The plan was to attend Friday’s games, get tons of pictures, come back with exciting stories and watch Iowa make their 4th trip in 7 tries to the finals of the tournament. Somehow, we manage to get our shit together for the Big Ten Tournament. However, we ended up being so bad in our quarterfinal match-up against Purdue that we didn’t even make the NIT. Seriously, as my friend Jebus put it: that’s like being turned down by a hooker. So, no fun stories, no great pictures. Just a helluva real hangover. (That picture came up when I searched for “suicide watch” and it made me laugh really hard).
The Hottie MVP is OSU’s Michael Conley Jr. He’s just a lil’ fella, but he’s a cutie. To the surprise of, well, no one, the Big Ten tourney final was a rematch of Ohio State and Wisconsin. I thought this game would be hotly contested and close the whole way; the regular-season meetings were decided by a total of 4 points. However, OSU handed Wisconsin a huge beat-down and secured themselves a #1 seed. I’ve already shown you the hot guy, so if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts about the NCAA bracket, come on in….
Let’s start with the annual Committee Hands Some Team a Cakewalk to the Final Four Region. That would be the Midwest this year. Florida, as the overall #1 seed, has the easiest road to the Final Four. All the experts are picking them to just waltz to Atlanta, which of course means they’ll probably get upset in the Sweet 16 by Butler. Not really, but just because their road to the FF looks easy does not mean that Florida won’t get tripped up along the way. That’s why the NCAA tourney is the best sporting event EVER.
What to Watch for in the 1st Round: Maryland’s #4 seed seems high to me, so a first-round upset would not surprise me.
Sleeper: Wisconsin. Now, I realize it’s hard for a #2 seed to be a sleeper, but everybody is so busy being distracted by shiny-object Florida and Joakim “I Should Wear a Mask like the Phantom” Noah that nobody is paying any mind to Wisconsin. Which is exactly when a team sneaks up and is suddenly in the Final Four. Bo Ryan is a great coach, Wisky has the Big Ten POY in Alando Tucker and they play stifling defense.
Moving on….I’m packing up my game and I’m-a head out West…..
In the West Region, there are a lot of dangerous teams for #1 seed Kansas. UCLA feels left out of the #1 Seed Club, so they’ll be itching to prove they deserved one. Southern Illinois with their #4 seed will be ecstatic to lay down some wins against former coach Bruce Weber and big-time Kansas program because Mid-Majors always feel they have something to prove. Finally, Duke is in this region. Granted, Duke kinda sucks this year and a 6-seed seems high. However, I cannot deny that Duke just magically always seems to do well in the post-season. I blame Coach’s K’s pact with Satan, but he’s a great coach and if they some how snuck into the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, I’d go, “Well, yeah. That’s what they do.”
What to Watch for in the 1st Round: The Illinois over Va Tech 12-5 upset. If my team got a 5-seed, I would be so mad. There is ALWAYS a 12-5 upset. Va Tech has lost 3 of their last 5 games. Illinois is 7-3 in their last 10 games, plus they’ll want to quiet the critics saying they didn’t deserve bid.
Sleeper: Southern Illinois. They’re a good team, I could see them in the Sweet 16 and maybe the Elite 8.
Let’s head on over to the East Side….
Frankly, the East bracket is stacked. UNC has the hardest road of the #1 seeds, in my opinion. They have as their #2 seed an EN FUEGO Georgetown and they have to get by Texas, who almost beat #1 Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament finals. Also, and don’t laugh, but UNC may face Michigan State in the second round. Michigan State is like the likeable Duke; they always manage to do stuff in the post-season even when they kind of suck. I’m having fits deciding who to take from this region to the Final Four.
What to Watch for in the 1st Round: I like the scrappy GW Colonials over Vandy. Not really sure why…..gut feeling.
Sleeper: Texas. Again, my sleepers are all 4 seeds or better, but with everyone salivating over the UNC and Gtown, I think Texas might surprise some people.
Finally, down South…
Personally, I think Ohio State should’ve been the overall #1 seed. They’re ranked 1st in the polls, and haven’t lost since January 9th. Furthermore, their only losses this year are to 2-seed Wisky, 1-seed Florida and 1-seed UNC. Winning at Wisconsin is extremely hard; at home the Badgers are 125-11 since the Kohl Center opened. That is RIDICULOUS. The UNC and Florida losses were at those respective schools and the first was played without Greg Oden and the second was with limited Greg Oden. I don’t care that they won the SEC tournament; Florida dropped 3 of their last 5 conference games and got the overall #1 seed. Blech.
What to Watch for in the 1st Round: I don’t see a lot of upsets coming out of this bracket. I think Creighton will beat Nevada, but a 7-10 hardly counts as an upset.
Sleeper: Creighton. They’re good and I don’t know how tested Memphis is, so Creighton in the Sweet 16 is not out of the realm of the possibility. Plus, look at Dane Watts! Look how hot he is!
Best Tidbit about the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT: I was alerted to this by Deadspin commenter Goathair and could not believe my eyes. Reggie Theus, coach of #13-seed New Mexico State, used to play the coach on Saturday morning show “Hang Time.” How fucking awesome is that, y’all? Here’s the intro. I used to have a crush on Adam Frost (yes, the geeky kid at the end). What? I like ’em tall and lanky.