I’m back to review the not-so accurate picks for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds and then preview the unique Final 4 that remain in the NCAA Tournament. My previous picks were not so hot except for one team, the Green and White of Michigan State. I don’t know who could have
I predicted the farmers of Northern Iowa had already blown their load on Kansas and I was correct. If it’s not one player stepping it up it’s another for Michigan State right now. In the other game, Bruce Pearl got his boys to a place they had never been before, a spot in the Elite 8. They sent Even Turner packing for the NBA early. I thought the Buckeyes had one more win in them but I was wrong. Rocky top became Rocky Bottom on Sunday as Tennessee met a team no one wants to face in the tournament Michigan State to go to the Final Four. As I predicted, Michigan State sent Tennessee back home just as their women’s team was done a few days earlier. Draymond Green did his best Erving “Magic” Johnson impression in lumbering down the court and slipping a perfect pass to Raymar Morgan for the final points to win. Michigan State moved on to become one of the only schools ever to go to 6 Final Fours in 12yrs.
My picks for the West were pretty much crap as nearly all of them were wrong. Jim Boeheim’s teaching must be getting outdated as they fell to Butler. The Xavier vs. Kansas St. game was absolutely amazing. Those guys were shooting the lights out and I really thought Jordan Crawford and Holloway were gonna pull it off but Frank Martin’s very inspiring halftime speech (“You cannot play this way at this time of the year. That is silly, selfish and silly! Do it right!”) must have just been too much for Xavier. Here is a link to the video. This is hilarious. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvhgR6YtcPo# Kansas State moved on to play Butler in a battle of the unexpected to go to the Final Four. Frank Martin’s pregame speech must not have been as amusing on Saturday as Butler showed that they wanted to play in the Final Four in their home city of Indianapolis.
Duke proved me wrong in the South as they beat a shorthanded Purdue team. In the other matchup Baylor surprised me as they dismantled St. Mary’s. Lacedarius Dunn and Quincy Acy dribbled circles around the Gales and put Waco back on the map. Duke was too much for Baylor in the next game as they pulled away late in the second half by hitting the boards. To my dismay, Duke returns to the Final Four once again under Coach K. Hopefully the “K” will stand for strike out this year in the next round.
Mighty Kentucky rolled over the smart kids from Cornell showing that smarts only go so far in basketball. It was a good run from the “totally transfers” team from Cornell. Kentucky looked unstoppable again in this one. Washington on the other hand did not look unstoppable in their game against West Virginia. Coming off nearly the perfect game against New Mexico the young Dawgs from UW looked like frazzled pups. West Virginia next faced Kentucky in what was thought to be an instant classic. What it became was a ton of bricks from 3-pt land from Kentucky and a clinic from West Virginia. West Virginia is looking good and they may even have their point guard back in the next game.
The Final Four is set and here are my predictions. Butler is playing a home game against Michigan State in Indianapolis but Michigan State is unstoppable in Indianapolis. Also, you give Tom Izzo 5 days to prepare for a team in the tournament and you are pretty much screwed. The guys who were thought to be superstars for Michigan State are finally fulfilling those roles and I say this continues. I choose Sparty over the Bulldogs in a close one.
The other matchup is a bit tougher to predict. West Virginia is hot and may be peaking just at the right time. However, Duke has history of winning in the tourney. This year, it seems to be a funky tournament so I am going to go with the Mountaineers over the Blue Devils. I say Deshawn Butler takes that blue pitchfork of the Blue Devil and hits a dagger at the buzzer to strikeout Coach K.
Now, this brings us to the “One Shining Moment.” All the stars from the 2000 Championship team will come out and Michigan State will confirm their domination of Indy. Maybe Kalin Lucas can even pull a Mateen Cleaves and come from the locker room in a walking boot and lead the Spartans to the victory. West Virginia will give them a run but I think Michigan State is a team on a mission. Draymond Green is too much like “Magic” for them not to win it. Also, I have learned my lesson to not pick against my school. Go Green! Go White! Go State!!!