Ok, I promise this is the last NCAA tourney post for a while. I mean it. Well, at least for a week. So is your bracket looking good? Didn’t think so. Well at least you’re not Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis, who on the CBS studio set makes a prediction a day that has made him look like Art Schlicter was providing him with his choices. Seth says Syracuse will be national champs. Oops. Seth says a number 1 seed will go down by the first weekend. Nope. Seth says Pacific will beat Washington. Ouch.
The best college basketball expert is The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy. He is great during Sporting News Radio’s coverage of the tourney, which makes me wonder why ESPN has not offered him a job. Having said that, DeCourcy took Wake Forest as his overall champ, so feel better about your pool. I fell under the bus on Wake Forest, also, but fortunately I just had them going to the Final Four. My other 3 choices were Illinois over North Carolina and my upset team in St. Louis, Michigan State. Add Louisville to join them, as how I look at it now.
The team I wrote would be the upset team of the tourney, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, just continues to add intrigue, as they will face Illinois. UWM’s coach, Bruce Pearl in 1990 was caught up in a recruiting altercation with Illinois when he was an assistant at Iowa. He taped a recruit from the Chicago Public Schools, Deon Thomas, admitting he was offered money and a Chevy Blazer to play in Champaign. The fall-out from this ended up with Illinois being put on probation and Pearl being blackballed by some in his profession, because they felt it was unethical to tape a recruit. In the great expose of college basketball recruiting, Raw Recruits by Alexander Wolff and Armen Keteyian, it discusses the sleazy world of trying to obtain players from Chicago at the time and how you had to pay to get them. Pearl and current Illini coach Bruce Weber, who was an assistant at Purdue at the time, refused to break the rules, so they had trouble getting top players from the Windy City. Now 15 years later, they face each other with a trip to the Elite 8 on the line.
Weirdest Seperated at Birth in 2005 Tourney: Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar looks like <a href=”http://www.planet-familyguy.com/characters/index.php?b=2
“>Cleveland, Peter’s friend on the Family Guy.
CBS’ Gus Johnson does a spectacular job of evoking the excitement of the game, during his play-by-play. While Packer and Vitale are the big names of college basketball color men, Bill Raftery is the guy that all the rest try to aspire to. Who would have ever thought a guy who sounds like Snagglepuss would be the quintessential announcer in college basketball. So pound the puppies, with a straight up man to man and send it in big fella, but do it with a kiss. Hey, the guy’s got onions.
Cincinnati/Kentucky game was the most physical battle I think I’ve ever seen in college basketball. I mentioned in my post before the game that the team who shot the least 3 pointers would win, as the RCA dome is a terrible place to put up long-range shots. Kentucky shot only 12 and made 7, while the Bearcats made 7 also, but it took 26 attempts to do it. During the six tourney games in Indy, teams hit only 59 of 187 from behind the stripe. I think a great statistical study would compare the percentage of 3 point shots in Domes versus regular auditoriums.
Some quick thoughts: Kentucky’s Rajon Rondo is the best NBA point guard prospect, despite being just a freshman.— While Dee Brown is on all the magazine covers and Luther Head has the best stats, it’s Deron Williams who’s the best player on Illinios. He one of those rare players who plays the game at his own speed.— Southern Illinois would have beaten a lot of teams going to the Sweet 16, but having to face Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City was too much for them to overcome.— North Carolina has looked unstoppable in it’s first 2 games and it’s bracket looks pretty sweet with 5th seeded Villanova the highest seed left in the Syracuse region.