Mar 312008
 
Well, my bracket is officially toast, even though the two teams I picked for the final are still in it. The reason? For the first time in forever all four #1 seeds made it to the Final Four. Obviously, I have mixed feelings on this. I’m happy UNC and UCLA made it, though I would have preferred to see Davidson in the semifinal. Playing Kansas will be hard on coach Williams, though I expect Ray and his family will be hoping Williams gets a karma dosage. And as far as I’m concerned, Memphis can go right to hell.

I genuinely felt bad for Davidson, and I really respect what they did this year. They scheduled some tough teams during the season (including UNC), played hard throughout the tournament, and made it a long way. This wasn’t a fluke—they are legitimately a great team, and they didn’t make it all this way just because of Stephen Curry (as Barr’s performance today showed). They made it to the tournament the right way, playing tough all year, and they deserved their Elite Eight berth. For beating them, the way they’re playing right now, Kansas deserves a lot of respect. The close score in today’s game is a mark of Davidson’s quality, not Kansas’ weakness.

UNC-Kansas will be a great game, perhaps the game of the year. I’m not sure that either team can take the championship after winning, though. The game will definitely be emotionally taxing, no matter what the outcome. I think Kansas can bounce back from it more easily than UNC, but either way it will be really draining. As for the other semifinal, I hope UCLA mops the floor with Memphis. Did I mention that I don’t like Memphis?

Conference-wise, I think the tournament played out about right. The SEC and Big Ten had down years, so the absence of their teams is reasonable. Obviously, C-USA has no right fielding a Final Four team; most of the conference is trash. The glaring omission here is the Big East, which had a pretty strong slate of teams this year. I really thought Georgetown would make the semifinals (I had Texas representing the Big XII in my bracket), and that Pitt and UConn both had a chance. But we know how that turned out.

On a related note, I really like Grant Wahl:

We’ve been asked to discuss the NCAA tournament on Lou Dobbs’ national radio show on Monday. Part of me wants to see how Lou responds when I tell him about the impressive play of Brook and Robin Lopez, Lorenzo Mata-Real, Edgar Sosa, Juan Palacios and Orlando Mendez-Valdez. Then I think I’ll invite him to join me at a U.S.-Mexico soccer match.

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