohesive, impressive Purdue team who, before watching the Huskies play the first two rounds, I thought would probably beat UConn.  Now, after seeing just how good A.J. Price is playing, I have changed my tune a bit.  I expect a great game and would not be shocked to see the Boilermakers pull off the upset, but in the end, I have to go with UConn to move on. 

7:27 on Thursday in Boston, MA
#1 Pittsburgh vs. #4 Xavier
 
Born in 1979, I had nothing else in my life other than family and sports in the early 90’s.  So, when I think Sean Miller, I think scrappy, smart, solid point guard for the Pittsburgh Panthers of the early 90’s.  However, Miller has been so good as the Xavier head coach, that my mental image of his is changing a bit.  Now, the ex-Panther and lifelong Pittsburgh native gets a shot at the top-seeded Panthers, who have struggled in both their tournament games so far.  The biggest advantages that Pitt usually has on other teams are DeJuan Blair and LaVance Fields.  Blair may be neutralized because of Xavier’s incredibly athletic and deep frontcourt, so this game will come down to Fields against a pair of relatively weak point guards for the Musketeers.  I really want to pick X in this one, but I have been saying all year that LaVance Fields is the best college point guard in the country this year, so I will stick with that and reluctantly pick Pittsburgh. 

9:37 on Thursday in Glendale, AZ
#2 Memphis vs. #3 Missouri
 
A lot of people say that one of the reasons they love the NCAA tournament is because you get a lot of games between teams with very different styles of play.  I, on the other hand, LOVE the games that pit two teams with incredibly similar styles of play.  That is why I am very excited for tonight’s late game in Glendale.  Both teams combine intense, pressing styles of defense with a slower offense that is based around efficient possessions and limited turnovers.  Memphis gives up the fewest points per defensive possession in the country, while Missouri is second in the nation at assist-to-turnover ratio.  There is just one thing that Memphis has and Missouri does not–experience.  The experience of the players and, more importantly, the coach, should be the difference and should be why Memphis edges Missouri in a great game tonight.

9:57 on Thursday in Boston, MA
#2 Duke vs. #3 Villanova

Just like in the other late game, this matches two teams with very similar strengths, weaknesses, and styles of play.  I LOVE that!  This game is chock full of swingmen and great perimeter play–I also love that.  I just think that Villanova is a better all-around team because they actually get a LOT more production out of their 1- and 5-spots.  Scottie Reynolds is almost a forgotten player on this team, and he is a bonafied superstar.  Oh, and how awesome is it that senior Greg Paulus only played 2 minutes against Texas in a tournament game?  The answer:  VERY awesome.  The only thing Duke has going for it is that they probably have the best two players on the floor in Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler, but after that they are outmatched at every spot.  Because of this, I like Villanova to beat The Dukies tonight in Boston.

Tuesday’s Top Twelve – Best Matchup/Potential Matchups of the Weekend

The best sports weekend of the year–hands down–begins in earnest in less than 48 hours.  Yes, I am like little-kid-on-Christmas excited.  No, I’m not embarrassed by it.  Looking over the  brackets, there are a bunch of first-round matchups and potential second-round matchups that I am looking forward the most, so I figure this is a good topic for Tuesday’s Top Twelve.

#12).  3-Kansas vs. 14-North Dakota State (first round on Friday at 12:30 in Minneapolis).  In sort of a scan for “potential madness,” this one hit me right away.  I think the Jayhawks are vulnerable, and the Bison of North Dakota St. might be the perfect team to pull off the big upset of KU (ironically, Kansas was a 3-seed in 2005 and lost to a 14-seed nicknamed the Bison–Bucknell).  I contemplated putting Mississippi St vs. Washington here because I like that upset also, but it wouldn’t be nearly as fun/MAD as North Dakota St., in their first year of D-1 eligibility, taking out the defending champs.

#11). 4-Xavier vs. 5-Florida State (potentially second-round on Sunday in Boise).  This is just a potential game because they both have to get through their first-round opponents (which I think they both will), but if it happens, it should be very, very good.  I love the contrasting styles that this game presents.  The athletic, defense-oriented, extremely balanced-scoring Musketeers against the HUGE and athletic Seminoles who rely on one guy for a large portion of their offense.

#10). 1-North Carolina vs. 8-LSU or 9-Butler (potentially second-round on Sunday in Greensboro).  This might have been even more interesting had it been anywhere but in the state of North Carolina.  Then again, it would have been rather uninteresting if Ty Lawson were 100%.  UNC could probably beat Radford without any starters.  And, even if it’s close, there are so many things that go into a 1-16 game to glean anything about the top-seed.  So, Sunday’s game (against either LSU or Butler, because they’re both pretty tough as a 8/9) will be the real test to see if UNC is healthy and running on all cylinders.

#9). 6-West Virginia vs. 11-Dayton (first round on Friday at 3:00 in Minneapolis).  I think that this West Virginia team could really do some damage in this tournament.  But, then again, they might not make it out of the first round.  That is what makes this tournament so fascinating.  Dayton, who can be either overrated or underrated, depending on who you talk to, is indisputably a solid test for the Mountaineers.  Plus, if you buy into my belief that Kansas is vulnerable (either in the first round or beyond), there is a good chance that we will see the winner of this game playing next week in Indianapolis.

#8). 7-Boston College vs. 10-USC (first round on Friday at 7:20 in Minneapolis).  This is a fantastic first-round game between two relatively under-the-radar teams this year.  BC made some noise in the ACC, but was never really talked about nationally.  USC’s lack of national presence was warranted because they flat-out played poorly for much of the season and were not going to be included until they won the Pac 10 tournament.  There is also a lot of star power in this game with Tyrese Rice, Daniel Hackett, and Taj Gibson are all still in school (even though I seem to remember them all playing in the 90s).  Also, DeMar DeRozan is a flat-out stud freshman for the Trojans.

#7). 1-Michigan State vs. 7-Boston College or 10-USC (potentially second-round on Sunday in Minneapolis).  The winner of #8 (no matter who it is) will set up an even better matchup on Sunday against 2-seed Michigan St.  Either opponent for the Spartans presents a true test for a team that could only surprise me if they lost in the first round.  Anything else, from a bad second-round exit to a national championship is in the cards this year for this talented, but inconsistent team with a phenomenal coach.

#6). 3-Syracuse vs. 6-Arizona State or 11-Temple (potentially second-round on Sunday in Miami).  The winner of the first-round game between ASU and Temple will get to play in a very interesting game against Syracuse.  So much has been made of all the minutes that The Orange logged in their captivating trip to the Big East finals, but does it really matter?  Can top-flight athletes really be “tired” from anything (other than a marathon) that they did a week ago?  We will see because if Syracuse beats Stephen F. Austin, they are in for a battle, regardless of which team they are playing.

#5). 8-Oklahoma State vs. 9-Tennessee (first round on Friday in Dayton).  This is a big-time first round matchup.  These two teams should probably be playing in at least the second round, if not later.  But, they both struggled more than expected, then turned their seasons around and now find themselves across the battle lines from each other in a brutal first-round matchup.  It will be interesting on both ends, as a solid OSU defense tries to stop an awesome Tennessee offense, while a painfully awful Tennessee defense tries to stop a frustratingly inconsistent OSU offense.

#4). 1-Pittsburgh vs. 8-Oklahoma State or 9-Tennessee.  Whoever comes out of the great matchup listed at #5 will have another fantastic, must-see game against top-seeded Pitt.  The only real question mark surrounding the Panthers is will DeJuan Blair get into foul trouble or not.  And, it really all depends on how tight the officiating is because he is certainly not going to change his game.  Either way, this second-round matchup has the feel of a Sweet 16 or later game, especially if it’s immensely talented Tennessee.

#3). 2-Oklahoma vs. 7-Clemson (potentially second round on Saturday in Kansas City).  If you had told me a month ago that OU would play Clemson in the tournament, I would have said that it must have been at least a Sweet 16 game, if not an Elite 8 game.  But, OU slipped out of #1 position, and Clemson slipped all the way to #7 (personally, I think this is a pretty low seed for the Tigers, who have been in the top 15-20 all year long).  But, this game (which might not even happen, as Michigan has a real shot in the first round against Clemson) is going to be fantastic!  The up-and-down, pressing style of Clemson against The Griffins and a host of underrated perimeter players (led by the super frosh, Willie Warren).  I hope it happens.

#2). 6-UCLA vs. 11-VCU (first-round on Thursday at 9:50 in Philadelphia).  Just a fantastic first-round clash between two very good teams who I probably would have picked to beat almost anyone else, had they not wound up playing each other.  An experienced, defense-oriented UCLA team that has been to three straight Final Fours against a guy named Eric Maynor and the VCU Rams.  Anyone remember Maynor?  Yes, he was that freshman who single-handedly beat Duke in the tournament three years ago.  Now, he’s a senior, and even though he hasn’t been in the forefront of college hoops lately (because VCU hasn’t made the tournament since), he has gotten a lot better.  He is, in my opinion, the third best point guard in the country, behind Fields and Lawson, and will probably make a better pro than either of them.  The Rams also have a guy named Larry Sanders who has a 91-inch wingspan to complement his incredible athleticism.  As soon as this matchup came out, I got excited about it.  I don’t want to wait until Thursday night for it–can’t this be the play-in game tonight?

#1). 6-Arizona State vs. 11-Temple (first-round on Friday at 2:55 in Miami)Bias?!?  What does bias mean?  No, I’m not biased–this is a great game!  Okay, maybe I’m a little biased, but even thinking objectively (which I probably cannot do), this would have made the Top 12 list.  I love James Harden and have been saying for weeks now that ASU is my sleeper pick for the Final Four.  I even gave a professional presentation last week on March Madness and picked ASU to accompany UNC, Louisville, and Michigan State to the promised land.  But, now they get to face my beloved Owls in the first round.  Ugh!  I spent the whole selection show chanting “Give me Illinois,” thinking that Illinois would be a 5 and Temple a 12.  Then, when we got to the last bracket and Illinois came up on the 5-line, I went nuts, thinking Temple would be 12.  But, alas, they rewarded us with an 11-seed and a dreadful matchup with the Sun Devils.  Well, at least it gave me justification to put the Temple game in a Top 12 list.

Cimorelli’s Question of the Day – Jay Cutler

If you were the Eagles’ brass, would you trade Donovan McNabb for Jay Cutler, straight-up?

Personally, I think I would.  I am not AT ALL a McNabb basher, in any way.  In fact, I have been accused of being a McNabb apologist, in the past.  However, there is a part of me (though, I really don’t like to admit it) that accepts the notion that he just might not be a “winner” in the sense of seizing the moment in big games/big situations.  I don’t believe this, and I get angry when people say that, but the anger may be fueled by that little part of me that thinks there might be some validity to it.

Then, there’s Cutler.  On this whole Cutler-McDaniels debate, I am totally on the other side of Stri on this one, in that I think Cutler is being a huge baby about the whole thing.  And, I do not really like his arrogant, childish feud with Philip Rivers.  However, these personality flaws may even help him on the football field.  If I had a choice of who to hang out with, I would pick McNabb 100 times out of 100, but I’m not hanging out with my QB, I’m using him to help me feel good about myself when my team wins.  And, Cutler might be better than McNabb at doing that.

Oh, ya, and he’s a lot younger…

CTC Day 13 Recap: An Unimportant Day in the CTC Wraps it Up

In a day where only one game produced any points–and it was the 1x conference–nothing really changed.

DAY 13 SCORES:
Bry-16
Ina-16
Stri-16
Alexi-16
Waters-16
J-0
Doogan-0
Lynch-0

FINAL CTC STANDINGS:
Bry-2135
Ina-2028
J-1888
Doogan-1849
Alexi-1822
Waters-1821
Lynch-1802
Stri-1709

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP:
The finals of one of the best CTs took place in Atlanta on Sunday.

  • #3 Duke 79 – #4 Florida State 69.  A rain of threes for the Blue Devils led them to their 17th ACC championship–tied with UNC for the most ever.  Florida St. looked good, but Duke looked better.  No one had either of these teams winning this tournament, so Doogan takes the 2009 CTC ACC title.

FINAL ACC STANDINGS:
Doogan-230
Waters-160
Lynch-140
Stri-120
Ina-90
Bry-90 (defending champ)
J-50
Alexi-50

Continue reading “CTC Day 13 Recap: An Unimportant Day in the CTC Wraps it Up”

Random Selection Sunday Tidbits

This is my favorite day of the year.  It always has been.  It’s awesome.  Just want to throw a couple random thoughts out.  This is what I would do if I was the Selection Committee and/or Czar of College Hoops.

  • Overall, I think that the Committee should go out of their way to reward success/punish failure in the conference tournaments, so that teams care about them, even if they’re locks.  I don’t think this is a problem (see the Big East tournament), but I worry about it in the future, so set the precedent now.  A lot of the following suggestions may have that taken into consideration. 
  • Louisville is clearly the #1 overall seed, in my mind.  Not that this matters, but still.  They won the regular season and tournament in the best conference we’ve seen in a very long time.  I don’t care (much) about the unbalanced schedules, they were the best team, by both measures, in the best conference.
  • I think Memphis should displace either UConn or Pitt as a #1 seed because they won their tournament and neither of them even won a game.  I, personally, think Pitt should stay because they beat UConn twice, but I wouldn’t mind if it was the other way around.  However, I don’t think it really matters because Memphis and UConn (or Pitt) will be the overall #4 and #5, so they will be in the same bracket and should end up playing each other in the Elite Eight.
  • I hate the play-in game.  I am passionately in favor of expansion–but only to 68.  I think there should be a quadruple-header in Dayton on Tuesday with the last 8 at-large bids.  It’s an easy fix, with NO FLAWS.  It gives every “little guy” a shot at Cinderella.  It gets three more “big guys” into the tournament.  And, it gets people to ACTUALLY CARE about Tuesday in Dayton.  Plus, the ratings would be off the charts.
  • I know that it’s “all about the economy” this year, but I also HATE teams that play homes games.  I know it’s tough because what constitutes a “home game,” but I think it’s clear that Villanova in Philly, Duke in Winston-Salem, and Florida in Tampa are “home games.”  I really hate it, actually.

Okay, gotta run and get ready for the best hour of the year.