Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Drop on the Draw

It is THE most wonderful time of the year. And I'm missing it.

Yes, we've arrived at March once again and all the wild college basketball games that go with it.  Sadly, I'm going to be out of the country for rounds 1 and 2. At this point, you're surely asking yourself if Springs has gone off the deep end; I myself will certainly feel that way on Sunday and all next week.  An island village in Costa Rica, however, is a locale rarely available to the average college student, so I lunged at the chance.  Given that I don't think I'll have access to an international phone, I'm giving my picks to the gracious twin, who has promised that he will submit them on my behalf.  Given that I'm going into Selection Sunday with a significant level of blindness, I'll have craft a gameplan based on seedings and my opinions of already all-but-in teams.  Without further ado...
  • There will be at least two No. 1 seeds in the Final Four. Science, logic, duh.
  • At least one No. 10 seed will beat a No. 7. Again, pure science, aka the completely unquantifiable feeling in my gut.
  • Maryland will make the Sweet 16. I believe they have the potential to reach the Elite 8, but I'm not getting my hopes up. However, anything less than the second weekend will be serious blueballing of a very unfair variety.  Oh, and no other ACC team will make the second weekend, aside from Duke (and they may not even make it).
  • UTEP will make the Sweet 16. Five players average double-digit point totals.  Randy Culpepper is silly athletic, and Louisville transfer Derrick Caracter is a solid inside presence.  Imagine if you had him in the frontcourt together with a guy like Samardo Samuels. Doesn't that sound great? Hey, wait a second. . . . .
  • If Montana gets a No. 14 seed or better, it will pull the upset.  Anthony Johnson went off the map to beat Weber State, and I believe he can do it again.
  • Calipari hasn't won a championship yet, and he won't do it with this crew. (Even if he does, it's just gonna get investigated and forefeited 3 years from now, right? Sorry UK - you make the bed you lie in.) And for good measure, Duke won't win either.
  • Oklahoma State will win its first round game. James Anderson has Stephen Curry-like potential (no one can truly replicate '08, but people will come close), and I can see the Pokes possibly getting to the Elite 8 on his back, but an early KO by K-State in the Big XII tournament didn't help their confidence.
  • California is better than people say. Randle, Christopher and Robinson will show up. They will win their first game.
  • Notre Dame makes the Sweet 16 if it gets better than a No. 7 seed (i.e. No. 6 or No. 5); if not, they might be one-and-done.
  • BYU gets to the Sweet 16 on the basis of good shooting and the fact that every announcer has to love saying "Jimmer" 20 times a game. He's gotta be around at least 3 games!
  • New Mexico will win its first round game. Beyond that, I have no idea. Lack of size has hurt Maryland in past years, but to win 25+ games with two 6'8" guys down low is some brand of amazing. We'll have to see how it goes.
  • Butler and Gonzaga go no further than the sweet 16, if that far. Biggest mid-major teases of all time.
  • Ohio State will make the Final Four. I don't remember the last time I saw confidence like that which Evan Turner displays. He's Greivis Vasquez on steroids, or Greivis is the poor man's Turner. Whichever you prefer. I like the former.
  • West Virginia's hot. Da'Sean Butler probably makes another buzzer beater before people realize they have to cover him. Hello, Sweet 16, how do you do.
  • Cornell is my other waffle team with New Mexico. They hit a ridiculous number of 3-pointers the other night to win the Ivy League. That kind of thing is also extremely hit-or-miss on any given night. They're capable of winning on Thursday/Friday, but it's less likely that they'll do so on Saturday/Sunday. I don't know what to do with them.
  • Saint Mary's will usurp Gonzaga's place as best WCC team - they will make the Sweet 16, and should keep the third game competitive to the end.
To all y'all competing bracketeers: best o' luck. The Madness begins. Here's hoping that if you must get busted, it will be memorable.

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