Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Two Shining Moments (So Far)

Below, a quick look back at our regular season and tourney championships, before the Dance begins.

By the way, from now until the 'Hawks last game, I want to see everyone blogging. No excuses. Seriously, it's five minutes out of your day.

ORJayhawk and zarathustra, I'm looking in your direction (figuratively).

And don't forget to enter our pool (see below thread).


  1. So did I call the #1 seed or what? I'm not sure why Florida got the overall #1 seed... I thought Ohio State had it for sure. I think Florida is overrated. I think they'll lose to Maryland and not even make it to the elite 8. For what it's worth my final four are: Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas, and Ohio State. The biggest obstacle for KU would be having to play UCLA out west. Maybe it's wishful thinking but I really think that Pitt will upset UCLA.

  2. Welcome back, AD.

    I agree on Florida; they coasted against weak competition to win the SEC tournament, so why did they suddenly become #1 overall? Ohio State and Kansas have been more consistent, and UNC has the same record as them against stronger competition. If anything, they ought to be considered 4th among the 1's.

    But with the weak draw they have, Maryland had better beat them, or else I don't see anyone doing it before the final weekend.

    As for KU... watching the play-in game last night eased my first-round jitters. Niagara has no chance: they're soft defensively, and they prefer an up-tempo game yet they aren't particularly fast. Self did a phone interview with the commentators during the game and said both teams were "good," but you could hear in his voice that he didn't really mean it.

    The game was so uninspired that color man Steve Lavin started making Rashomon references--and kudos to that, I say.

    Pitt over UCLA? Sheer balls, baby.

  3. Bracket picks from ESPN's Bill Simmons.

    My favorite parts:

    "It's been difficult for me to root against BC this season for two reasons: I thoroughly enjoy watching Jared Dudley and Tyrese Rice, and Al Skinner's decision to kick his best big guy (Sean Williams) off the team for being a bad guy was genuinely admirable. It reminded me of the way Jim Calhoun handled the laptop scandal at UConn, only the exact opposite."

    And who does he pick to win it all?

    "Let the record show that Florida and Kansas are the two most talented teams in the tournament; there would be four potential lottery picks and eight potential top-40 picks battling in this game if it happens. And I think it will. So why Kansas? Because the Jayhawks are one of those Dirk Diggler teams that can adapt to any style: They can play smallball and go run-and-gun. They can get physical and pound it inside. And they have multiple scoring options at the end of games (including Mario Chalmers, one of the best crunch-time guards in the tournament) and two legitimately good defenders on the other end (Brandon Rush and Julian Wright). As for Florida, if the Gators aren't making their outside shots and playing with a ton of energy, there's really no Plan B. I just think Kansas is a better team. Whether they have a better coach ... that's another matter.

    This seems like a good time to mention that I'm never, ever, EVER right about March Madness. Sorry, Jayhawks fans."

  4. Not to jinx us, but when would our 2nd round game be? Sunday at _______?

  5. Sorry, I thought I saw somewhere that it would be 4:00 ET, but I can't find that info now.

    A little dig at Self there by Simmons? Hmmm...

    I think Simmons hits on one area where Self is superior to Roy. He recruits great athletes (so far) who can play uptempo in the style of Roy or Pitino, then drills them into playing a grind-it-out game, so they're adaptable to either style in the tournament.

    Roy's teams tended to shrink a bit from physical play, which often came back to haunt them in the tourney -- that, for instance, was the only flaw in the otherwise flawless 2002 team; Maryland was just tougher than us.

    The question is whether Self's system can succeed even in years when the McDonald's All-Americas are absent, as Roy did in 1989-93. Maybe Self's Elite 8 run at Tulsa indicates he can pull it off.

    Of course, Roy's style has the advantage of being more entertaining.

  6. Hilarious article from Slate on "Teams We Hate" from the field of (now) 64.

    No, Kansas is not on the list. Yes, Duke and Florida are.

  7. While I am happy about the #1 seed respect, I think a # 2 would have been better in some ways. KU got screwed with UCLA never leaving CA. That sucks. I don't think Pitt can beat UCLA. Although UCLA did look bad in the Pac 10 tournament.

    Florida has it easy, until they run into Oregon. If the outside shots fall I am sure Oregon can beat Florida. I am a bit concerned about the Ducks lack of interior presence and inability to defend the post, but if they shoot 30+ 3s, and 40% drop, they have a chance.

    Thanks to Scott for the bracket. Where do you see Memphis going SJ?

  8. Deron, where in hell is your bracket?

    Also, anyone else want to play for $?

  9. Oh, and Ismail I don't see the Tigers getting past A&M if they hjave to play them in friggin San Antonio.

    You got a lot more faith in your Ducks though than I seem to have in my "other" team. Good luck to them.

  10. I'll have my bracket up tonight or first thing in the morning.

    I'm not picking either the Ducks or Tigers to go far, but I will root hard for both of them at the expense of Florida and Ohio State.

    That reminds me, Scott -- I believe UCLA's home-court advantage last year came at the expense of your 1-seeded Tigers. So you should really be up in arms about this pattern of favoritism...

  11. I think my picks are in there now. Sorry about my uncreative bracket name. It's been a long day.

    I suppose we could all just pledge on the honor system to send $10 to the winner.

  12. Well, now it's official: we're Stephen Colbert's pick to win it all.

    (Why? Not a mascot that can kill a human; and we have "NSA" right in our name. Worst joke from the segment? "All the other teams are dust in the wind." Ouch.)

    Anyway, with this sort of momentum, who can't be excited about the tourney?

    I'm with y'all w/respect to Memphis, by the bye, but I think Oregon can get at least to the elite 8. Can they beat Florida? I hope so, but I wouldn't put money on it (sorry, Ismail).

    Any other big (or not so big) upset picks? Everyone's going with Winthrop & ORU, so I will pick the unlikely Notre Dame and Washington St. as anti-upset teams. . . .

    Ah, and I'll second Deron's $10 pledge (oh, and I'll thank him for inspiring my awesome bracket name).

  13. "Dust in the wind" is not a joke. It's sheer "truthiness."