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Monday, March 13, 2006

The Greatest Time

"Hersey Hawkins, you want a piece of me?"

This is the greatest time of the year, and there's nothing you can do about it. It's NCAA tournament time, and let's start this week with some observations about college basketball you might find useful when filling out your brackets, if that's something you do:

1) Oklahoma sucks -- but so do Wisconsin, Alabama, Indiana, NC State, Airforce, UAB, Arizona, Arkansas, Bradley, Sucknell, Georgetown, etc. In fact, far more teams in this tournament suck than ever before. This will make picking brackets difficult, if not impossible. Which is why you might want to consider alternative methods of filling them out this year, such as a Psychic Detective or Just Guessing. There is no way --NO WAY -- to predict who's going to show up in 90% of these games. There will be upsets galore, although is it really an upset if the favorite isn't any good?

2) Because of this general suckiness, it's ridiculous for Billy Packer and Jim Nantz to get all mad (as they did last night) about a mid-major conference getting 4 bids, as many as the ACC. First of all, the selection committee isn't saying that the conferences are equal, merely that they each have 4 teams that belong in the field. I heard that putz Nantz on a radio program later talking about how the RPI (the Ratings Percentage Index, one of the tools the committee uses to choose teams) needs to be seriously looked at. He sounded like he was on Maryland's payroll, actually. Now I agree that Bradley shouldn't have gotten in the tournament because they haven't beaten anybody, but of course they've beaten other Missoury Valley Conference teams.

Fact: It's impossible to sort through all the teams on the "bubble" through normal means, so they need a system or tool that makes sense out of it all. The RPI does that, and does not lie, unlike you. I think Nantz believes the RPI is weighted towards smaller schools, which is absurd and evidence of his own bias. Maybe Nantz should do a little more investigation next time into why the RPI said what it said. Maybe he should look deep inside and consider for a second Florida State's own suckiness before he spouts off about the travesty that is Bradley. I don't have time or energy to defeat his arguments today, but I will tell you that he is very wrong, and possibly an outrage.

3) Having explained that general badness means impossible picking, I will not give you my Final Four (especially since a good number of you will be in my pool, and I don't want to be giving you big hints). Instead, I will give you some things to look out for:

a) Billy Packer and his snarling attack dog Jim Nantz will be magnanimous and will fall all over themselves to worship Duke. In fact, their Duke-worship may surpass Dick Vitale's this year. Keep an eye on this.

b) The Big East has 8 teams, and as such, will be in 1/4 of the first round games. They had an awesome league this year, and the Gang of Eight will probably play very tough.

c) I love this tournament.

I hope that helps you a little. I know I'm concerned about picking these brackets -- I think I'll have my dog Allie do it for me, just to see if she can make heads or tails of all these bad teams. Come here, Allie, and look at this mess. Lick the teams you like. Oh, wait -- I'm at work, and that's me licking the paper...


  • At 8:51 AM, Blogger Mark said…

    Mike - went to your blog today. Saw Milwaukee Lutheran lose last week in the regionals. Good game and good team.

    You should have got my piks; wished I would have read your comments before I picked.

  • At 12:31 PM, Blogger Bearded One said…

    Dude. What's with the Bradley hate? Go Fighting Squirrels! Or are they Bobcats? Or still the Braves? It's been a while since I've paid attention...


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