Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tournament Predictions- RTS Style

Part I - Graham
The best thing about the blogosphere? Predictions. Where else can someone like me, who has watched about 12 minutes of college basketball this season, publish his predictions on the NCAA Tournament?

Right here, that’s where. And it’s one more place than where a Seattle P-I columnist can do it (zing!).

I’ll break it down region-by-region shortly, but here are a few general statistics and predictions going into the tournament:

-Number of teams I’ve watched play for more than 5 minutes this season: 0

-Amount of research I did before filling out my first bracket, in minutes: 7

-Odds of winning my fantasy pool: 1000-1

-Number of people who should take my predictions with anything more than a grain of salt: 0

-Number of times I’ll storm out of a room in disgust when one of my teams loses: 19

-Number of times I’ll watch a point guard for a team down by two with less than 10 seconds to go dribble the ball upcourt by himself, run around the perimeter and launch an off-balance three-pointer: It’s college, so too many to count.

-Number of times I’ll wonder if there’s even a limit to the number of timeouts in the college game: 218.

Anyway, here’s my region by region breakdown:

Seth Davis likes Wake Forest a lot. I’m too lazy to do any more research than that, so I like Wake Forest too. But not enough to beat Louisville. On the other side, Michigan State is supposed to be good. And the Final 4 is in Detroit. That city is dying, and a run by the Spartans will make people happy. I think the sports gods come into play here, and the Spartans make the Final 4.

Don’t ask my why, but I don’t love UConn. I think it’s because Jim Calhoun is a major douche. But no one’s allowed to really say that, because he fought cancer. Can a cancer victim be a douche? Well, I’m saying yes. So screw it, I’m taking the Huskies over UConn. Speaking of douches, ladies and gentlemen, John Calipari! I don’t think I want to live in a world where Calipari makes two straight Final 4s. I especially can’t live in a world where Tiger fans, maybe the most loathsome people this side of Red Sox fans, are allowed to enjoy success. I refuse to pick the Tigers on principle. Washington it is.

I know nothing about any of the team in this bracket. And I don’t like Duke. So let’s go with Pittsburgh.

Let’s get this out of the way: One man teams don’t make the Final 4, so Oklahoma isn’t making the Final 4. And you know what? Blake Griffin is a great college player, but he’s going to suck as a pro. You heard it here first. Or maybe not, I really can’t verify that. I like North Carolina, Syracuse and Gonzaga a lot. But Gonzaga is never good enough to make the Final 4, and Syracuse won’t have enough magic left. So Tar Heels it is.

Final 4:
Michigan State vs. Washington:
Even I’m not dumb enough to think Washington makes the Final. Christ, how the hell did they even end up in my Final 4? Ugh. It’s Michigan State.

North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh:
I can’t name one player on Pittsburgh. I do know Carolina has Tyler Hansbrough. And someone named Lawson maybe? So in the interest of sound reasoning, because I can name one, and possibly two players, I’m going with North Carolina.

Michigan State vs. North Carolina
Tar Heels.

Part II - Chris
Well, we got Graham’s uninformed opinion on the NCAA tournament, so it’s time to get the actual college basketball fan perspective. (Which means, obviously, that Graham will destroy me in the bracket challenge.)

There are two types of people: those that fill out one bracket, hope it wins for about 10 minutes and then get pissed and tear it to shreds halfway through round 1. Then there’s the other type that fills out multiple brackets, hedges bets, has no idea who they want to win until the sweet 16 when they view the carnage of their brackets and decide which one is their best bet. I’m in the latter. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have 1 bracket that I view as the pure one. Below is the bracket that I filled out on Sunday night that I truly feel are my “picks,” although I’ll have no shame if I have another bracket win a pool.

Midwest Region
I’d love to pick against Louisville for obvious reasons, but I learned a long time ago to not trust a Big 10 team in a major college event. I got West Virginia, USC and Wake in my Sweet 16 with the Cardinals, but I don’t have the onions to pick one of those teams. Louisville goes to the Final 4, how depressing.

West Region
Why should I even have a preview here? I got the Tigers.

East Region
I’m a big fan of Pittsburgh. They were my favorite bandwagon pick to beat the Tigers last year. Of course, they didn’t even make the Sweet 16. I’ve watched too much Duke to pick them as a Final 4 team. I really think it’ll be Villanova and Pitt for the right to go to Detroit. I got Pitt. How boring.

South Region
I don’t trust UNC. I learned my lesson last year watching them get outclassed in the Final 4. I think Oklahoma is a little more than a 1 man team, considering they have the top player and one of the best two freshman in the country. The Sooners in the Final 4.

Final 4
I’m not enough of a homer to think this Memphis team is really a title contender. A Final 4 appearance is a stretch but they’re in a weak region. I got Louisville in the title game. As for Pitt or Oklahoma, I could really see Pitt losing to Villanova, so I’m not going to pick them much farther. I’ll take Oklahoma. As for my champs, why not Oklahoma? They got the best player in the country, don’t they? Isn’t that usually an advantage?


Chris said...

Tigers fans are loathesome? Most non-Memphis native Grizzlies employees feel that way because they're surrounded by them (and work for the Grizz, natch). It's like being stuck in an Brody Jenner's entourage and saying he's the world's biggest moron. You're just too close to him. Everyone knows the world's biggest moron is...well...that's another post.

By the way, I'm a big fan of everyone that says they like Gonzaga and don't like Memphis (that being Graham and Bill Simmons). I know you guys probably didn't see Memphis kill Gonzaga, but jeez, read the box score or something.

Anonymous said...

Why do I hate Tigers fans? Let's see...

They like to think they're all die-hards, yet I remember not too long ago when only 5,000 people were showing up to the Pyramid before they became an annual Tournament teams. They're not loyal, they're bandwagon jumpers.

They think Calipari is the be-all, end-all, and while he's a good recruiter, he's a terrible coach. And convenient how they'd follow him off a cliff, even though he's routinely leveraged interest in other teams into raises for himself.

But my personal favorites are the people who refuse to follow the Grizzlies because they're "a bunch of thugs". How many Grizzlies have been in legal trouble? Meanwhile, the Tigers have employed such solid citizens as Sean banks, Joey Dorsey and Jeremy Hunt. At least Calipari booted Hunt...until Tennessee showed interest. Then they welcomed him back with open arms.

So is that enough reasons for you?

Chris said...

Since when did you care about the Grizzlies players again, Mr. Portland bandwagon jumper.

And what cliff is Cal jumping off, I need to find out where that is so I can get in line.