Another potential college educated athlete is taking his chances at the NBA. Ohio’s Jared Sullinger has decided that making it to the Final Four was good enough to end his college career on. I guess I have to applaud Sullinger for making two years rather than the Austin Rivers one and done. Sullinger actually improved a lot by staying an extra year(hint hint Rivers). This year Sullinger averaged 17.5 points, shot 52 percent from the field and 77 percent at the line. The game against Kansas did reveal some weakness in Sullinger as a center so it is hard to tell where he will end up in the NBA. With all the good college drop-out prospects this year it is going to be hard to squeeze into first round.
Kentucky beat out Kansas tonight for the NCAA Title, 67-59. The game went as most games have gone for Kansas with surge in the last minutes. Even though I picked Kentucky in my bracket, a little part of me wanted to see an amazing upset and would have to be amazing since Kansas was down by 18 points in the first half. Kansas was so far behind that I was starting to regret throwing a viewing party. Even devoted Kansas fans like my best friend were giving up hope. I had to text her just to wake-up her up, when there was a glimmer of light that Kansas might become the comeback kings. They could have done it they were only down by 10 with 2:50 to go.
Before the game started Kansas coach Bill Self basically said in the locker room, “We’ve made it this far playing half-ass and hopefully tonight we will play like we should have been playing this whole time.” Unfortunately, Self was wrong Kansas just didn’t have the scoring ability to over take Kentucky. Even without wonder child Anthony Davis scoring a single point in the first half Kentucky was ahead by 18. Davis was named the tournaments most outstanding player (MOP) scoring a
whooping measly 6 points. Even though Davis was not scoring he did have 16 rebounds, 6 blocks, 5 assists and 3 steals. The real problem for Kansas is that literally no one on their team can shoot field goals. Instead they do these crazy 5 man passing maneuvers to try to drunk the ball and even that wasn’t working.
Now that all the confetti has settled and I can finally focus on the
life NBA. It is the time when the NBA plucks these young athletes and hands them a wad of cash in return for them never finishing college. I applaud NBA secret recruiter Kentucky’s coach John Calipari who basically encourages the “one and done” philosophy after so many years he has finally gotten the right formula and won the National Title. Calipari should have fun starting from scratch next year.
We have finally made it to the end of March Madness. I will finally be able to go out on weekends without obsessively checking the games on my phone and praying my data usage hasn’t reached its limit.
Kentucky VS. Louisville (69-61)
As everyone in America predicted Kentucky triumphed over Louisville. In fact is rather boring and I wish Louisville had put up more of fight, by the last minute it felt like Louisville stopped trying. Kentucky shot at 57% and Anthony Davis more than proved why he won the Wooden Award. Kentucky won, 69-61, and didn’t play at their best.
Ohio State VS. Kansas (64-62)
So many of you doubted Kansas, not me, they pulled through and beat Ohio State. Kansas as their usual pattern saved all of their mojo for the second half. At one point Kansas trailed by 13 points and 3 points was their biggest lead of the game. Ohio State was favored to win and really fought hard throughout the entire game. Kansas’ Thomas Robinson made 19 points and eight rebounds. It was kind of anticlimactic ending with Ohio State, Aaron Craft, standing around waiting for a call from the refs. Craft had intentionally missed his second foul shot but crossed the foul line to soon and ruined any chance Ohio had at a play. This is when it pays to start really playing in the last two minutes, cough cough, Kansas.
Kentucky will face Kansas Monday to see who takes the title. My money is on Kentucky.
It has been a tough NCAA Tournament my bracket has had more work than Joan Rivers. In the end I got two of the Final Four teams right: Kentucky and Kansas. When Florida State was knocked out I re-did my bracket to have Ohio making it to the Final Four, so I am counting that as a half-right. The section of my bracket that suffered the most was the West where Norfolk upset Missouri (my original Final Four pick). Then I thought Michigan could make it but they were knocked out by Louisville. Finally I had to admit Louisville was going to be in the Final Four.
Now we are looking at a match-up between rivals Kentucky and Louisville next Saturday in New Orleans. I don’t think that anybody sees Louisville winning this match-up. Louisville did upset one number 1 seed, Michigan, already but I can’t see that happening with Kentucky.
Then we have Kansas and Ohio matching up. Kansas is a good team but very young. No one saw Kansas making it this far, except me, not bragging. The Vegas odds makers have picked Ohio to win against Kansas. I have picked Kansas to win and make it to the Final Two. I just have a feeling that Kansas has what it takes but it is going to be close game.
UNC’s Kendall Marshall had surgery on his broken right wrist today. They put a screw into his wrist, which makes me think we won’t be seeing him for awhile. Marshall is a left-handed point guard but still it is hard to come back from surgery by Friday. Marshall is really important to UNC’s offense with transitions and passing. I think UNC will have no problem moving past Ohio but they could use the help against Kansas or NC State.
I will admit I have been bitten by the March Madness bug. I am very obsessed with my bracket. It is literally to the point where I find myself rooting for teams I don’t like just to preserve my bracket. I know that I have a problem but I can’t help it. With that said these games really made me sweat and question my bracketing abilities:
1. Florida State (3) VS Cincinnati (6), 62-56- I did not see this coming. Cincinnati is headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. It was a very close game the entire time with 18 lead changes. Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick made back-to-back threes for a 49-43 Cincinnati lead with 2:58 left. Florida State fought hard until the end but couldn’t land a big enough lead. Florida State beat both Duke and UNC in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This definitely screwed-up my bracket.
2. Kansas (2) VS Purdue (10), 63-60- Kansas has been my come from behind team. I put them in my final four. There was no doubt in my mind that they would at least make it past Purdue until the actual game. Kansas led by a point with 23 seconds to play after trailing behind Purdue most of the game. Tyshawn Taylor scored a dunk for Kansas with 2.5 seconds increasing Kansas’ lead and sealing Kansas’ win. It is pretty clear Kansas has no room to relax if they are going to make it past NC State. Kansas can’t afford to miss any 3-pointers.
3. Indiana (4) VS VCU (12)- 63-61- VCU lead for most of the game. It was until the Victor Oladipo made a tying 3-pointer for Indiana with only 46.5 seconds left that Indiana’s luck started to change. If VCU’s Rob Brandenberg had made the 3-pointer at the buzzer VCU would have won the game.
I knew that NC State (11) was going to make waves in the NCAA Tournament after they almost beat UNC in the ACC Championships. I had no idea they would be able to pull past Georgetown(3). It was a really close game today but NC State pulled it out, 66-63. The stars for NC State were Lorenzo Brown (12 points), C.J. Williams (14 points), Scott Wood (14 points), C.J. Leslie (14 points). With so many good scorers NC State maybe a force to reckon with.
Being from NC I can tell you that no one hates NC State like they do UNC or Duke. NC State is like the Mets to us, we hope they do well but we never expect it to actually happen. Now we are looking at a real possibility that NC State could over take Kansas(2).
First year coach Mark Gottfried is really earning his money bring them this far. The last time NC State was in the Sweet 16 was 2005. As a Duke fan I would love to see them pull past Kansas and then beat UNC but that like asking the Mets to beat the Yankees and the Red Sox, what are the chances?
President Obama filled out his bracket on Tuesday and he picked UNC to win it all. Apparently President Obama hasn’t heard the hype around of a little team named Kentucky. He put Kentucky, UNC, Ohio State and Missouri in the final four. He predicted Baylor would be the only upset team. I would have picked Baylor as an upset but I don’t see them getting past Duke or Notre Dame. Although UNC won the last time Obama was up for election, I am thinking this is a Kentucky year.
Watch the video of the President making his picks.
So after a tough weekend of basketball we have our number 1 seeds: Kentucky, Syracuse, UNC, and Michigan State. So this proves you can lose games and still be number 1. Kentucky suffered their second loose of the season to Vanderbilt over the weekend. UNC lost to Florida State on Sunday. Syracuse lost to Cincinnati on Friday. This makes Michigan the only team that won their conference, with a win over Ohio.
Number 2 seeds include: Duke, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio State. I think we learned over the weekend that we should keep our eyes out for NC State (who could have beat UNC if it weren’t for a series of bad calls), Florida State, and Vanderbilt.
So you are trying to fill out your bracket but you haven’t really been following the games. If you see the following teams bet on them: Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas, North Carolina (it pains me to write that as Duke fan but they won it fair and square), and Missouri.
Here are the pros and cons for each . . .
Pro: They finished their season undefeated. They have been ranked by the AP as number one. The Wildcats are a scoring machine. They also have freshman, Anthony Davis, who is a tough shot blocker with 139 blocks. On their current streak they seem like the ones to beat. Did that rhyme?
Cons: A lot people have argued that the Wildcats have yet to face a really strong defense. Going against teams like Syracuse may give them a run for their money. Not only that but Kentucky is a young team unlike Kansas which is all seniors.
Pro: They are ranked number 2 and have been the team to watch for a long time. They have a very strong 2-3 zone defense. The zone defenses takes a lot less energy than man-to-man, which gives them an advantage on their offense.
Cons: They are not great at rebounding and give up a lot of second chances. They are also a little lacking with the outside shooting. Will this be enough to slow them down?
Pro: They have Thomas Robinson who is averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds a game. They play in the toughest conference, the Big 12, and they won by 2 games. They are a team filled with strong seniors like Tyshawn Taylor who did 22-points on senior night.
Cons: The team doesn’t have a lot of depth. It also lacks offense options. If anything this is my come from behind team.
Hansbrough Zeller who just became the 8th player in ACC history to make 20 free throws. Since helping Duke to victory on Feb. 8th Zeller has been playing with an new intensity. Maybe he is realizing that this is his last chance to show-off for potential NBA teams?
Con: UNC lost Dexter Strickland, the starting shooting guard, to a knee injury. This puts a lot more pressure on the rest of team to step-up and fill his void, especially freshman Kendall Marshall. With a freshman point guard playing an average of 36 minutes a game it is only a matter of time before he gets worn out. Not only that but Marshall doesn’t always seem to have the confidence to shoot even when open.
Pro: Marcus Denmon and Kim English have been strong shooters. Their coach, Frank Haith, was voted coach of the year by the Associated Press.
Cons: They were just beaten by the Jayhawks a few days ago. They have had a rocky road to the finish. It would be shocking to see them come from behind.