Friday, March 18, 2016

On Bracketology and Other Tourney Thoughts...

Random Hoops Thoughts.....

  • I used to think that nothing released more useless hot air into the atmosphere than endless discussions of the NFL Draft, but I am starting to think that that boring topic has been surpassed by discussions centering around "Bracketology", a term invented, I believe, by ESPN, to describe filling the field for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.  The discussion usually starts around Thanksgiving with endless discussions about strength of schedules, RPI, Last Four In, First Four Out, and who is or is not on The Bubble.  These conversations go on endlessly and peak on Selection Sunday when the pundits then go into a feeding frenzy ripping "the committee" for  having the temerity to include East Overshoe University in the field of 68, while at the same time having the stupidity to exclude dear old Siwash State, who had a much better RPI.  And don't even get them started on the seedings!

  • It's all very tiresome, but it mercifully comes to an end on Thursday of the first round when sixteen games are played, followed by sixteen games on Friday.  Lots of action, some exciting upsets, and lots of beer drunk in lots of sports bars all across the land. Then it's actual basketball for the next three weekends, culminating with the Championship game on Monday night, April 4.
  • But it will all start again on or about April 5 when Joe Lunardi or Doug Gottlieb or some other gasbag will issue the first projections for the Field of 68 for 2017.
  • Okay, few things are more snooze inducing than listening to someone else talk about THEIR bracket picks, so I will be brief.  My own Final Four consists of Michigan State, Kentucky, Maryland, and Baylor with Michigan State defeating Maryland in the Final.
  • Yeah, I know, Baylor lost in the first round yesterday, which probably screws up any chance I could possibly have of winning, but how could you not have been rooting for Yale in that game yesterday?
  • Of primary interest today are these games: Pitt (Only a #10 seed! Are you kidding me???) vs. Wisconsin (Will Paul Chryst be in attendance?) and West Virginia (A #3 seed! What was that Committee thinking???) vs. Stephan F. Austin. If both teams win and advance through this weekend, they will meet in a Sweet Sixteen game in the East Regional.  WVU is actually favored by many to go far in the tournament, so  wouldn't a Pitt win over WVU in that game really put a cherry on the top of what has been a rather uneven season for the Panthers?  Lots of grass to mow for both teams to get to that point, though, but we can dream can't we?
  • On the women's side of the NCAA Hoops extravaganza, congratulations to the ladies of both Duquesne University and Robert Morris University for making it to the Championship tournament this year.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that RMU will have to face the University of Connecticut in the opening round. And the game in being played in Storrs, CT. Oh, well.  Should UCONN sneak by the Lady Colonials, their next opponent will be the Duquesne, should the Lady Dukes win their first round game. Again, oh well.
  • As an RMU alum, I really wish these ladies well, but I'm a realist.  I suspect and hope that the experience of playing in the tournament against the great UCONN Dynasty will be something that will serve these young women well as they go through life, and will be an absolutely wonderful memory for them.  Same goes for the Lady Dukes.  Play well, ladies.

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