Monday, March 21, 2005Morning Toast Returns: The Bracket Edition
So I'll break this into two parts, the first being the tournament (yeah, as if there's anything else).
-- There are upsets in the general sense, like UW-Milwaukee defeating Alabama and Boston College and then there's the true upset of Bucknell beating Kansas. Chew on this for a second, Bucknell didn't start giving scholarships away until a couple of years ago. So basically you've got a team with 50%+ non-scholarship players beating...Kansas, the school that Wilt went to.
Bucknell also came from the Patriots League, which was a perfect 0-fer in the tournament and...they only had FIVE scholarship players. They had to rent a pep band from Northern Iowa.
So my list of biggest tournament upsets:
- Weber State over North Carolina (I believe this was 1998 or 1999), either way Harold "The Show" Arceneaux single-handedly dumps a team that hadn't lost in the first round in 20 years.
- Richmond over Syracuse (1991), granted Richmond had the reputation of being a giant killer, but still the Syracuse team with Sherman Douglas and Billy Owens was pretty good.
- Princeton over UCLA (1996), most people thought Princeton would eventually get there but against the defending champions?
- Coppin St. over South Carolina (1997), another 15 over 2 matchup. South Carolina was grossly overrated but Coppin St. wasn't even on the radar.
- Bucknell over Kansas (2005), it jumps in my top five when I think that the Kansas team had players from its Final Four and Elite Eight squad on there. Just a remarkable achievement.
-- Did anyone have Florida over Villanova in the second round? It's become very clear that Billy Donovan builds his team strictly for the regular season. Temple, Michigan St., Creighton, Manhattan and now Villanova all play some sort of matchup zone that totally frustrates the process of Billyball.
-- My Final Four picks: Syracuse (gone), UConn (gone), Wake Forest (gone). So let's go Illini!
-- Louisville was a No. 4 seed, deal with it. Yes it was terrible, yes it was vastly unfair but how much does it really matter? Everyone has to beat the same teams to win the title eventually. Once we get to this stage it really doesn't matter.
-- Mike Gansey's OT performance Saturday might have surpassed Jeff Frier's (Loyola Marymount) shooting exhibition against Michigan in 1990 for the most dynamic offensive performance I've seen.
-- Oklahoma St.-Arizona and Washington-Louisville will be must-see TV this week.
-- Now a revised ROT (rest of tournament) predictions:
Elite Eight: Illinois, Oklahoma St., Louisville, W. Virginia, UNC, N.C. State, Duke, Utah.
Final Four: Illinois, Louisville, UNC, Utah.
Last Two: Louisville, UNC.
Winner: Louisville. Sorry I just can't go for Roy Williams. He'll screw up, he always does.