Sunday, March 16, 2008
We're Down to Just Our Socks...
And you know what that means…It’s business time. After a third straight incredible Big XII championship between the two schools that are clearly the class of the conference, we have officially entered what Bill Self likes to call the third season. He’s mastered seasons 1 and 2 – here’s to hoping he can add the 3rd to his repertoire over the next few weeks.
As for the Kansas draw, I like it. Not as much as I like UCLA’s, but it’s plenty manageable all the same. For those of you mysteriously unaware, the region looks like this at the top:
I’m not really sure who scares me the most on that list. Each of them is plenty capable of knocking off the Hawks, but I don’t think there’s much denying that Kansas is clearly better than all of them either. This was not the case last year when they had to venture out to Anaheim to play UCLA. You can’t ask for anything more than that, I guess.
As for the bottom of the bracket, how about the 11/6 match up of KSU and USC? You don’t think a Beasley/Mayo pitch may have played a part there, do you? Me neither. The real question is how does KSU as an 11 seed get to play in Omaha, where they’ll clearly have the advantage over the Trojans in the 1st round and if they were to win over either Wisconsin or Fullerton? Very interesting. By the way, not that he’ll get the chance, but could Beasley outscore Wisconsin if they played?
As for the other regions, UCLA has an absolute cakewalk. Texas got exactly what they wanted by being the 2 and able to play in Houston. And the east is damn tough at the top with UNC, Tennessee and Louisville representing the top 3 lines. Here’s the snapshot:
4. Washington State
2. Duke (Ha, what a crock!)
I’m not sure where I’m at with those regions just yet. If I were going straight off whom I thought was best, I’d say UNC, UT and UCLA. But part of me thinks Stanford is a tough match-up for Texas and that UNC has a slip-up somewhere in there. I could really see someone like Wazzu with their defense and slow down style presenting a pretty big problem for them if they happen to meet in the sweet sixteen.
Now, for a little Big 12 recap. As expected, 6 teams did make it in, though Baylor and KSU cut it a little close with their early losses in KC this weekend.
1. Kansas (Midwest) – Addressed above. No complaints. Since I don't have anywhere else to put this, it's going here. How incredible was their ball movement today? 25 assists on 26 field goals...
2. Texas (South) – Have to love their geography and their chances against Memphis (or Pitt) if they can get by Stanford.
6.Oklahoma (East) – How did this happen? How mad are you if you’re Butler (29-3) and get placed as the 7 in this region and have to face South Alabama (in Birmingham) in the first round, followed by Tennessee? Then again, OU has to play St. Joe’s and probably Louisville, so they don’t have it too easy either.
9. Texas A&M (West) – They can thank their performance at the Sprint Center for this seed. They have a tough one against BYU to start and then get UCLA next, so I don’t see them sticking around too long though.
11. KSU (Midwest) – Again, I think they caught a nice break getting to play in Omaha. I don’t see them beating USC, but I’ve said all along, you can’t predict what you’re going to get from them. 1) Obviously Beasley can take over at any time. 2) You never know whether Walker is going to play like a lotto pick or wet himself.
11. Baylor (West) – Congrats to the Bears. And shame on CBS for making them wait until the last spot announced. Their match up with Purdue is a tough pick. On the one hand, I love their guard play, which we know is invaluable in the first two rounds. But Purdue is pretty disciplined and outside of the Big 1 tourney, hasn’t been losing too many that they shouldn’t. If they do get by them though, I love their chances against either Xavier or Georgia.
That’s all for now, but we’ll be back prior to Thursday with some thoughts on Portland State and other possible opponents. Rock Chalk!
*Post-edit* I'll link to this later as well, because it's too good to be hidden here at the bottom of a day old post. But it's brilliance is plenty worthy of multiple posts. I give you... Billy Packer's Dickipedia page.