Well Everybody Its that time of the year again,Tourney Time. Its the time of year that people all over the nation call into work for and that people skip school from grades K thru College. It’s a true college basketball fans Christmas Day…only it lasts for nearly a month. I’m gonna reveal to you my picks for this years tourney but first I wanna talk about the University of Louisville. I am so proud of this team for the things they accomplished this year.
We started off the season slow but were off to a 12-0 start, even though we had a lot of close games against teams we should have slaughtered. My issue with this team all year has been our typical 6 minute plus drought it seems like we had in every half this year. Without these droughts it could have been a long time before we tasted defeat. We then went on to lose 5 of our next 7 games. CardNation for the most part was ready to fire Rick or jump ship and declare the season a waste. Rick wasnt the issue though, the droughts were. Rick couldn’t make the players hit more consistently, it’s just not possible. Then it seemed we turned the corner. We won our next 6 games straight and the season was saved, we were gonna get a 2 seed if we beat Syracuse and all was well again on Planet Red. We lost by 1 point to the #1 team in the country and then went on a slide to finish out the regular season. At this point the experts predicted UL a lock. UL then went on to finish with a 2-3 record that made UL slide out of the top 25 and the 2 wins came to Depaul in overtime after they busted us the entire game and a narrow victory over Pitt at home. Once again people were calling for Rick’s head and UL’s season was over, finished. No way we would win our first Big East tourney game and if we did we couldn’t beat Marquette. But something strange happened…..we did.
Something special started to happen, Our already stellar defense became smothering, and our Droughty (so not a word) offense become more consistent throughout the tournament until the final game. After all was said and done the University of Louisville were your 2012 Big East Champions! After a UCONN-esque (also not a word) run through the Big East Tourney our roller coaster season, to that point, had culminated in the 2nd biggest prize in all the land.
This team had proved all the nay-sayers wrong and captured the trophy. I honestly feel that if we continue to play like this the entire tourney that we could go deep into the tourney. At the bottom of my heart I think we could win it all if we could eliminate the droughts and keep playing that mosquito D coach has been talking about. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, the roller coaster ride isn’t over yet. Now on to the rest of the tourney, i hope you enjoyed my season Re-Cap but its time to do work so here we go.
In the East region, one things fir sure……nothings for sure. With the announcement that Syracuse C Fab Melo is ineligible for the NCAA tourney. this bracket is wide open. In my mind as many as 11 teams could come out of this bracket. That is never before seen territory for me ladies and gentlemen. Deep down i believe that either Ohio State will win it or a sleeper will and that sleeper is Cincy. if they play in the NCAA’s like they did all season they are gonna be a force to be reckoned with. I do not see Vandy making it out just because they beat UK once.
My pick for the Midwest reign is a little if not a lot easier. I think that Kansas and UNC are the cream of the crop, that’s my Regional final, a little chalky, in the words of the master of swag Jay Bilas. Kansas has improved almost every section of the season. POY in my opinion Thomas Robinson, has stepped his game up 10-fold throughout the season. When it’s all said and done though, I have UNC and their talented team with guys like Henson,Zeller,Marshall,Barnes,Hairston,Bullock and McAdoo cutting down the nets in Saint Louis.
The South Region is a little tricky for me and I will explain why.Right before the FBR Bootleg BBQ Selection Show that both me and Steve were apart of, we talked about 4 teams sizewise that would give Kentucky fits. We said Baylor,IU,UConn and Duke. They all 4 made it into their region. The uk guys at our table said before they showed the 8-9 pairing, “as long as it’s not UConn its ok” and like magic Connecticut showed up in that 8-9 game. It was great. All jokes aside this region is trickier than the East to me because of 2 things, uk’s play of the last month and which teams are gonna show up against them. Kentucky has played great basketball since losing to IU on Watford’s buzzer beater, but its been against the SEC. I know that’s not uk’s fault who they play however being down in a lot of those games just to come back and win is unacceptable. They should be destroying those teams. So I predict when they finally play some competition they will lose. It’s hard for me to say who is gonna come out of this region because those 4 teams and ND have been Jekyll and Hyde teams much like UL has been. I have seen all 5 of those teams dominate and then come out and lay an egg. with that being said, I think the Baylor Bears or UConn come out of this region. so many guys who have pro talent on each team that just hasn’t figured out how to play as a team, what better time than March?
This region will be won by one of three teams. MSU,Mizzou or UL. Yeah I said it. IF we play like we did in the Big East we could go to the Final Four again and depending on our opponents we could win it all. I also think teams like Marquette and Virginia could go far. I’m just not sold on Murray State yet. Maybe I will after day 2, who knows? With that being said I will take UL out of the equation and tell you who i think wins this region. If not UL then I believe the Spartans of Michigan State will head to New Orleans in true Tom Izzo fashion.
I hope everyone else is just as excited about the Tourney as I am and I hope that UL does great and that we can cut down the nets. Thanks for taking time out to read my ramblings. Go Cards! See you guys next week….