Sunday, March 22, 2009

A few thoughts about the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament

A few thoughts about the opening weekend of the NCAA tourney while sounding the annual Can we PLEASE have Gus Johnson for more than opening weekend alarm...

-White Boy, to his credit, is one of the few people who have consistently said that they don't like watching college basketball because the quality of play isn't nearly that of the NBA. After watching the Siena-Ohio State first round matchup, White Boy's statement was eerily prescient.
(Interesting counter-argument to White Boy's "quality of play" theory: The NBA, at various times, has given out paychecks to Stephon Marbury, Chris Dudley, and Brian Scalabrine)

-So as the owner of a UNC-champion bracket, I've never been more concerned with a player I hadn't heard of 3 weeks before than this Ty Lawson injury. And because I can't identify Lawson, I ended up shouting "Nice play, Lawson!" every time a black dude scored. Racist? No. Just a guy who doesn't know his NCAA players. What can I say? I REALLY wants bragging rights over my friends. And yes, that was me shouting at the TV, asking for UNC trainers to raid Barry Bonds' medicine cabinet in order to heal Lawson.

-So do UNC and Duke really share the same stadium for the first two rounds? To paraphrase Chris Rock, when Duke (douchebags) students are taking pride in UNC being down in the second half, you shouldn't be allowed to kill Duke students...but you can certainly shake the shit out of 'em.

-Mike Francessa told me and the other 5 people who still listen to his show that Marquette doesn't miss free throws, giving me a good reason to put Marquette in the sweet 16. All I ask, is that Francessa not confuse Marquette (a few missed free throws) and Missouri (nailed nearly all of 'em) next year.

-2 pet peeves of mine, which anyone watching this Tourney with me is fully aware of:

Hey college guys, stop taking NBA 3-pointers. This makes you look cocky and asshole-ish, not pro-ready. Step up to the line and take your glorified jump shot of an NCAA 3 pointer.

2. Down 1 or tied? Please don't take a 3 pointer unless there's simply not enough time to get inside the 3 point line. In theory, it should be easier to drive the lane and try and score from a layup or close jump shot. So just stop taking 3 pointers when a 2 will do.

2a-Amusing sidenote- My dad thinks that the 3 point field goal has ruined basketball. This has to be akin to saying that football hasn't been the same since the introduction of the forward pass.

-And lastly, there needs to be more upsets in the NCAA Tournament. 2 examples why:

1) I had a historic run in the first round-none of my Sweet Sixteen teams were knocked out until Wake Forest lost to Cleveland's greatest export, Cleveland State. And yet, because there were so few upsets, I was only in the top 25% of most of my pools. (Update: After Sunday, not even Sully can save this sinking ship known as my bracket.)

2) Over the last two years, the Final Four has consisted of 6 #1 seeds, 2 #2 seeds, and nothing else. Now, people are picking anywhere from 2-4 #1 seeds, and #2 seeds in place of the #1 seeds. Where's the imagination here? (Full disclosure: I picked UNC, Pitt, Michigan State, and Memphis, 2 #1's, 2 #2's) I remember a time, back when Mark Wahlberg was Marky Mark, Ace of Base was on the radio, and snap bracelets were all the rage, where you wouldn't DREAM of putting more than 2 #1 seeds in your final four. It just didn't happen. Now? People with no imagination are being rewarded for their lack of creativity when 3 or 4 #1 seeds get to the Final Four. This lack of creativity isn't just taking the fun out of the brackets; it's un-American.

And lastly, only because you the only NCAA tournament that matters, YOUR Boston University Terriers open up against the Ohio State (hockey) Buckeyes Saturday, March 28, 5:30 pm.


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