Saturday, March 17, 2007

What to watch for, Saturday edition

All times CDT.

12:10 pm: (1) Ohio State vs. (9) Xavier

Greg Oden Greg Oden Greg Oden Greg Oden Greg Oden Greg Oden Greg Oden Greg Oden .... oh, you get the picture. Ohio State's as close to a Final Four lock as there is in this tournament, considering the rest of their bracket. Texas A&M is the only other team that I'd give a chance to take out the Buckeyes, and they wouldn't even see tOSU until the Elite 8--if they get there. I'd say Greg Oden and the 4 other players whose ages add up to his win easily. By the way, why couldn't they have switched Texas and Virginia's 4-seeds? You think we wouldn't kill to see Oden vs. Durant in the Sweet 16? Anyone who thinks the committee tries to script storylines and ignores this gigantic oversight ought to be hanged.

2:20 pm: (4) Maryland vs. (5) Butler

For as sexy an upset pick as Butler is, a whole lot of people had Old Dominion pulling the upset on Thursday. It almost worked. Now comes the mighty Testudo, and it doesn't seem like a good matchup for Butler. Maryland's already faced a tough mid-major in Davidson, and they weathered the storm. Butler, on the other hand, must now switch their gameplan from facing a well-disciplined mid-major to an athletic high-major. If Butler can start quick and get the Buffalo crowd behind them, look out. Butler thrives on neutral and road courts, and they're nearly unflappable. That road mindset may not, however, be enough to overcome the sheer athleticism that Maryland can put on the court. Maryland is a safer bet here in the second round.

2:40 pm: (3) Texas A&M vs. (6) Louisville

I understand that the pod system is a neat idea. I get it. It's clearly unfair to make a 1st or 2nd seed travel to, like, Boise if they're from the east coast. Fine. Can anyone explain, then, why Texas A&M's pod is in Lexington, KY... right in the 6 seed's backyard?! How does that make any fucking sense at all? Sure, the regional is in San Antonio, but can you really expect A&M to get there if they're the only 3 seed to--essentially--play a road game to get there? If the issue of home court advantage is something to be considered for the regionals, fine--take them out of the south. But if putting them on the road against a 6 seed in the second round is the best course of action to this committee, then I think we ought to consider psychological examinations before we let them start choosing seeds and sites. This one's a tossup anymore. Now I'm pissed off.

No comments: