Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Not Quiet Breakfast and It's Not Quite Lunch

But it Comes with Today's Early Tournament Games

Since I’m actually super busy at my real job and just because Washington DC is a subregion in the West Regional, I’m going to be doling out today’s capsules slightly differently than yesterday. I’m going to hand out the wisdom of others and my own ramblings according to time slot rather than bracket-quadrant. Because even if the NCAA can warp geography I still think that the fabric of time has yet to fall under their purview.

#2 Tennessee vs. #15 American
Friday at 12:15 PM EST in Birmingham, AL
Vegas: Tennessee (-20)
Storming the Floor: Tennessee
Joe Lunardi: Tennessee
WWOD?: Yes, Belmont gave American all the ammunition they need to think that they can pull this off today, but I just don’t see how it’s possible. Tennessee can score too many points to be had here. And, though I still don’t totally trust The Vols it’s too early to pick against the school that gave us Allan Houston, Bernard King and Ernie Grunfield.

#7 Miami vs. #10 St. Mary’s
Friday at 12:30 PM EST in Little Rock, AR
Vegas: Even
Storming the Floor: St. Mary’s
Joe Lunardi: St. Mary’s
WWOD?: Last time I checked the U was a football school. I just don’t like this Miami basketball team. I have no good reasons other than that I think the ACC was down this year and their win total is deceiving. And, I’d like to think that St. Mary’s has replaced Gonzaga as the WCC team to watch in the tournament.

#7 Gonzaga vs. #10 Davidson
Friday at 12:25 PM EST in Raleigh, NC
Vegas: Davidson (-1.5)
Storming the Floor: Davidson
Joe Lunardi: Gonzaga
WWOD?: Gonzaga is the reason that I can’t pick Gonzaga. I’ve decided that I will consistently pick against Gonzaga as a higher seed because of everything that Mark Few’s teams have taught me about picking against talented and rolling teams (Davidson has won 22 straight games!) from smaller conferences. And, aside from not wanting to take the Zags I actually do like the Wildcats. Stephen Curry can shoot the lights out and this location and time slot suit them much better than a team coming in from the West. Davidson has also already taken (losing) trips to UCLA, Duke and UNC. So, they won’t be awed by the setting. And, that would be the only thing that I would maybe have held against a team with their profile.

#5 Drake vs. #12 Western Kentucky
Friday at 12:30 PM EST PM in Tampa, FL
Vegas: Drake (-4)
Storming the Floor: Drake
Joe Lunardi: Western Kentucky
WWOD?: Here it is. This is the 5/12 special that I liked the most. I’ve picked WKU to win this game in most of my brackets and have even picked them to survive the weekend in a few of them. I've only seen them play one time (in the Final of the conference tourney) and all I could think was that the gym where the game was being played and the quality of the video feed made it all seem like a high school game. So, you can see that I've totally thought this one through. Still, WKU starts seniors and this guy Courtney Lee is supposed to be one of the best in the country. I always want to pick small school teams with solid senior contributors. It's one of my favorite things. Like brown-paper packages tied up with strings. This pick is literally my senior moment. That being said, I like whomever survives this game to keep dancing. I was impressed when Drake knocked Butler earlier in the year, even though I had bet on Butler. So, yeah, other than my seniors-rule this game also brings my don’t-place-make-up-bets rule into the equation. Part of me feels like I would be taking Drake just to win a bet I already lost. Or, maybe, it wouldn’t be that. Maybe it would be learning from my mistakes…

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