Posts Tagged ‘Ohio State’

The first weekend of March Madness is over and Kansas still looks good but Ohio State is making believers out of a lot of us. We also learned, as I told you last time, Big Ten basketball doesn’t translate into the tournament and the Big East might have been overrated. Well, not might have been, they were overrated. Also, let’s not forget that Jimmermania is still alive and well.

It wasn’t a good year to be a six seed. Three of the four six seeds lost. Cincinnati was the only six seed to make it the second round. The Southwest bracket has to be in tatters for everyone. The ten seed Florida State, eleven seed VCU, twelve seed Richmond and thirteen seed Morehead State all won in that region. Louisville wasn’t able to get past Morehead State but at least Rick Pitino landed on his feet. He was in the studio for CBS before the weekend was over.

Pitino made lemons out of lemonade but Bruce Pearl fared much worse. After Tennessee failed to show up for the Michigan game and lost by thirty points so the Volunteers brass decided enough was enough. Pearl was in hot water from the beginning of the season so now was as good a time to cut ties with him. Maybe he and his colorful suits can land at a school where recruiting infractions aren’t frowned upon. USC would be a good fit if they decide to show their coach the door.

Who cares about rules?

Last week I questioned if Notre Dame deserved a two seed, they didn’t. I also questioned why Texas was a four seed. Maybe that wasn’t a bad spot for them because they obviously weren’t ready for the big time. The Big Ten had seven teams at the start of the tournament and two rounds later they have two. Purdue couldn’t hang with VCU so now Kansas looks to have an easier time to the Final Four. The Big East had eleven teams on Thursday and now they have just two. Pitt decided to give the game away against Butler so now Florida has an easier path to the Final Four. Maybe those conferences were overinflated and probably should have had fewer teams in the tournament. Of course it’s hindsight but how did Colorado and Alabama not make this tournament? They couldn’t have done worse than the bottom teams in those conferences.

Jimmer Fredette and BYU are into the Sweet Sixteen so look for another weekend of his mug being everywhere. He leads the tournament in scoring at 33 points a game. Did you expect anything less from him? Jimmermania lives!!! The BYU – Florida matchup in the Southeast region is probably one of the most anticipated games. The winner should be able to parlay that momentum into winning the next game and a potential date with Kansas.

Jimmer Madness

I doubted Ohio State before the tournament but they have raised some eyebrows. I still don’t think they’ll make the Final Four but they are better than I thought. Pitt beat Ohio State to be the first one seed to fall. Obama’s Final Four is already busted. Ohio State meets Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen. John Calipari has Kentucky playing well at the right time. They looked a bit shaky in early February, losing three out of four, but it only matters how you’re playing now.

Kansas was my favorite before the Tournament and I haven’t seen anything that changes my mind. It helps that ten seed Florida State is the highest seed remaining in the Southwest. The Morris twins are averaging a combined 36 points a game to go with 20.5 rebounds per game. Impressive.

Kansas' keys to success

I was able to catch the games on Armed Forces Network but I got some crappy broadcasters and they never changed away from the blowout games. Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel were calling the St. Peter’s – Purdue game and then the Georgetown – VCU game. They were terrible. I didn’t get any excitement from them. I know the Purdue game was a blowout but Speros and Wenzel couldn’t save it. The TNT crew just didn’t work for me. Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley are great on NBA but they’re not college guys. Although, Charles Barkley had a pretty good blast when he called the Big East, “the Big Least”. Steve Smith, Tom Crean, Seth Davis and Greg Anthony were great in the studio but they really should’ve found some room for Jay Bilas. He’s the best college hoops analyst and he’s not involved in the telecasts, that’s a shame.

CBS couldn't find a place for this guy?

Advertisements

March Madness is upon us and, for some strange reason, I’m more excited about it than I was last year. Maybe the fact that North Carolina is in it this year has gotten my juices flowing or maybe it has something to do with Jimmermania. Who knows?

What I do know is that it’s absolutely ridiculous to have play-in games for the 11 seed in the Southwest region and the 12 seed in the East region. Who thought this was a good idea? So let me get this straight, UAB was good enough to play for the right to be the 12th seed against Clemson but since they lost, they are completely out of the tournament? They were good enough to play for a 12th seed but not good enough to be a 13, 14, 15 or even a 16th seed? So, the Conference USA regular season champion (UAB) isn’t good enough to be in the tournament but the fourth place team (Memphis) is good enough to be a 12th seed? How does that work? I can see the play-in game for the 16th seed being that way but if you’re playing for a seed higher than 16, you should be good enough for the lower seed if you lose. I guess logic went out the window when the NCAA was thinking about how to add more games to the Tournament and how to make more money from it. Plus, how does the losing team not go to the NIT? I forgot, it’s the NIT and nobody really cares.

I’m not gonna break down the regions because that’s boring and no one really knows what’s gonna happen until it happens. Brackets will be busted by the weekend, count on it. If you’re like me, you usually have a good Thursday but Friday kills you. Thursday goes something like 14-2 but Friday you go 10-6, 9-7 or the dreaded 8-8.

Just looking at the bracket, I’m trying to figure out why Notre Dame is a 2nd seed. Yes, they had a great year but are they better than Texas who somehow fell to a 4 seed? Am I supposed to buy that the Big East is tougher than the Big 12?

Wisconsin is the only Big Ten team that’s a legit threat in this tournament. Big Ten basketball doesn’t translate to the tournament unless you have a highly talented Michigan State team with the coaching ability of Tom Izzo. MSU has Izzo but the horses aren’t there. Ohio State will be the first #1 seed to fall. They don’t get past West Virginia. Wisconsin has a great D but they can’t afford to get behind. The Badgers aren’t made to play up-tempo and defense at the same time.

I’m not buying Kansas State to do anything. Good luck against Wisconsin in round 2. I’m also not buying St. John’s to scare anyone in the tournament. They might get past a weak Gonzaga team in round one but not BYU in round 2.

This brings me to Jimmermania. I hope everyone is ready to have Jimmer Fredette of BYU shoved down their throats. You know it’s coming. The kid can play but is he the second coming of (insert the best white player ever in college basketball)? Too bad Billy Packer isn’t doing games anymore because you just know he would be all over this kid. Remember the 2000 Tournament? Packer was head over heels in love with Mateen Cleaves. It was embarrassing. I don’t think we’ll ever see man-love like that anytime soon.

Do you know this guy? Don't worry, CBS will get you up to speed

Maybe Jimmermania won’t make it past the Sweet Sixteen. BYU would most likely meet Florida there. Plus, The Bearded One doesn’t think BYU is all that. He told me earlier in the week, “They don’t scare me. They got their shit kicked in by San Diego State in the Mountain West Final.” Word!

The 5-12 matchup in the West regional between Arizona (5) and Memphis (12) should be a good one. Good luck to Memphis. It would be nice to see them in their first Final Four since 1973. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I’m a Tiger fan, this is the same Memphis team that got hammered by UTEP 74-47 in late February and they’re young. Maybe next year.

So, who wins the whole thing? Unless someone can tell me why they shouldn’t win, Kansas has to be the favorite to cut down the nets in Houston on April 4th. The Jayhawks are 1st in the nation in field goal percentage and 5th in points per game. Their two losses came in conference play to Texas and Kansas State. Notre Dame can’t beat them if the seeds held until the Southwest final. Pittsburgh would play them tough if they met in the Final Four. Nobody from the East region scares me. Duke and San Diego State don’t have enough to beat the Jayhawks if they met in the Final.

Who's better?

The announcer pairings are out and I’m looking forward to Gus Johnson/Len Elmore, Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery and Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg. I don’t think the addition of the TNT NBA group adds anything to the announcing mix.

We all win

The one thing I hope happens, besides Michigan losing to Tennessee in round one, is that they’ll bring back the Luther Vandross version of One Shining Moment. The Jennifer Hudson version they did last year was terrible.

See you after the first weekend.

Rich Rodriguez was shown the door by Michigan after three very un-Michigan seasons.  A win in the Gator Bowl might have saved his job but, sadly for him, it didn’t happen.  Instead, the 52-14 loss to Mississippi State highlighted the terrible, young Michigan defense.  The 52 points given up by the Wolverines were the most ever for a Michigan opponent in a bowl game and the 38 point loss margin was also their worse bowl defeat.  Rich Rod was already teetering after the 37-7 drubbing at the hands of Ohio State in the regular season finale and the Gator Bowl performance probably made the Michigan AD’s decision a lot easier.

You're not from around here are you?

Rodriguez went 15-22 in his three seasons at Michigan.  The Wolverines didn’t make it to a bowl game his first two seasons.  Rich Rod went 0-6 against their biggest rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State. Ryan Mallet transferred as soon as Rodriguez took over for Lloyd Carr because the spread offense wasn’t his style. Justin Boren transferred to Ohio State because Rich Rodriguez and his staff didn’t make the team feel like a family, like Carr did. The football team was placed on probation for the first time in its history under Rodriguez. Rich Rod only recruited one 5-star recruit during his tenure at Michigan.

Those all sound like good reasons to fire Rodriguez but the worst thing about Rich Rod, and the easiest reason for the AD, was that he’s wasn’t “a Michigan man”.  I don’t think people outside of Michigan realize how much being “a Michigan man” means to the sheep in Ann Arbor. I believe that if a Bo Schembechler or Lloyd Carr disciple were at the helm during this period, he’d still be around.  Speaking of Schembechler and being “a Michigan man”, remember the 1989 NCAA Tournament? Then coach, Bill Frieder decided to take the Arizona State job right before the tournament. Frieder was supposed to finish out the season and then join Sun Devils. Then AD, Bo Schembechler didn’t take too kindly to that and fired Frieder on the spot and installed assistant Steve Fisher.  Schembechler said, “a Michigan man is going to coach a Michigan team”, and the fans in Ann Arbor ate it up.  Being “a Michigan man” is huge to Wolverine fans, especially in football.

Schembechler: The Patron Saint of Ann Arbor

What will become of Michigan now? Denard Robinson has been coy when asked if he’d return after Rodriguez was fired? Will Michigan look for a coach that runs the spread offense Rich Rod brought in or will they look for a coach that brings back the glory of three yards and a cloud of dust that was a staple in the good ol’ days of Wolverine football? Robinson is made for the spread offense. He might not be a good fit in a drop back passing scheme. Some names being thrown around are Jim Harbaugh (Stanford), Les Miles (LSU) and Brady Hoke (San Diego State). Harbaugh is “a Michigan man” but the NFL is going after him. Why would Les Miles, another “Michigan man”, leave LSU to take over a mess of a program like Michigan? Miles was Michigan’s first choice before they hired Rich Rod.

Whoever they get, this defense isn’t getting any better in one year.  This team is years away from being back.  What kind of recruits can Brady Hoke pull that Rodriguez couldn’t? Tate Forcier could take over if Robinson decides to go so that’s not that big of a deal. Plus, let’s not get too excited about Denard Robinson. He’s got talent but he’s a slightly better version of Woodrow Dantzler from Clemson. Who worked with Dantzler at Clemson? Rich Rodriguez. Rich Rod will be back on his feet before Michigan is relevant again. I don’t know why Pitt hasn’t snapped him up already. Rodriguez can coach. He just had a bad run in Ann Arbor. Good luck in your future endeavors Rich Rod.

 

God, I hate Michigan football!

Too Bad, It's Over!

Now that the Olympics are over it is time for me to officially start my commentary on the NCAA basketball season. In our group it has been discussed that there is not a clear cut group of number ones and even more so, number twos. Based on the rankings right now (which seeding is not based on), Ohio State would get a 2 seed with 7 losses, that’s right seven, and West Virginia would get the final one with 6 losses. Really? There’s something for The Blasian to write about right there.  Ohio State lost to North Carolina, Minnesota, and Michigan (plus their quality losses). Wow they deserve to be in the top 10 like I need to be treated for anorexia.

This season does not make sense, pre-season we had Kansas at one (ok they are still around there) and Texas and Michigan State at two depending on the poll. Texas fell apart! 17-0 and since? 6-7.

Michigan State  at 22-7 also lost to North Carolina to add to their 16-14 record, apparently they had two quality wins out of their 16. I will take them over the Buckeyes in the rematch.  But that’s the Big 10.

Pac 10? Are you out there? There is a chance that everyone in the conference could have double digit losses. A stretch maybe, but still a possibility. I guess Cal gets in, but it depends on who wins the PAC 10 Tournament, they might only get two teams in.  Is this really the conference that has: Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, and USC?

Count on him down the Stretch!

SEC basketball is back, kind of, not really, but they have Kentucky and Tennessee. Do not count on Kentucky when it matters though, I mean they have Calipari, the worse close game coach around. He called a timeout the other day giving the opposing team a chance for a shot to tie or win. Afterwards, Calipari said “It’s the dumbest Timeout, I have ever called!” (True) but what about timeouts you haven’t called  JOHN?!? He’s bad on both sides of the decision making.

Now I am not going to fill out a bracket and post it on Reverse Oreo. Come on, some secretary is going to fill out a bracket based on colors and mascots and get 75% correct.  So I am going to take my likely final four, before the bracket is out and after its out.

Pre-Bracket Final Four

Kentucky – out in the final four because of Calipari

Syracuse- They have been pretty consistent

Kansas- They have two big games to wrap up the season before the Big 12 tourney (KSU and @ Mizzou).

Michigan State- They are mature and the held Purdue to 44 pts over the weekend

All I care to remember from the KBL

Korean Basketball:  We have talked about how terrible KBL guard play and wondered out loud why they haven’t brought over a foreign player to run the show. This is further confused by the history of the league that once banned foreigners over the height of 6’8″, which has since been abolished. Yet they have never shown an interest in guards from outside Korea. Still a foreign concept here, and I am left more confused after watching the daily games.

I leave you with this video, enjoy

Salute

The Bearded Guy