The Sports Scoop

My View on the World of Sports

So the Committee Does Know Basketball

 This is post is probably coming a little late, but I was just talking about this today, so I thought I’d write it down.

After all of the heat the NCAA Tournament Committee took for their selections, it actually looks like that might have gotten it right.  I don’t recall ever seeing so many top seeded teams winning, and my bracket has suffered immensely because of that.  Aside from Wisconsin, who just isn’t the same team without Brian Butch as weird as that sounds, the rest of the higher seeds proved to be “who the committee thought they were!”

Looking back, you can still argue they messed up a little with leaving out Syracuse.  ncaa.jpgThat’s the one slip up.  They definitely should be been in over Arkansas, but in reality, did the committee deserve the lashing they received over that? 

I really think that no matter who is put in the tournament, there is going to be a plethora of columnists saying how bad the committee messed up.  It’s a tradition.  I already once mentioned John Feinstein and his hating ways.  His friend can make better selections with a six pack in him. But then again, don’t we all have that buddy, or maybe that buddy is yourself, that could put together a better bracket over a few cold ones? 

It’s fine that we bash the committee really, it gives us something to talk about and debate.  How about we give some credit where credit is due now.  I saw Selection Committee Chair Gary Walters get drilled with question after question about their reasoning behind all of their picks.  Now, it looks like his committee knew what they were doing after all.  Maybe CBS should bring the guy back and show him some love.

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March 26, 2007 Posted by | Basketball, NCAA, NCAA Tournament, Sports | 1 Comment

Cinderella Who? and Other NCAA Tournament Thoughts

After watching over 14 hours of college basketball in the past two days, I feel it is only appropriate to discuss what has transpired.  Here are a few of my thoughts from the preliminary action.

   –  The term “Cinderella” is being extremely overused and needs to retire.  Winthrop was dubbed a Cinderella team by ESPN a few hours after they beat Notre Dame, even though half of the United States predicted that outcome.  If Jackson St. beat Florida or Niagra stunned Kansas, then I could see how we might have a Cinderella case on our hands.  Last year, George Mason was a definite Cinderella because no one picked them to win anything, and they ended up going far.  You need to have both of those qualities to be a true Cinderella.  So let’s not get too Cinderella-happy though and start dubbing every team that beats someone ranked higher them.

   –  What is Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s real name?  I heard them called Texas A&M and Corpus Christi, Texas A&M at Corpus Christi, and simply Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.  There’s no doubt in my mind that it really doesn’t matter.  I just thought it was funny that the announcers had no idea either.

   –  The lack of upsets this year is killing me.  The two “big” upsets have been VCU and Winthrop, both of which were not shockers.  After that, almost everything has gone as planned.  The main reason for this is that the lower seeds cannot finish games.  I’m going to pick on Illinois because they absolutely blew their game.  Up by 10 with 4 minutes left, they somehow managed to give the game away.  And that’s a very appropriate way to describe it since they turned the ball over on something like 7 of their last 10 possessions.  If you play the same way you did the first 36 minutes, you should be able to close out a game.  Instead, they decided giving the ball to the Hokies and trying to stop them on defense was a better idea.  The Chicago Bears do the same thing; it must be an Illinois thing.

   –  While we are talking about the Illini, how about that Big Ten!  John Feinstein has to be hating Purdue for winning and loving Illinois for blowing it.  The Big Ten is 5-1 so far in the tournament.  Not bad for a conference that some think only should have had 3 bids.  Now watch as they all lose in the second round – except Ohio State and Wisconsin.

I love this time of the year.  With March Madness in full swing, I do believe it is time to go watch some more basketball.  Go Georgetown!

March 17, 2007 Posted by | Basketball, College Basketball, NCAA, NCAA Tournament, Sports | 1 Comment

NCAA Tournament Prediction; Hoyas to Take the Title

Michael Wilbon says that he likes Georgetown to win the NCAA Tournament. I have to agree.

Let me start off by saying that I have liked the Hoyas all season. I made them my tournament favorite sometime in early January when they knocked off Notre Dame for the first time. From that point on, they were on ESPN basically every game they played, so I got a good look at them. I really liked how they played and they’ve been my pick ever since.

When the brackets came out, I started out by putting Georgetown in the spot for hoya.jpg“Champion” and went to work from there. North Carolina vs. Texas seems like an inevitable match up, with the winner likely the only competition Georgetown will face before the final four. After that, I have the Hoyas taking down Texas A&M in the semi-finals before handling Kansas in the National Championship game.

Georgetown has the ability to play both up tempo and in the half court. Their defense is solid (held Pittsburg to only 42 points in the Big East Championship) and they get after it on the boards. They shoot free throws at a high percentage and have a difference maker in Jeff Green that they can rely on if needed. This team really has no glaring weakness.

The one thing that I believe can stop the Hoyas is their lack of depth. They mainly use a 6 man rotation with some other players grabbing a couple of minutes here and there. If Georgetown’s players, especially their guards Jessie Sapp and Jonathan Wallace, get into foul trouble, then the bench will have to really step up – something they haven’t been asked to do in big games this year.

Apparently, Georgetown is now a fashionable pick to win the tournament. As much as that should reassure me that I’m on the right track, I feel less confident as a result of the popularity. Maybe it’s because people are on the same wave length as me which is a rarity. Anyhow, I’m sticking with Georgetown to take home the title.

March 14, 2007 Posted by | Basketball, College Basketball, NCAA, NCAA Tournament, Sports | 3 Comments

College Basketball Player of the Year

In a college basketball season that has given us no clear cut favorite for National Champion, I also find myself wondering who the Player of the Year will be.  My top five, in no particular order quite yet, are Acie Law, Kevin Durant, Alando Tucker, Nick Fazekas, and Greg Oden.  Here’s how I think it will all pan out.

      tucker-and-oden.jpg           durant.jpg          law.jpg          fazekas.jpg

5.  Nick Fazekas, Nevada.  He is easily one of my favorite players in college basketball.  I have only seen him play a few times because, well let’s be honest, he plays for Nevada.  Since the WAC really isn’t one of the NCAA’s premier conferences, he won’t garner the attention he arguably deserves.  However, he’s a walking double-double and should be a very high draft pick next year.

4.  Greg Oden, Ohio State.  He’s a huge name and probably was on many people’s Player of the Year ballots before he even stepped on the floor.  In reality, he’s been good but not dominant.  He has shown flashes that he’s the next Ewing or whoever you want to compare him to, but the consistency isn’t there yet.  In all fairness to Oden, he has played the season with basically one hand.

3.  Alando Tucker, Wisconsin.  Wisconsin is my team, but the past couple of weeks have definitely hurt Tucker.  He’s likely to win Big Ten POY, but I can’t picture him taking the national honors over Law or Durant.  Tucker is a great leader and has shown he can do a little bit of everything on the basketball court.  His numbers are good, and he plays a lot bigger than he really is.  Two weeks ago, he was my POY, but two consecutive losses have left me with fewer reasons to justify that.

2.  Acie Law, Texas A&M.  How fun is this guy to watch in the last 5 minutes of a game!  He has an unbelievable ability to make plays with the game on the line.  That might be his biggest downside though, as well.  It seems like unless he has to make a shot, he doesn’t focus as much.  There were at least 3 times in the Texas game last night that he could have put the Aggies ahead late but missed wide open shots or booted it out of bounds.  Regardless, this kid is special and a great leader. 

1.  Kevin Durant, Texas.  I can’t find a good reason that Durant should not be Player of the Year.  He can do it all and is extremely poised for a freshman.  He rivals Law in his ability to make plays with the game on the line.  25 ppg, 12 rpg, 2 stls, 2 blks, 49% from the field, 42% from 3 point land, he can do it all.  Shows great leadership on a young team that needed a leader.  He’s the main reason Texas is going to be a big time threat in March.

March 1, 2007 Posted by | Basketball, College Basketball, NCAA, Player of the Year, Sports | 6 Comments