In keeping with the theme that I've created on this here blog. (That I'm a mess and have little ambition or follow through to speak of.) I've decided to scrap the second half of the 20 Things Ive Learned So Far in the NCAA Tournament. Shocking, I know.
Instead, I've decided to work some of these thoughts into picks for tonight's games. If you read the last post, which is doubtful, you already know to pay zero attention to the actual picks here. I'm guessing, completely and totally, but I do watch and play a shit ton of basketball so there's something to gain here if you can sift through all the bullshit. Or not. Lets just get to the picks.
(3) Wisconsin vs. (10) Davidson: I've made it clear how I feel about Dell's kid, as well as Dell's mustache, in the last few posts but I think the Magic carpet ride stops here for the Wildcats, uggh, I hate that fucking nickname. There should be a movement in this country to strip teams of boring, overused mascots like Wildcats and Tigers. Jeebus H, put some damn thought into it people. I'll take a Dirt Worshipper or a Bullet anytime over a Bear. Annnywho, I like Rob's gay paramour Bo Ryan here on the strength of, well their overall team strength on the boards and, of course, because my cousin Travon plays for Sconnie. Badgers (now that's a fucking proper nickname).
(3) Stanford vs. (2) Texas: If I was an NBA GM in need of a big man, the fact that the Lopez twins openly talk of their love for all things Disney and that Brook plans to write a comic book one day would send me scouting in Europe immediately. Hell, I'd try and work a trade for Josh Boone before I'd waste a top 10 pick on that bitch ( I mean, his basketball hero is Arthur Lee. Yes, that Arthur Lee.). So, I guess its obvious I like Texas here...well, I do. DJ Augustin gets all the pub (deservedly so, he's the best point in the country) but AJ Abrams is a deadly shooter and Dameon James is probably the most underrated player in the country. Connor Atchley's shooting should bring one of the Lopez's out of the paint on the high screen and roll, thereby opening up the lane for Augustin to create. Texas' versatility and home support are too much for Stanford and Trent Johnson's quarter sized nostrils.
(12) Villanova vs. (1) Kansas: If anybody else is coaching Kansas, then aren't they a near unanimous pick as the country's best team? I say yes. I've also been burned a number of times by Senor Self in March so I'm speaking with a light wallet here, but still. Look at that roster: 3 talented, experienced bigs, the same goes for the guards and then you have 9th year senior Brandon Rush in the lineup who can play nearly everywhere. They are loaded. Unfortunately, Self probably was last night too. I'll take the Jayhawks over...yep, the Wildcats in a game where Scottie Reynolds doesn't have enough help to make Kansas sweat much. Fun matchup to watch tonight: Corey Fisher vs. Sherron Collins. Both are city pgs, NY and Chicago, respectively. Both undersized, stocky and extremely good off the dribble. Who knows how much they go head to head tonight but when they do, it should be fun.
(Random notes: Scottie Reynolds has to be the least athletic, great player in the country. Watch him play tonight, he's not overly fast or big, he doesn't jump so well and doesn't really look the part of a big time collegiate guard in his on court movements. However, he's great at using different speeds and employing various fakes and pivots to get he and his teammates opportunities. Plus, his jumper opens up tons of lanes for him to drive. Sometimes his unorthodox game leads to some stupid turnovers but he brings far more to the table than he takes off it. A really unique player who's carried 'Nova most of the season.)
(5) Michigan State vs. (1) Memphis: The Big Ten should put special incentives in Tom Izzo's contract. I mean, if it wasn't for Izzo the Big Ten would've lost what little credibility it still has as a basketball power. (That Big Ten-ACC Challenge seems like a bad decision in retrospect, no?). Nearly every year this guy's teams play well above their head in March. Some writer was saying this week that its partially due to the fact that Izzo runs an NBA style offense with only a few sets/plays in the halfcourt and Big Ten teams are more prepared for them than any of the out of conference teams who they meet in the tourney. Sounds good to me. Also, its nice to contrast it against Calipari's offense, which is basically drive the ball and either (a) kick it out, (b) dump it low to a big, or (c) shoot. Seriously, that really is Memphis' offense. I don't think the simplicity matters tonight though. Memphis is going to throw a ton of long, athletic defenders at Drew Neitzel, and Kalin Lucas isn't going to light up Derrick Rose like he did Levance "Chubby Bunny" Fields. I'll take Memphis pulling away late and winning by double digits.