From The Vaults

Important Things

Wow. I got a few comments about Ferraro and Obama. Thanks; I like reading (and responding to) those reactions, even though it does make me a bit nervous about my solipsistic universe here, invaded only on a semi-regular basis by that old cliché, the Swedish nihilist.

Anyway, on to more important things: my picks for the Final Four. This will be mercifully brief, and almost certainly wrong. A pick for each region, with some comments.

East: North Carolina.

North Carolina will play in front of supportive home crowds until they reach the Final Four. I think Tennessee is a bit too streaky and inconsistent, and the only other team that could beat UNC in this bracket is Louisville. And they won’t. UNC beats UT to move on. (Upset picks here: Winthrop beats Washington State, Saint Joseph’s beats Oklahoma.)

Midwest: Kansas

A lot of experts are picking Georgetown to come out of this bracket. They might well be right. Kansas sometimes has an off-night, which can certainly be a bad idea in a single-elimination tournament. But I think if they are playing their usual game, they can neutralize, or minimize, Hibbert, and their depth will drag down Georgetown in the second half. If they play like they did against Texas in the Big 12 Final, no one beats this team. Plus, my heart is with the Jayhawks. (Upset picks here: Villanova beats Vanderbilt, USC beats Wisconsin.)

South: Texas

I think this is the hardest bracket for any #1 seed. As noted above, I glanced (albeit briefly) at some of the “experts'” picks on this; in this case, I agree with most of them. I couldn’t figure a way that Texas doesn’t come out of this region. Along with a lot of people, I think Memphis pays the price for not playing in a very tough conference, and not being able to make free throws. I could see Pitt going far, but unless Augustine and Abrams have off nights, I just don’t see anyone beating Texas in this region. (Upset picks here: Kentucky beats Marquette, Kentucky beats Stanford, Michigan State beats Memphis.)

West: not-UCLA

Everyone, and I mean everyone, is picking UCLA. I hate UCLA. I also think they are overrated, and had some pretty good luck in winning the Pac 10 Tournament. I think one good thing about the NCAA tournament is that a team’s luck will run out. Maybe they are that good, and certainly Love presents problems for all teams. I did three brackets and ended up with three different teams. All, obviously, are upset picks. Western Kentucky (that would be historically shocking), Connecticut (also a huge upset), and Duke. I hate Duke, so I just thought it wouldn’t be that unusual for the agony of watching them do well to continue awhile. This whole bracket comes with upsets, obviously, with the three teams just mentioned knocking of the Bruins.

Kansas over North Carolina (take that, Roy)
Texas over not-UCLA

Kansas over Texas

A thrilling repeat of the Big 12 final, with lots of comparisons to the 1988 Danny Manning-led Jayhawks improbable national championship, over a team also from the same conference, Oklahoma. (Does anyone remember Stacey King?)

The only caveat I might mention here is that this is almost all certainly wrong. If I were betting, I would take my picks and bet against them, given my record. So look for that UCLA-Tennessee final.


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