What up with it Ekpe Udoh....
*The biggest news of today is Syracuse's best big man, Fab Melo, getting shabazz'd for the entirety of the NCAA Tournament. The Orange were already the least renowned of the 1 seeds. Beyond that, is anybody else shocked, SHOCKED, to see a dude named "Fab" get suspended? I thought it was a joke when I first saw this guy's name, especially at Syrcause, given their history with "Melo." He sounds like he should be Carmelo Anthony's wrestling manager (in the mold of Slick).
*Filled out my second bracket yesterday (by hand) while listening to Billy Bragg & Wilco's Mermaid Avenue (fantastic CD). It was for my Mom's work so I went very anti-Big 12 (a key for any local pool) and very upset heavy in the first round (because they have a weird rule about upsets getting you extra points). Ended up looking like this...
Final Four: 1 Kentucky, 3 Marquette, 2 Ohio St, 1 North Carolina
National Championship: 2 Ohio St over 1 Kentucky
KU/MU/K-State: MU lose to Marquette, KU lose to St. Mary's, KSU lose to S. Miss
Surprises: 13 New Mexico St (Sweet 16), UNLV (Elite 8), NC State (Elite 8)
*Ranking the National Championship Likelihoods:
1. North Carolina
3. Ohio St.
4. Michigan St.
7. Florida St.
*This leads me to an interesting hypothetical for KU fans - If I were to offer you right now a trip to the National Championship Game that ended in defeat to the Missouri Tigers, would you accept? Think about that. Would love to hear your answer via Facebook, Twitter, Xanga, or you can tell me in person while I stare at my phone or the TV.
*I read a story from the Detroit newspaper talking about the Titans' reaction to drawing the Kansas Jayhawks. One of their players brought up the fact that KU lost to Bucknell a few years ago. This made me think that the whole mid-major thing has begun to snowball for the Jayhawks. Players from mid-majors have an increased amount of confidence when playing against KU because of their history. While they may be afraid of the likes of Michigan St or North Carolina, they step on the court with KU thinking/knowing they have a chance to win.
*P.S. KU plays late on Friday night, the same time slot as when they lost to Bucknell and Bradley.
*Not afraid of Detroit yet? How about the fact they have a father/son combo as coach/star player? While I'm not sure why Titans star Ray McCallum has received so much hype (his stats are just ok - 16 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4 apg), I hate the fact that I can compare him and his father to Cinderella OG's Bryce & Homer Drew of Valparaiso.
*All that being said, in the same article from the Detroit newspaper, the coach and some players were complaining about being shipped "far away" to Omaha. If that's one of their biggest takeaways then I ain't scurred. Prediction: KU by 24.
*Speaking of potentially fun matchups, North Carolina's Harrison Barnes and Creighton's Doug McDermott (each team's best player) were high school teammates in Iowa. Enough people are talking about this, that Alabama over Creighton looks more appealing by the day. And for the record, I don't think Creighton would have a shot against North Carolina.
*Missourahhhhhh - I watched the hardcore brackets show on TruTV and couldn't believe how much bitching there was about Missouri getting the 8th overall seed. Who cares? And shouldn't the other teams be upset about Missouri drawing the weakest 1 seed? The analysts could not get over this.
*Florida is the type of team (West Virginia and Michigan St also come to mind) that consistently overachieves in the NCAA Tournament. Not to mention, a lot of talent there. That is a rough, rough draw for Mizzou in the 2nd round. Would much rather see St. Mary's (or the unlikelier Purdue) then Florida, even given KU's history against mid-majors.
*Beyond that, Missouri plays a very similar style as 3-seeded Marquette, with 4 guards and 1 big man. I think this hurts them, because the biggest thing going for them is the uniqueness of their style. KU already played 3-seeded Georgetown this year, and for whatever reason, they don't scare me at all (evidenced by picking NC State to advance to the Sweet 16 in both my brackets so far). That's as far as I'll go for now, as any Elite 8 matchup would deserve more of my attention.
*K-State - Suddenly, a very intriguing matchup in Round 2 (suck on that, Bracketologists!) with Syracuse. Without Fabulous Melo, K-State has a bonafide advantage down low (looking at you, Enrique Inglesias Robertz). Defensive rebounding was already a weakness for 'Cuse, now it's a Jeremy Lin sized chink in the armor. Veddy intawesting.
*Before we get to that, K-State has to take on Larry Eustachy and the
*One last note, this is K-State's chance for revenge on Syracuse after that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad celebration flag on them in whatever year's Pinstripe Bowl. Historintrigue.
Thoughts on the other 65 teams coming tomorrow,
I need a drink,