The Final Four

As the saying goes, “Nobody knows nothing.”  Including me.  I picked 5 of 8 in the round of 16, but only 1 of four last weekend.  The good news was all four teams I was rooting for won, so there’s that.  Here’s a few things I do know:

  • This has been one of the most exciting, fun tournaments in years.  I expect, and hope, that will continue tonight and Monday.
  • On one hand, who do you root for when VCU plays Butler? On the other, one of these non-traditional powers will be in Monday’s final.
  • John Calipari gets way too much blame for all that’s wrong with college basketball; it’s not like Calhoun, and many others, are innocent bystanders.
  • John Calipari gets way too little credit for being an excellent coach; what other coach could get his team to this point after losing five (!) first-round picks to the NBA last year.  And, he gets one-and-done, NBA-ready freshmen to play hard and as a team.
  • If you can’t shoot the three, and defend it, you can’t win this tournament.  Are you listening Kansas?  North Carolina?
  • Finally, I think we can expect the recent major trend of this and other recent tournaments to continue, i.e, a two-tiered system whereby mid-majors with experienced upperclassmen (and three-point shooters) will be able to match up with, and on occasion beat, major powers with young, inexperienced NBA talent.

Tonight?  Like I said, I don’t know who to root for in the opener, but my gut says Butler survives the VCU press and three-pointers to get to Monday.  I’ll be rooting for Cal and Kentucky in the second game and I think the big guy Harrelson might be the difference if Knight/Jones can play Walker/Lamb to a draw.  We’ll see.


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