Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Kiss of Death

Run for the hills! I'm about to make my NCAA picks. I am about to doom your favorite team to ignominious defeat. Before I start I have to say that I have seen about 5 college basketball games this year and UNC played in all of them. I'm not really in any position to talk about who is going to win this tournament. So that being said I will now proceed along the path of tears.

Let's talk about the #1 seeds first and what I think their problems are. Ohio St. is great defensive team with Oden patrolling the lane, but I'm not sure that they have the firepower to stay with a team that gets hot from 3 point land. They prefer a game played in the 60-70 range and I think they might be a victim of a team that dictates tempo to them. Kansas, plays in the Midwest and they've let me down on so many occasions in the past that I can't really pick them to win (thanks Jaque Vaughn). Florida won last year and the odds against a team repeating are very high. Duke managed it 15 years ago but it took a miracle shot from Christian Laetner (I hate even mentioning his name) against Kentucky to make that happen. So that leaves UNC. I'm not really able to be impartial about UNC. I pick them to win every year and they've only accommodated me twice in the past 15 years. They are facing a few problems this year. Their best player has a broken nose and has not adapted well to playing with a face mask. They rely on freshman to provide most of their offense and Roy Williams has too many players in his rotation. It's great to have depth, but rotating 12 players is more disruptive than it is helpful. They are playing the first two games close to home, but that will just allow for more distractions. If I were a betting man, I would guess that they will probably be a second round casualty at the hands of Marquette.

So now that I've dragged the #1's through the mud, who's left? The #2's of course. Memphis dominated a weak conference this year and I don't think that they are serious threat to win it all. Wisconsin suffers from the same problem as Ohio St., great defense, not enough offense. That leaves us with Georgetown and UCLA. These are the first teams that I think are serious title contenders. Georgetown is on a tear and they absolutely dominated the Big East Tournament. UCLA lost in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament, but I think they can be forgiven for having an off day. Georgetown and UCLA are my first entrants for the final four.

Texas A&M and Oregon are the best of the #3 seeds. I can certainly see Texas A&M getting to the final four and while Oregon can light it up with the best of them, I can't see their 3 point offense showing up for four games in a row. I'm thinking that their run comes to end against Florida.

So there you have it, the final four will be UCLA, Georgetown, Texas A&M and Florida. The final will be UCLA against Texas A&M with the Aggies cutting down the nets for the first time in their history. So there you have it. I hope that if any of you were considering having any of these teams win that you will now change your brackets. Sorry to all the Bruins, Hoyas, Gators and Aggies fans out there, but I had to pick somebody.

By the way, I picked UNC to win it all in my pool. Some people never learn.



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