Final Four Prediction

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Just a quick post today, and I mean quick!

Georgetown over Ohio State
UCLA over Florida

Did you notice my NIT prediction came through? I guess I'm better with that loser tournament than I am with the real one.


NCAA Round Three Recap

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Well, I have just about lost all hope of winning in my tourney pool. When Butler failed to knock off the defending champ Florida, and Tennessee squandered away a 20 point lead to the Buckeyes, I knew that I was going to have to hope for the PAC-10 to come on strong in this round in order for me to have a shot. North Carolina losing to Georgetown wouldn't be all that bad either.

I love a pair of the match ups in this round, namely UCLA and Kansas squaring off in the West region. UCLA is my pick to win it all, but I love the way Kansas plays. Add in the fact all of the history and tradition behind the Bruins and the Jayhawks, and this makes for the most storied game. I like how Oregon plays and that is why I'm picking them in the Midwest region over Florida. But maybe I'm just mad because I had Florida losing a while ago. Shame on me.

Same goes for Ohio State. There is no way the Buckeyes should still be playing but, probably to spite me, they find ways to win. No way that continues against Memphis though, the team I've got playing the Bruins in the Final.

I didn't pick North Carolina or Georgetown to make it this far, but they did. For the sake of the pool though, I'm rooting for those Big East dogs, Georgetown. Go Hoyas.

Bracket I'm most confident with heading into round three: Still the West region (UCLA knocking off Kansas). It's the only match up I have guessed correctly this far.
Bracket I'm least confident with: Forget the East region because I don't have either team playing. I'm going to say the Midwest region because Florida is the team I would least like to see win (for pool purposes only) otherwise it'd be DUH Ohio State University. I feel confident that Memphis won't squander away a game to the Buckeyes like Xavier and Tennessee have already done.
Final Four picks: Oregon, UCLA, Memphis, Texas

Elite Eight Teams remaining: 5

Today's bold prediction: Oregon will beat Florida. Maybe not that bold, but everybody else is picking Florida. Quack. Quack. Quack. Watch for the Flying V!


NCAA Round Two Update

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Raise your hand if you have your Final Four teams remaining.

Let the record show that I did not raise my hand, thanks to USC drubbing my Texas squad. Perhaps the Trojans were looking for revenge for their football counterparts appearance in the Rose Bowl against the Longhorns two seasons ago. Or perhaps I misjudged how much Kevin Durant could carry his team.

I still feel good about half of my Final Four, but the sake of my pool, I'm a huge Butler fan this weekend. I picked Maryland to dump defending champ Florida back to the swamp, but I could really use Butler to take on that role now. After round two, in which THE Ohio State was given a couple favors en route to a thrilling come from behind overtime victory against in state rival Xavier, I am left with only nine Sweet Sixteen teams and only have two games perfectly paired up (Pitt/UCLA and Ohio State/Tennessee). My East bracket is finished as Boston College succumbed to Georgetown and my Final Four pick Texas, as mentioned above, lost to USC. I also had Washington State picked to beat George Washington (who had already lost to Vanderbilt...who beat Washington State).

Nervous about my Florida-Maryland Butler match-up? Definitely. Would I be surprised if Butler pulled one more win out? Not at all.

On a side note, I never did comment on how I'm pleased that the NCAA went back to calling each region by one of the cardinal directions, rather than after a city. Instead of the St. Louis region we have the Midwest Region. Something just doesn't sound right about hearing the "East Rutherford Region" in tourney basketball. But I see that change didn't affect the women's tourney.

Take a look at my most and least confident regions below and compare them to my previous post. Funny how one round changes everything.
Bracket I'm most confident with heading into round three: West region (UCLA and Kansas moving on)
Bracket I'm least confident with: East region (I've got Texas beating UNC and Boston College beating Washington State)
Final Four picks: Oregon, UCLA, Memphis, Texas

Sweet 16 teams remaining: 9
Elite Eight Teams remaining: 5

Today's bold prediction: Take Clemson to beat the Syracuse Crybabies, er....Orangemen in the battle of the Orange in the NIT, but take West Virginia to win it all.


NCAA Round One Recap

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Anybody who thought Penn had a chance at beating Texas A&M after their comeback was probably just caught up in the momentum. Sure enough, it didn't last long. I love the Philly teams and would love to see Penn stop teasing us with their close games in which they don't have enough steam to go the distance. That is why the first round was a little dissappointing for the local fans.

Some good games out there in the first round, but no real eye openers I believe. I got only 22 games right in my bracket in the first round. I initially picked Michigan State to beat Marquette before learning that Marquette's top scorer would be out with an injury. However, fo some reason, on my pool with a couple buddies I picked Marquette. That cost me as now I'm behind by two instead of one. The Big Ten did me in actually as Purdue had an easier time with Arizona than I wanted and Indiana was able to get by Gonzaga in Sacramento. My upset picks of Arkansas over USC, Albany over Virginia and Creighton over Nevada also fell apart on me.

I, like everyone in my pool, picked Villanova over Kentucky. But watching the game last night, I got the sense pretty early on that Kentucky would pull away eventually. Nova's problem was finding an answer to the big man and finding some consistent scoring. So Villanova's season is over in the first round, but I still think they had a good year and they'll be a good team again for a long time coming as long coach Jay Wright stays there doing what he is doing. Whoever won the game, I was still picking Kansas in round two.

The good news for my bracket is every team that I picked to win in round one that lost, I picked them to lose their next game (except for Illinois), so I still have a decent chance heading into round two.

Check back for my round two recap on Monday night and we'll see how I'm doing heading into the Sweet 16.

Bracket I'm most confident with heading into round two: East region (Texas advancing past Boston College
Bracket I'm least confident with: West region (missed four games already)
Final Four picks: Oregon, UCLA, Memphis, Texas

Sweet 16 teams remaining: 16

Today's bold prediction: Despite a 5-1 record, the Big Ten will be shut out of the Elite Eight


Let the Madness Begin

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Well actually, it already has! This week get ready for conference tournaments going left and right. This is when the bubble teams really decide their fate. I think Villanova is already in but a win or two in the Big East tournament would just solidify their spot in the tourney even more. MY early season prediction of Drexel making it may have fallen a little short and been a victim to their early season success. Look for Drexel to make a run in the NIT.

And here's another prediction; Syracuse will win a Big East tourney game and everybody will think the Orangemen should get a spot in the NCAA tournament and Jim Boeheim will be interviewed on ESPN every three and a half hours on Sportscenter, PTI, halftimes and pregames. It just wouldn't be March without it.

Phillies Spring Training Thoughts...

Anybody who thinks Ryan Howard got shunned with his $900,000 contract doesn't understand how baseball contracts work. This isn't the NBA where you can come right out of high school (or freshman year of college now) and earn a $25 million shoe contract and make millions without ever suiting up for your team. The good thing about baseball is you have to serve your time and prove yourself worthy of the big money. Howard had a great year last year and deserves more money. He will get it, as long as he proves to the Phillies that he is the man that earns the money. Critics of the deal should take note of the Sixers organization. Howard's not going anywhere and he will get millions... in due time.

What am I looking for this spring training?
1.) Middle relief pitching to develop
2.) Tom Gordon to be healthy as the closer
3.) Possible trade of Jon Lieber for some middle relief
4.) Pat Burrell getting a good start and getting his swing together
5.) Aaron Rowand memorizing how far it is until the walls and Chase Utley

And a couple off-topic topics...not there is ever a set topic or topics. Too many topics?
- It is good seeing Lisa Thomas Laury back on Action News. I know many of my friends prefer Action News BY FAR over the others in the Philadelphia area, and for me it is good to see one of the older familiar faces back.
- You know mayoral elections are reaching a new heights when they start inviting you to be their friends on MySpace. True story.


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