Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Saturday March Madness Thread

We're into the Second Round today, which means that once we're done with Sunday's games, we can put generic names like "First Round" and "Second Round" away for the next year, and get into the fun terms like "Sweet 16" and "Elite 8". These are the kinds of things you look forward to when you lose 2 Elite Eight teams from your bracket in the opening round.

A few notes from Friday:

• That winning shot by Northwestern State was just a step below Tennessee's winner on the circus shot scale.

• Up until they each collapsed, seeing Oral Roberts and Albany holding leads over #1 seeds were probably the most exciting moments of the tournament so far.

• Next year, the key stat for me in picking teams will be how well they rebound. It seems to me that most collapses, and subsequent comebacks, have been predicated on a team's ability to rebound, especially on the defensive end. This is probably obvious to more astute basketball analysts, but it's really jumped out at me through the first two days.

On Tap For Today
• I'm upset about having Duke and George Washington matched up this early in the tournament. I love the Blue Devils, and want to see them move on, but on the other hand, G-Dub features Pops Mensah-Bonsu. That has to be my favorite tournament name since the immortal God Shammgod graced our brackets almost a decade ago.

• Tennessee barely survived against the 15th-seeded Eagles of Winthrop. How will they do against the 7th-seeded Wichita State Shockers, who looked impressive in dismantling Seton Hall on Thursday. Also, how many people picked Wichita to move on in their bracket simply because of their nickname?

• If they can play anywhere near the level they played on Thursday, don't be surprised if Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Montana make the Sweet 16. I think the Aggies are done, though. LSU looks good, and will be very difficult if Glen "Big Baby" Davis gets going.

• The Indiana-Gonzaga matchup will be huge, and has the potential to trigger a profanity-laden tirade from either myself, Andy, Matt, or Sacamano. So stay tuned for that. Also, is it just me, or does Mike Davis have a permanent "I'm resigned, just let me get out of here" look on his face? I almost want to see them make the Final Four just to see if he cracks.

• My prediction for best game of the day: a toss-up between Indiana-Gonzaga and Washington-Illinois. The worst: UCLA-Alabama. I smell a Bruins blowout in the making.

Enjoy the games!


At 10:06 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Check out Ricky Rogers, Sports Editor at the Johnsonian, Winthrop's student newspaper. Does that guy look like a pedophile or what? It reminds me of why I never rolled with the Gateway crew at the UofA.

I expect the Basketball Jesus to step up and own Indiana today. Time to be a Golden God.

And how come there haven't been more "Basketball Jones" references in our posts, Abboud? Is it so hard to slip in some Cheech & Chong every once in a while? God, the NBA even made a commercial using the song, a few years ago. I still don't know how they convinced Stern to let that one through. I've always been convinced that that is what Rasheed Wallace listens to in those giant headphones of his.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Alex said...

He totally does look like a pedophile. And how old he is? He looks like he's about 36, and drives a Trans-Am. So in other words, he looks like your typical New York Yankees fan.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

No shit. That guy is a junior? What'd he do before going to university, raise a family in a trailer in the backwoods of South Carolina?

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Don't forget about Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje -- that's an all-time classic name from fairly recently.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

No one else thought the name of the paper was weird? The Johnsonian sounds like a musuem for male porn stars. That or a clever name for my bedroom that I use in a pick up line at the bar: "Have you ever visited The Johnsonian Eros Institute?"

What the hell is up with Wichita State? How can they be winning again? And why isn't their bumblebee/wheat-king mascot thing giving the universal sign of the shocker with his fingers? All their fans should have foamies that looklike this.

You would be amazed what you get when you google search "the shocker," by the way.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...


Stupid Deadspin stole my idea.

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

How the hell did Sac pick Wichita State to win once, let alone TWICE!?!?

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Alex said...

What, I get no love for also putting Wichita State through to the Sweet 16?

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

U too? I hate you.

At 6:23 PM, Blogger Alex said...

How about the step back and winning three by that kid from LSU? That was a very J.J. Redick-like play.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Alex said...

I've been flipping back and forth between Gonzaga-Indiana and Saturday's Main Event. A few thoughts so far...

• Adam Morrison needs to drive to the hoop and create contact more, or else he needs to drive and look to pass the ball.

• Sean Mallon has easily been the best player on the court.

• Somebody for the Hoosiers needs to get the hot hand, since it doesn't look like they have a go-to guy on the court. They're still very much in this thing though, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they came back.

At 6:58 PM, Blogger sacamano said...

You mean everyone didn't pick Wichita? It was pretty obvious that Tennessee was the worst #2 seed in decades.

Clearly Celtics fans know their hoops.

Too bad about the Illinois choke job, though.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger sacamano said...

Agreed. My Hoosiers just don't seem to have anything on Offense, which is a shame, because Gonzaga has no defense.

At 7:05 PM, Blogger sacamano said...

I'm also shoked at how bad UCLA is on offense. Good thing they have some D.

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Alex said...

This half has been incredibly sloppy. Mallon's still the only one who can do anything for the Zags.

Also, with Oral Roberts qualifying, who'd a thunk that Gonzaga would have the whitest team in the tournament? I feel like I'm watching a Celtics game circa 1985.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger sacamano said...

Morrison is a total tool. Did you see that rebound. L-O-S-E-R.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger sacamano said...

Man, Indiana was horrible over the last 5 mins of the game. How many times can you let someone just drive to the basket uncontested. Brutal.

Well, at least I didn't pick them to go all the way, huh Matt.

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Indiana looked as inspired today as their Coach did, which is to say, not at all.

Let me take this opportunity to boast about my first place standing in our pool. This is probably the last time I'll be in the lead, so I'm going to savor it for the next 16 hours, or however long it lasts.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I knew the Washington bracket was going to destroy me. I only have five points out of it at this point. God-awful.

What's the deal Abboud? No post on Main Event? This is a historic night, and you have fired off about ten other posts already this weekend. One more won't kill ya.

At 8:15 AM, Blogger sacamano said...

Oakland killed me. I only have 2 more points even possible to get out of there?


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