Archive for March 16th, 2009


Well, it’s officially here — March Madness.  The field of 64 was unveiled yesterday, and this year is going to be extremely difficult to pick.  Last year, all four #1 seeds went to the final four, but this year all but one of the #1 seeds lost in their conference tournaments.  Basically, every team this year is fallible, and you shouldn’t feel comfortable picking ANYBODY to win it all.

In the Midwest, the #1 seed belongs to Louisville, the only team to win its conference championship.  The experts say that out of all the regions, Louisville has the easiest path to the Final Four.  However, a surging Michigan State lingers down in the #2 spot, as are the #3 Kansas Jayhawks, last year’s defending champs.  Sure, they’re not the same team, but that team is well coached by Bill Self, and do have some remnants of last year’s championship team.  You can see why this is a tough region to pick.

In the West, the #1 seed goes to UCONN — a team that was fantastic all season, but slipped over the past week, losing to Pitt and getting upset in the conference tournament in a 6OT game against Syracuse.  However, UCONN is a very well rounded team, and has Hasheem Thabeet, a 7’2 defensive powerhouse in the middle.  Come tourney time, it’s defense that gets you to the next round, and UCONN has some of the best defense in the league.  They might be the pick in this round.  However, beware of #2 seed Memphis, a team who feels they deserved a #1 seed.  That kind of slight can motivate the heck out of a team, and we could see those two teams facing off in the Elite 8.

In the East, Pitt gets the top spot.  Pitt looked good down the stretch, beating UCONN as mentioned above.  However, the knock against Pitt… they’re a one-man team behind forward DeJuan Blair.  If he gets into foul trouble, they’re not the same team.  They might be an early out.  But down at the #2 spot:  Duke.  Duke struggled earlier in the season, but they just won the ACC tournament, and have been on fire lately.  Oddly enough, they might be an underdog pick this year to win it all.  They are playing very well right now, and have some chemistry from last year as well led by Gerald Henderson.  Look to them to possibly come out of this division.

Finally, in the South — North Carolina takes the #1 seed.  UNC has basically the same team in place as last season, led by their senior Tyler Hansborough and point guard Ty Lawson.  These guys have the experience and the coaching (Roy Williams) to win this whole thing.  They know how play under stressful situations, and have something to prove after being upset by Kansas in last year’s final four.  Then again, Oklahoma is the #2 seed in this region, and they play host to the best player in college basketball — Blake Griffin.  He can totally take over a game, and could give us a Carmelo Anthony type tournament performance and win this whole thing with ease.  For those who don’t remember, Carmelo Anthony led a #3 seed Syracuse to a championship in 2003 as if he was a man playing against boys.  Griffin has that same ability.

It’s going to be a very exciting and unpredictable tournament.

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