Aside from Duke fans, everyone was unhappy with last night's outcome. However, while I count myself as one who was pulling against the Devils, Duke earned this title. People can talk about how the heavyweights were down this year or how Duke had an easy run, the bottom line is that they are still standing after the smoke is clear. They earned the belt. I thought the game was surprisingly well officiated. Once again the production from CBS was horrid. Nantz and Kellog are all over the place. I enjoyed Clark behind the desk but not on game commentary. Replays were no where to be found on key fouls. We already knew Howard was going to get in foul trouble. Butler just did not knock down enough of those open shots. Their halfcourt defense was again spectacular. Even with their field goal troubles the Bulldogs had two shots to win, and came up painfully short. I commend Gordon Hayward and above all Brad Stevens for their accomplishment. I was off my couch jumping on that last Hayward halfcourt heave, it looked like it was good off the glass on my TV. But alas it was not to be, sometimes the underdog everyone is pulling for does not win. I half-expected David Anspaugh to run out onto the court and tell the players to run it again until Hayward made the shot. The Blue Devils are the champs, for better or worse, that is what makes this tournament great; you are not always expecting or happy of the result. There is much random chance, just like life. If life were like the BCS, we could manipulate all our circumstances to form our best outcomes. A pleasant notion but one that would ultimately fail like when the machines tried to make the Matrix a paradise where all their humans had their desires come true. Millions of crops were lost.
I still prefer the basketball side of things because sometimes there is no clear way to determine who is the best team. Football still has no set criteria. In the NCAA tournament, you have to play whoever is in your bracket and win. No polls, no margin of victory, no bias toward the big 6 conference (well, maybe just a little). It's a cruel reality for the anti-Duke segment, but it is reality. Coach K has one for the pinky, Zoubek was a difference maker, and Wojo finally has that elusive ring. Now to the harsh reality of my tournament picks and it is not pretty, "How Wrong Were We": 2010 NCAA Tournament edition.
Midwest Region: 9/15
South Region: 4/15 (I stand by my Robert Morris pick! They got hosed by the officiating.)
West Region: 7/15
East Region: 8/15
My Final Four: Kansas (uggg), Syracuse (oops), Duke (squirrel finds nut), New Mexico (why did I ever trust Alford?). I had Kansas beating Duke in the finals.
So out of a possible 63 games, excluding the opening round game (which I got wrong), I got 29 right. That is 46%. I also had Butler losing to UTEP in the first round. Overall a horrible state of affairs for my prediction skills.