NCAA tourney week open thread

Submitted by ijohnb on March 18th, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I guess for all random NCAA tourney discussion/observations that don't come close to warranting their own thread.  I know I will spend a good deal of this week with these thoughts etc., so why not have a place to discuss it on the blog if you please. 

A couple to start.  I think SDSU has yellow road uniforms.  I think that means we are in whites.  I hate the whites.  Boooo.

Any word from anywhere as to whether Tim Hardaway's ankle is attached and functional.  I was surprised that he returned to that game and was wondering if the rumor mill had issued any word on his status.

I like Staee out of the Midwest.  I think they will hulk-smash both Memphis and Duke (if Duke gets by Cinci-not a given) with size, muscle, and neck flagrants.  I also think they benefit from having played Louisville last year and match up well with the Cardinals.  I know I know, I hate Spartan fever in Michigan during March as much as the next guy, but I like their prospects with that draw.

 

Comments

joeyb

March 18th, 2013 at 2:03 PM ^

I kind of feel the same way, however, I don't ever think a team is a lock. OSU has an easy bracket, but my number crunching has convinced me OSU will lose somewhere before the Final 4. At the same time, my nubmer crunching shows Indiana losing before the Final 4, but I'm pushing them through.

bacon1431

March 18th, 2013 at 11:22 AM ^

I am nervous for the week. The last two years, my coin flip bracket has correctly predicted the round and opponent that Michigan has bowed out to. This year in mine, South Dakota St made it to the Finals. Very nervous.

As for the actual tournament, I think alot of the Big Ten teams got good draws. MSU should cakewalk to the Sweet 16 IMO and I don't think Duke or Louisville are invincible, though it's a tough region. OSU should make the Final Four. Wisconsin could get to the Elite 8 or further. Indiana shouldn't have a tough time until the regionals, and I wouldn't be surprised if we made a run. Even Illinois and Minnesota wouldn't shock me if they pulled some upsets.

ijohnb

March 18th, 2013 at 11:22 AM ^

that a lot of the paranoia right now is due to getting dropped to the 4 spot.  No question that amounted to a vote of no-confidence from the committee.  If anything, the loss last year can show the team and the fanbase how fragile things are this time of year and that nothing can be taken for granted.

EricTheActor

March 18th, 2013 at 12:54 PM ^

I think the paranoia is due to the way this team has played over the last month or so. While most of the other "top" teams have gone through a stretch of shitty play, they have come out of their funk. M, however, not so much. The effort against IU last week was great but the looked uninspired against PSU and did not show up against wisky.

ijohnb

March 18th, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

people are making a little too much out of the way Michigan played in the Big Ten Tournament.  Aside from the Penn State loss, Michigan closed by beating Illinois, a 7 seed, Staee, a 3 seed, won a tough road game, lost a heartbreaker to Indiana, avenged Penn State by 20, and lost a tough one to Wisky, a 5 seed that almost won the entire tournament.  There are certainly concerns, but this team still has a lot to like.

Needs

March 18th, 2013 at 2:56 PM ^

I can talk myself into Michigan making a long tourney run....

We looked improved against Indiana and took care of business against Penn State. We got caught by the Bo Ryan slow-down machine, but that's a team seemingly designed to defeat Belein's 3-intensive strategy (and at least we haven't lost 12 straight to them). And we're now actually going to see fouls called on players impeding our ball-handlers, so Burke and Hardaway should be that much more efficient.

Kenpom says we match up well against SD St. VCU struggles against teams that don't turn the ball over, and we don't. Kansas has proven that their shooting will abandon them and that they can lose to literally anyone with their loss to TCU (and we'd be playing them in a cavernous dome, making shooting that much more difficult). I'm not convinced Florida's going to make it past their first close game, as they haven't won one all year. G'town is good but we have more weapons. No one else on that side of the bracket scares me. 

 

That said, I can also talk myself into a rain of 3's against SDSt and an early exit. Right now, I'm predicting Sweet 16, which is a step but still depressing.

TXmaizeNblue

March 18th, 2013 at 9:35 PM ^

Do you realize that the same things could said for over half the teams in the tournament? Michigan did not improve down the stretch - nor matter how much frosting you try to throw on top. That IS and OUGHT TO BE concerning as a fan or alum.

jmblue

March 18th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

No question that amounted to a vote of no-confidence from the committee.

Not necessarily. The committee will often give a team a lower-than-expected seed but a better location/draw, especially when it wants to spread out teams from one conference.

readyourguard

March 18th, 2013 at 11:21 AM ^

I have Sparty losing to Valpo. If they happen to win that, I have them losing to Memphis. If not then, then the next round, or the next, and finally, I have them losing to us in the Finals.

Butterfield

March 18th, 2013 at 11:33 AM ^

My request for a vacation day on Thursday was approved by the boss, so I'm looking forward to a long day on the coucn.  Although......maybe I'll get a spur in my ass I and just decide to make the drive from Phoenix to Vegas this weekend. 

I love this sporting event.  It's a rare event that I can enjoy even if my favorite team is not involved, and the first weekend is just so damn jam packed with action.  Thursday can't get here fast enough. 

TXmaizeNblue

March 18th, 2013 at 11:47 AM ^

will be lucky to even see Kansas.  IF they can manage to beat the Jackrabbits, VCU will likely knock them out because they play great defense - that will focus on shutting down a massively one-dimensional team.  

joeyb

March 18th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

I think they added the first 4 so that they could accomodate more conference champions without removing spots for teams on the bubble. What I heard is that they aren't going to accomodate the Big East split. Since they aren't going to accomodate all conference champions now, I would have to agree that removing the first round would be the best thing they could do for the tournament.

JHendo

March 18th, 2013 at 12:10 PM ^

It's heresy, I know, but I think VCU has a pretty nice draw to make it out of the south. Past that, Minny absolutely has the potential to be a giant killer and play much better than their 11 seed suggests. Would not be surprised if they make it out that region as long as they don't have to go through us.

His Dudeness

March 18th, 2013 at 12:21 PM ^

I hate the whites too. They make me look very Magnus. I like the blues a lot better. Very slimming.

Louisville is actually really good, man. I know, obvs things are obvs, but seriously they have a top teir upper classman PG, a scoring machine SG (who can drive you crazy with his shoot shoot shoot shoot KOBE mentality) and they have what seems to be a large man creation machine. Every time they need a big Patino just creates one. That Harrel kid is a freshman and is a monster and wasn't even getting any play earlier this year. When he first came into a game I was all "WTF who is that massive human?"

Louisville bigs: Gorgi, Bahanan, Harrel, Vantreese and I think they have another who is actually pretty good too. They have the size and depth to run over MSU. I live in the Ville thus I have watched this team a ton. I wish they wouldn't do the stupid full court press but it's Patinos thing and it got him to where he is and he won't drop it, but whatever. If Russ Smith goes all KOBE or Siva shrinks in the moment (which he still does sometimes even as a SR) they could lose, otherwise they are my fav to win it all.

Again I know, obvs things are obvs.

M-Wolverine

March 18th, 2013 at 12:34 PM ^

I don't know that obvious is always so obvious.  Some have MSU coming out of that bracket. I think that's crazy. Beyond your in-depth examples of why Louisville is, like, really good (sigh...darn you Pitino's wife liking Kentucky), I think people are sleeping on Duke. In any other region I'd probably have them in the Final Four. They're back at full strength and looking fearsome lately. That bracket is just really tough.

Which makes my strategy vs. talent really go up against each other this year, because I like to go with who most plausbily get there to win (because if you have a better chance to lose early, your odds of winning it aren't great), but I can't really pick Ohio State over Louisville to win it even if the Buckeyes got the cake region.  And Indiana winning 6 in a row doesn't really excite me either. So I guess it's Louisville, even though everyone will pick them and their region is brutal.