ATHLETIC SUPPORTER Just Watching The Madness Can Make GU Fans Crazy Another opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament has come and gone, four days packed wall to-wall with basketball that separate the contenders from those schools that simply showed up to put the tourney on their resumes.

And don’t I wish that Georgetown was one of those one-and-done NCAA Tournament resume teams. Beats the hell out of sitting at home watching everyone else, but that’s for another day.

As usual, there have been the requisite upsets, Cinderellas, highly ranked teams going home, and of course, Salukis. What the hell is a Saluki you ask? I not only don’t know, I don’t care. All I know is that Southern Illinois is still dancing. (And Georgetown isn’t. What’s a Hoya you ask? A fictional creature that pretends to play basketball but then turns down invitations to do so.)

But back to those that are still playing basketball. Sixteen teams are still alive and kicking, hoping to buy tickets to Atlanta (where the players play) for the Final Four.

Most of the one seeds are still alive, although Cincinnati proved that a) The Bearcats are not only bad at academics (zero percent graduation rate over a six-year stretch) they’re not that great at basketball; b) Conference USA is truly horrible (1-3 in the tournament) and anyone that calls it a major conference should have his head examined; c) And finally, UCLA might not have deserved more than an eight seed, but they definitely have top-10 talent and have a very good shot to make the Final Four – they match up very well with whoever wins the Arizona-Oklahoma game, although I still like Arizona to come out of the West.

Down South, No. 1 seed Duke has a pretty easy road to the Final Four, as much as it pains me to say that. Kent St. is fun – to root for, to watch, to make fun of for being the Golden Flashes – but I find it hard to believe they will be able to run with the big boys. Their win over Alabama was impressive, but this is basketball not football, and Alabama is a pretender out on the court.

A Duke-Pittsburgh matchup would be the most entertaining game to come out of the region. You’ve got to love watching the Devil’s fun-and-gun run up and down the floor offense against plodding, cautious, walk it up the floor and set up a play Pittsburgh. Duke would probably win, but I’d at least like to see some of the Blue Devils get tossed around a little. Okay, fine, I’d like to see all of the Blue Devils get tossed around a lot.

In the East, Maryland and Connecticut are the two obvious choices, although looking past Kentucky is dumb to quite dumb. Looking past Southern Illinois is okay, but don’t tell that to Georgia. (Boo hoo, Jim Harrick, why don’t you cry about the officiating a little bit more while you have your entire freshman class fail to qualify academically. While you’re at it, why don’t you try to get Samurai Kenny Brunner in again.)

Again, as much as I hate to say it, I like Maryland in the East. Let me rephrase that. I hate Maryland and Gary Williams wherever they are, but I think they’ll make the Final Four. They have the tools, they have the coaching and they are battle-tested (don’t let that N.C. State loss in the ACC Tournament fool you).

Finally, the Midwest, which is easy to overlook in real life, and easy to overlook in the NCAA Tournament – the Midwest is Kansas and then everybody else (in the tourney, not real life). Kansas is better than everybody else, so don’t be surprised when they beat everybody else. Texas is only alive because they had the luxury of two home games in the first two rounds of the tourney. Illinois has top-five talent, but never figured out how to put it together this year. Oregon might have won the Pac-10 regular season, but they’re a home court team – see losses to UMass and Portland. And last time I checked, Oregon wasn’t located in Wisconsin, where the Midwest regional is being played, although I could be wrong. (I have been before. Many, many times.)

So there you have it. Arizona, Duke, Maryland and Kansas will be in the Final Four. Yeah, I know, way to go out on a limb, Sean. And the Lakers will win the NBA Championship, the Yankees will be in the World Series and Georgetown will still be sitting at home, for better or worse.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.