Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Post-Brunch Games

Alright, I'm back from the family brunch. Fueled by Jack and Gingers, made-to-order omlettes, several deviled eggs, some chilled shrimp and two single-serving creme-brulees. In other words, I'm ready for the couch and some basketball. And a nap.

#2 Texas vs. #7 Miami
Sunday at 2:10 PM EST in
Vegas: Texas (-6.5)
Storming the Floor: Texas (over St. Mary's)
Joe Lunardi: Texas (over St. Mary's)
WWOD?: Texas has beaten UCLA, Kansas and Tennessee. Meanwhile everyone was sort of surprised that Miami beat St. Mary's. It's got to be the Horns here, even though this very well could be the year that Texas Coach Barnes enters his Roy Williams at Kansas phase. Meaning he can't seem to ever advance as far as he should.

#2 Tennessee vs. #7 Butler
Sunday at 2:30 PM EST in Birmingham, AL
Vegas: Tennessee (-5)
Storming the Floor: Butler
Joe Lunardi; South Alabama (over Tennessee)
WWOD?: I liked South Alabama to pull the upset because in that fantasy they were raised to another level by the home crowd. I have no interesting and idiotic story to go along with Butler so I think I just take the Volunteers here. To build upon the Memphis/Vandy series (big win/pot-hole loss) from earlier in the season I would think that they win a big game before bowing out. Beating American doesn't count as their big win. Louisville, might qualify though...

#2 Georgetown vs. #10 Davidson
Sunday at 2:50 PM in Raleigh, NC
Vegas: Georgetown (-5)
Storming the Floor: Georgetown
Joe Lunardi: Georgetown
WWOD?: I keep seeing that 5-point spread and itch to take Georgetown to cover, but I just can't. The way they slow down the game and the way they limit possessions, which is exactly what makes them so very dominant, makes them vulnerable to a few big shots at the end of a game (that will either blow the spread or the game itself). So, in some epic Shakespearian way, their greatest strength is also the source of their vulnerability. And, Stephen Curry is just the sort of guy (he dropped 40 the other day) to steal that close game from the Hoyas. Still, over 40 minutes I think that Hibbert will be too much inside and Wallace will be too much outside.

#12 Western Kentucky vs. #13 San Diego
Sunday at 2:40 in Tampa, FL
Vegas: Western Kentucky (-5)
Storming the Floor: Drake (over UConn)
Joe Lunardi: UConn (over Western Kentucky)
WWOD?: This WKU team and the WVU team are the two things I've got going my way bracket-wise this year. I had them topping UConn in this game and I was nervous that was a stretch but I don't doubt that Courtney Lee and the rest of the Hilltoppers can take this one. Drake was the best team in this 4-team pod and UConn had the highest upside athletes. And, they're already at home. The door to next weekend is wide open for WKU.

#1 Memphis vs. #8 Mississippi State
Sunday at 4:45 PM EST in Little Rock, AR
Vegas: Memphis (-8)
Storming the Floor: Memphis
Joe Lunardi: Memphis
WWOD?: Since Memphis has yet to prove that the C-USA schedule gets them ready for the tourney I don't know anyone who is really sold on them. Mississippi State is a tenacious group with a bunch end-to-end players led by Varnado and if they can win the battle of the boards (which is how Tennessee got by them) then I could see the Tigers going down. That being said, I think Derrick Rose watched Kevin Love last night and wants to make his own mark in his only Dance. And, I want Rose to do well so that he is ready to take over the Knicks next season. So, that's really why I've got Memphis advancing on most of my brackets. Because the Knicks need a point guard.

#3 Louisvillle vs. #6 Oklahoma
Sunday at 5:00 PM EST in Birmingham, AL
Vegas: ( -7.5)
Storming the Floor: Louisville (over St. Joe's)
Joe Lunardi:Louisville (over St. Joe's)
WWOD?: Like Mr. Lunardi at the World Wide Leader and the guys at STF, I had Louisville over St. Joe's on my brackets in this slot. I'm going to stick with that still because I can't go against Pitino here. I think people forget that had the conference tournaments played out differently that L'Ville would have been a #2 seed at the worst. But they went out early in the Big East tournament and dropped to a #3. I rate them better than that. Partially because they made me a few nickels by covering on Friday and partially because I have a baseless skepticism about Sooner hoops. I guess I really don't trust football schools on the hardwood. That can get added to the list of bracket-biases next year, I guess.

#1 UNC vs. #9 Arkansas
Sunday at 5:20 PM EST in Raleigh, NC
Vegas: UNC (-12)
Storming the Floor: UNC (over Indiana)
Joe Lunardi: UNC
WWOD?: I'm going to hold out hope that Louisville can get to UNC down the road. I think that, barring serious foul problems, that Hansbrough is too much of a load for the Arkansas frontcourt. And, I didn't think Arkansas would even survive Indy so I'm not going to find confidence in them against the Heels. That wouldn't make any sense and if you've been paying attention you must know how much logic is important to me.

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