Thursday, March 18

Tournament Time: East Region

In just a few short hours the tournament will begin. It will actually be a few long, agonizing hours. Someday people will sit around and wonder what people did for the tournament when there was no March Madness on Demand. I can't imagine my life without it today. Slow day at the office, the best tournament ever (hyperbole intended) kicking off. Certain days in the American workforce are so unproductive that they should become national holidays. The day after the Super Bowl, the first two days of the tournament, St. Swilling's Day, etc. Our country is one of the tops in least time off. No wonder we are all fat and have high blood pressure. Except for me, I'm doing fantastic.

1st Round

1 Kentucky over 16 East Tennessee State Kenny Chesney went to ETSU, he is also really close with Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow. Just sayin'.

9 Wake Forest over 8 Texas: I like the "Kentucky better watch out for Texas in the 2nd round" talk. I am going to squash that right now, Wake wins in the team-with-high-expectations-that-went-into-the-crapper bowl.

5 Temple over 12 Cornell: This is really a balls match-up for Cornell. They made the tourney last year, had a strong season this year including almost taking out Kansas at the Phog. They have a good big man and a good scorer. But Temple has no problems playing an Ivy League type slowdown game. Their coach Fran Dunphy used to coach at Penn so this will not be foreign territory.

4 Wisconsin over 13 Wofford: While I consider every tournament game a must-watch game, this one will be the watching-paint-dry game of the tourney.

11 Washington over 6 Marquette: If this match-up was presented at the beginning of the season it would be Washington hands down. I think this will be a case of team getting hot at the right time after a disapointing season, like Arizona last year.

3 New Mexico over 14 Montana: The Lobos are the high seed that people probably know the least about, aside from Steve Alford being the coach. I enjoyed the segment about Alford wanting to be a Pacer in the Reggie Miller 30 for 30. Donnie Walsh has some brass ones for not taking Alford, and if he had one a title with Reggie, it would have been held in even higher esteem. Some people in New York would say taking Jordan Hill knocked Donnie down a few pegs.

10 Missouri over 7 Clemson: Clemson....DO NOT WANT! While Catfish in the past got swindled by the Tigers in the past he now knows as I do, you never bet on Clemson. In football and basketball, they are the quintessential let down team. Like small airplanes I never trust them.

2 West Virginia over 15 Morgan State: There are a lot of nervous couches in Morgantown right now.

2nd Round

1 Kentucky over 9 Wake Forest: Although people like to knock Calipari for not winning the title at Memphis (among other things), but he rarely lost to teams as inferior as Wake is to the Wildcats.

5 Temple over 4 Wisconsin: This game will not be poetry in motion either.

3 New Mexico over 11 Washington: Iowa fans would be quick to point out that Steve Alford was never able to take the Hawkeyes far in the tournament. So taking New Mexico, who is kind of an unknown to begin with is a dangerous pursuit, but the little I saw of new Mexico this year was enough to know they have athletic playmakers and a solid leader.

10 Missouri over 2 West Virginia: Last year Missouri used their hectic, speed it up offense to bounce Memphis. They are not as good as they were last year, but I think they shoot lights out, and the Mountaineers turn it over too much. This has all the makings of a classic Bobby Huggins let down tourney game.

Sweet 16

1 Kentucky over 5 Temple: I think this game will end up looking a lot the close calls Kentucky has had against Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. They will play really bad and the game will be low scoring, but in the end they edge it out on some bullshit shot/foul call by Wall.

3 New Mexico over 10 Missouri: If New Mexico gets past Washington, I think it gives them the confidence an inexperienced tourney high seed needs.

Elite 8

3 New Mexico over 1 Kentucky: I never fill out my bracket looking ahead to see if the final result "makes sense" or is balanced. If I go region by region and all 4 teams I have making it are Big East teams then so be it. I don't like having New Mexico making it to Indy and it probably has no chance of happening, but I just envision in my gut as what will happen. Maybe I am too high on the Mountain West Conference. I banged the drum for TCU during football season but their ginger QB decided to play like ass in the Fiesta Bowl. I assume I will get burned similarly on this one. Darington Hobson is a player who could start on any number of big name teams, and I really like the leadership by Roman Martinez. They are the two leading scorers and rebounders on the team, and I think they lead the Lobos to the promised land.

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