Monday, March 05, 2007

Field of 65--version 9

(about 1 week has passed since last version)
1)
UCLA (26-4); Ohio State (27-3); Wisconsin (27-4); Florida (26-5)
*Even with UCLA’s loss to a Washington team that was fighting for its tournament life, the Bruins are my overall number 1. They’re also my pick to win it all. If Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s name was Jamal Thomas and he wasn’t Cameroonian royalty, no one would know about him. He averages 8.6 ppg and 7.7 rbg. Solid player with fine numbers but that’s all.
2)
Kansas (27-4); North Carolina (25-6); Texas A&M (25-5); Georgetown (23-6)
*I’m having trouble not giving Kansas a 1 seed. If they win the Big 12 tournament, I think they get a 1 seed ahead of either Ohio State or Wisconsin, depending on who wins the Big Ten tourney. Did anyone watch the Duke-UNC game on Sunday, specifically the Gerald Henderson-Psycho T incident? I’m not saying that someone couldn’t make an argument (however weak) that there was nothing wrong with Henderson’s actions. I’m simply pointing out that Billy Packer’s irrational/emotional/embarrassing defense of Henderson (as if no one could possibly see anything wrong with what had just taken place) is just another example of the idiocy of one of the worst commentators ever. I'm not trying to argue that Packer always roots for the Blue Devils, as many seem to believe. Rather, I'm arguing that Packer lacks objectivity no matter who is playing. Acie Law IV is spectacular, and Joseph Jones is a beast. But Antanas Kavaliauskas is Detlef Schrempfesque, and that is a great thing. Georgetown barely holds on to its 2 seed after losing to Syracuse.
3)
Memphis (27-3); Washington State (24-6); Pittsburgh (25-6); Nevada (27-3)
*Considering how bad C-USA is this year, I can’t justify giving Memphis a 2 seed...yet. If they win the C-USA tourney, I’ll reconsider. That being said, depending on their draw and regardless of their seed, I might have Memphis in my Final 4. They’ve got good guard play and some big bodies. I can’t say enough about the job Tony Bennett’s done at Washington State. I would never have imagined the Cougars would have 24 wins at the end of the regular season.
4)
Southern Illinois (27-6); Maryland (24-7); Oregon (23-7); Texas (22-8)
*Maryland jumps up to a 4 seed on the strength of 7-game ACC winning streak. They’re playing as well as anyone right now. Plus, they have 5 guys averaging double-digits. The freshmen at Ohio State and UNC get all the hype, but the Longhorns have 4 spectacular freshmen as well. Kid Nut Raven has had at least 30 points in his last 3 games. As much as I like Alando Tucker’s game, Kid Nut Raven gets my vote for Player of the Year.
5)
Virginia (20-9); Notre Dame (23-6); Louisville (22-8); UNLV (25-6)
*Why is Notre Dame being overlooked? I’m not in love with the Irish, but they only have 6 losses. A Virginia win over lowly Wake Forest would have given the Cavs the outright regular season ACC title.
6)
Marquette (23-8); Vanderbilt (20-10); Virginia Tech (20-10); Tennessee (22-9)
*The selection committee is not giving the second best SEC team in the field a 6 seed. What does that mean? The SEC tournament provides a huge opportunity for some SEC team to get a very nice seed. When last week began, Virginia Tech was in position to lay claim to a piece of the ACC regular season title. Then, the Hokies dropped games against Virginia and Clemson. Tennessee presents an interesting dilemma to the selection committee. Do you seed the Vols based on their performance with Chris Lofton in the lineup, or do you take the team’s entire body of work into consideration?
7)
Butler (27-5); USC (21-10); Boston College (19-10); Duke (22-9)
*Despite USC’s losses to Washington and Washington State this past week, Tim Floyd has done a great job with the Trojans this year. It’s hard to tell which Boston College team is going to show up on a given night.
8)
BYU (23-7); Arizona (20-9); Kentucky (20-10); Indiana (20-9)
*For all the criticism I’ve heaped on Arizona this season, Lute Olson’s team is looking pretty good heading into the postseason, finishing the season 4 games above .500 in the Pac-10. While Indiana hasn’t been playing very well of late, I must say that Kelvin Sampson has done an excellent job with the Hoosiers in his first year at the helm.
9)
Winthrop (28-4); Villanova (21-9); Georgia Tech (20-10); West Virginia (21-8)
*Georgia Tech had a huge week, picking up wins against UNC and Boston College to get to .500 in the ACC. I’m getting tired of hearing about the possibility of West Virginia not getting an invite. They don’t have the toughest non-conference schedule, and they had a pretty favorable Big East schedule. Still, the Mountaineers are 9-7 in the Big East, have a great overall record, and own an impressive win over UCLA. However, I will admit that, if WVU falls early in the Big East tourney, they may deserve to be left out. There’s not much that separates the 9-12 seeds. I think you could randomly assign seeds to these 16 teams, and it would be hard to complain. Hopefully, the conference tournaments will clarify things.
10)
VCU (26-6); Xavier (23-7); Michigan State (21-10); Stanford (18-11)
*Even if VCU loses to George Mason in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship, they deserve a bid. The CAA is too competitive not to give the regular season champion an invite, especially a regular season champion that gets to the final game of the conference tournament.
11)
Syracuse (21-9); Purdue (20-10); Illinois (21-10); Kansas State (21-10)
*With a 10-6 record in the Big 12, it would be ridiculous to leave Kansas State out of the tourney. That being said, I can’t imagine the selection committee is going to do Bob Huggins any favors.
12)
Air Force (23-7); Texas Tech (18-11); Davidson (29-4); Creighton (22-10)
*I know everyone seems to love Air Force, but we should probably consider the fact that the Falcons have the 4 seed in the Mountain West Conference tournament. How can you give Air Force a bid and leave out Purdue? Purdue played a Big Ten schedule and only has 3 more losses. Plus, Matt Painter's team is a 5 seed in the Big Ten tourney. They have a ton of solid wins, which I've listed in at least 2 previous posts. Sorry...I guess I'm just preparing myself for the selection committee's inevitable snubbing of the Boilermakers. With Appalachian State falling to College of Charleston in the Southern Conference tournament semifinals, Davidson becomes the conference’s loan representative. If the Missouri Valley Conference gets more than 2 teams in (Southern Illinois and conference tournament champion Creighton), then the selection committee has made a horrible mistake.
13)
Massachusetts (23-7); Akron (23-6); Vermont (25-6); Long Beach State (22-7)
*UMASS gets my last at-large bid. Travis Ford’s team has played well all season, and, if they get to the A-10 tournament championship against Xavier, they’re going to have a strong case for an invite. The Vermont-Albany American East championship game should be a good one. After losing just 6 games this season and getting a win over Boston College, it will be a real shame if Vermont loses.
14)
Holy Cross (24-8); Santa Clara (21-9); Western Kentucky (22-10); Texas A&M-Corpus Christie (23-6)
*Holy Cross and Bucknell both have a single conference loss…to each other. They play for the automatic bid in the Patriot League tournament championship. I love watching Santa Clara play. I’ve stayed up until 2AM twice now to watch them, and both times it was worth it. If you haven’t seen John Bryant play yet this season, you’re missing out on 305 pounds of awesome. His white man afro is the second best hairstyle of the year. The best: Brent Petway of Michigan shaved the Wolverines’ football helmet design into his hair against Ohio State. Anyway, I can’t tell you how badly I want Santa Clara to beat Gonzaga in the WCC tourney championship game. With South Alabama’s loss to Middle Tennessee State in the Sun Belt tourney, the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky face Arkansas State in the semifinals.
15)
Oral Roberts (21-10) Pennsylvania (21-8); Belmont (23-9); Eastern Kentucky (21-11)
*Belmont gets an auto bid after beating East Tennessee State in the Atlantic Sun championship game. Eastern Kentucky picks up an auto bid after upsetting Austin Peay in the Ohio Valley Conference championship. If Western Kentucky can win the Sun Belt tourney, the Bluegrass state could have 4 representatives in the Big Dance.
16)
Weber State (18-11); Central Connecticut State (21-11); Delaware State (19-11); Niagara (21-11); Jackson State (18-13)
*Niagara and Siena will face off for the MAAC bid after Siena upset regular season champ Marist.

IN: Belmont; Creighton; Eastern Kentucky; Georgia Tech; Massachusetts; Niagara
OUT: Appalachian State; Austin Peay; East Tennessee State; Georgia; Marist; Missouri State

8 Comments:

Blogger Runs With Two Horses said...

Sign me up for the Billy Packer hate fest. It was unbelievable that he openly commented that Henderson's ejection was the wrong decision and "a bad piece of officiating." I'm also pretty anxious to see what the National Media's take is going to be on Coach K's post-game comments indicating that none of that would have happened if Roy emptied Carolina's bench. I imagine that won't get him the same backlash Isaiah Thomas received for the exact same comment a few months ago. His style is whining like a little bitch, his card is American Express.

On a related note, it's far too rational for you to believe Duke gets a 7 seed. They will get no lower than a four seed...it's science.

Antanas Kavaliauskas is Detlef Schrempfesque? Did you just close your eyes and bang on the keyboard for a few seconds to get that mouthful out?

Slow clap for Bob Huggins. You're right, he'll probably get left out, but Kansas State is going to be an absolute force next season. Bill Walker and Michael Beasley (fo sheezy) seem like the hard-edged athletic monsters that Huggins craves, and they're also very highly-rated basketball players. Losing Cartier Martin will hurt, but Kansas State should be a lesson to any highly regarded program with a coach under fire: if Bob Huggins can turn the Bobcats into a contender in two seasons, then the Tubby Smiths of the world don't deserve free passes.

I almost made an entire comment without Bashing Tubby, maybe next time.

March 5, 2007 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Jumping Bull said...

No love for Sean Marshall in best haircut?

March 5, 2007 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

Billy Packer's defense of Duke was absolutely ridiculous. It's not like Psycho T is some monster of college basketball, he's a really likable kid who most of the media likes. I was ALMOST surprised by the unfettered support for Duke and their players. Duke players and the few national player candidates are the only ones excused from this type of behavior. Duke more so than national player of the year candidates. When Wojo and Jamal Magloire got tangled up for a ball on the floor and Wojo began screaming like a two year old who had just been spanked, the announcers ripped Magloire. Watch the tape on youtube.com, Wojo was cast as Juliet three days later by the Drama dept. at Duke.

Most importantly, this kid is a freshman. Billy Packard doesn't know what kind of person he is, he just knows he's from Duke and Duke players don't do things like that. It would be one thing if Henderson was a junior or senior and had a body of work Packard was familiar with and could say, "Hey, I know this kid. He's a class act and wouldn't do something like this."

Beyond that, how often does a kid's nose end up looking like that at the end of a basketball game? Not often. How often does a kid's nose end up like this when there is 18 seconds left, both teams still have starters in when the game is over, and an intense rivalry has suddenly been reduced to an ass beating? Never, unless someone was trying to send a message. Coack K was sending a message, Duke was sending a message. And they look like real assholes, hopefully important people will notice.

Now for my recommended, completely absurd suggestions for sanctions and suspensions:
1. Duke should no longer be allowed to wear blue, because it is too similar to UK.
2. Coach K should be sent to Texas Tech or Temple.
3. Christian Laettner should be sacrificed to the rats in Kansas City that are eating children and putting them in the hospital.
4. Jay Williams should ... well, karma already found him.
5. Gerald Henderson should be required to transfer to UK, where he can rebuild his image and dunk on faces rather than elbow them.

March 5, 2007 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Joe B. said...

Monk Man,

Even though the other guys that read this blog may rip into you here shortly for referring to Billy Packer as Billy Packard more than once, I want you to know that you still have my respect due to your Mardi Gras post. Keep plugging away.

March 5, 2007 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

yes. thanks joe b. you are the only monk supporter out there. it, alone, allows me to sleep at night. I apologize. I meant Packer.

March 5, 2007 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Leonard Peltier said...

Natty,
In regards to your comments on Tennessee and whether the committee will consider their "entire body of work," I like to picture you on the selection committee. If your preference for certain parts of the female body translated into how you picked teams, we can all be certain that the "entire body of work" would not be considered. Instead, TN would probably be about a 12 seed. In other words, Chris Lofton is kind of like the Vols' boobs, and without the boobs, they stink. Apologies if this doesn't make sense. Just know that it does in my head.
Also, glad to see you haven't given up on your crusade to sneak a fake team into the tourney. I'm still hoping that East Montana Tech wins the Big Plains Conference tournament so they can play Central Connecticut State in a battle of the imaginaries.

March 6, 2007 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Natty Bumpo said...

Leonard,
East Montana Tech is actually a member of the Pacific Northwest Technical Institutes Alliance, a group of schools that split from the Big Plains Conference after the Great Schism of 2002. The PNTIA does not have an auto bid...yet. As for the Big Plains Conference, it's going to be Spokane A&M against Southerneastern Idaho Finishing School.

March 6, 2007 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger the butler said...

Damn, Monk...if I had known you were a UK fan I would have never even visited this site.

Kidding, kidding. I inherited Duke basketball fandom from my Grandfather, and it's more of a curse than a blessing. I was raised on it. It's harder to denounce being Catholic, I think.

I grew up in Tennessee surrounded by bandwagon Kentucky fans, so I have always hated UK and their sell-out (former) coach. No one else I knew was a Duke fan, and every time we lost in the '90s (like both times) I would hear about it from people I hadn't even met before. At one point in early Junior High School, I think I might have worn a Duke T-shirt every single damn day.

As I have grown to this ripe old wise age of 27, I have learned a couple things about my beloved Dukies-
1) Everyone HATES them
2) Everyone thinks they are given preferential treatment by the refs and media

I'm not your run-of-the-mill Duke fan. I will agree that Duke University itself and it's student body is most likely a large constituency of douchebaggery. I get it. They're dorky white people. Whatever.

Think about it, though...can anyone think of a team in any sport that is hated more than Duke? The Yankees? The Russian Hockey team? It's both insulting and a compliment at the same time.

And Duke SUCKS this year, as well. I haven't hated a Duke team this much since Cherokee Parks was a senior (the year Coach K. missed half the season) and we didn't even make the Dance.

Now I can understand (at least this season) the frustration that Carolina fans must have been feeling since 1999, watching Duke win 16 out of 20 games. It's a horrible feeling when I know Duke has no chance against a given Carolina team (like this one). It makes you just want to smack one of their best players in the mouth.

But no worries, Monk, being a Kentucky fan and having no interesting rivalry to follow, I can understand why you would be so passionate about ours.

(note: I love you guys no matter which crappy team you choose to support, and I hope we can all slam on each other in good fun.)

March 8, 2007 at 6:15 PM  

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