Thursday, March 20, 2008

Let the Madness Begin!

The NCAA tourney begins today. Too bad that my beloved Hoosiers have decided to tank the season in an apparent protest over the university's treatment of their former coach Kelvin "program killer" Sampson. The players should be thrilled that an anonymous alum shelled at $500,000; which, added to the $200,000 the school chipped in, provided a tidy going-away sum for the coach who initially showed great promise but in actuality may have set the program back three or four years.

Talk about madness. The last fourteen years have almost been exclusively maddening for Hoosiers fans.

Pat Forde of ESPN.com has written a funny article on the best case/worst case scenarios for each of the 64 teams in the tournament. You may read the full article by clicking
here. I've pasted the IU snippet, which is painfully funny (and true).

Best Case: Dan Dakich has a group hug with sulking Kelvin Sampson recruits, D.J. White brings it for a full 40, Eric Gordon is on fire and the Hoosiers flash back to midseason form for a run to the Final Four. Suitably exuberant, Indiana offers Dakich the full-time coaching job, but he chooses to share the role with Bob Knight. Old-school Hoosiers weep uncontrollably. NCAA decides not to assess additional penalties for Sampson mess.

Worst Case: The team that is coming off losses to Penn State and Minnesota brings the same weak stuff into Denver and is routed in Round 1 by Arkansas. Three players quit at halftime. Two more write, "Kelvin, call me!" on their shoes. Fans grumble that this never would have happened under Knight, forgetting that his final Indiana game was a 20-point, first-round loss to Pepperdine.


Madness indeed!

I have never been a good bracketologist. I am prescient with my IU picks, but I don't do well across the board. It takes me all of five minutes to fill out my bracket, and this year half of that time was spent bemoaning what could have been a stellar year for my beloved Hoosiers. Instead they have an 8 seed and a date with UNC in the second round if they are able to advance past "woo pig suey".

In this year's bracket I have all four number one seeds advancing to the Final Four. I am sure, although not positive, that has never before happened, but it is what I have selected. My upsets are:
  • West Virginia beating Duke in the 2nd round and setting up a Bob Huggins vs. Xavier rematch in the Sweet 16
  • Xavier wins and advances to the Elite 8
  • St. Mary's defeats Texas to go to the Sweet 16
  • Butler advances to the Elite 8
Let the madness begin.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Travis,

Have you been smokin' the goad? Texas has as good a shot as any to take the whole ball of wax. But, I can see your comments coming from a person who supports a team that hires a known violator.

Hook 'em,
Craig

Travis said...

Craig,

Are you referring to the same Texas team that was annihilated by the Red Raiders of Lubbock? Sure, they have the potential to go the distance, but I think they will stumble and fall.

We'll see!

Jerry Summy said...

Here are my picks:

East - N. Carolina (I wish Oklahoma and if not, then I wouldn't mind seeing your team win the East)
West - UCLA (However Duke might just get in.)
South - Pittsburgh (Pretty impressive team when I've seen them play)
Midwest - Georgetown

Big B said...

I have IU in the Final Four then getting beat by Kansas. I must be on crack or something.

Travis said...

B,
You're definitely on something. IU looks absolutely awful right now. They look so bad I had to quit watching; which is why I'm on this blog right now.

In October I never would have thought we'd end up like this.

Again.

Sigh.