Not-So-Sweet Sixteen

Having shredded my brackets and surrendered any pretense of expertise, I ask myself if this is what they mean by March Madness. Let us get to the heart of this, one Cinderella is interesting, ten is ridiculous. What is the point of following the top teams all year when they'll all disappear in the first two rounds? Ah, you say these teams had it when they needed it, so they deserve the success. Well North Carolina was a bubble team, with most experts feeling they needed a win in the ACC tournament to get to the NCAA tournament. Instead, they lost to Wake Forest. Yet here they are, ready to take aim on the Final Four in a region without one of the top three seeds. At that, the South is a powerhouse compared to the shambles that is the West. I'm sorry, I don't find this exciting. The games themselves will certainly contain the usual drama; tournaments do that by their nature. Yet I don't feel the excitement, that anticipation which always filled this weekend, as the pretenders were eliminated and the showdowns began. I'm sorry, Purdue-Gonzaga and Wisconsin-LSU is cruddy doubleheader, devoid of the glamour that should be there. Let's sniff the leftovers:


This is the jewel in the crown. Two teams, Michigan State and Iowa State which belong in the Final Four, plus one of the most talented teams in the country, UCLA, and Syracuse, the last team to lose a game this season, at one point the # 3 team in the country. MSU entered the tournament looking sharp and has not had trouble getting here. Here, by the way, is Auburn Hills, Michigan, 39 miles from their campus. That's an immense edge for the best team and I expect them to come out of here. The Iowa St.- UCLA matchup is the most interesting game left. Questions about PG Earl Watson's eye plague the Bruins, but they'll be a tough match for the Cyclones. I think Iowa State will win, but UCLA is undefeated in games that Jerod Rush plays in.


Ugh. The bracket most likely to fall apart has. I like Wisconsin's discipline over LSU's flash and Gonzaga to repeat last year's visit to the elite 8 by beating Purdue. Let's put the 'Zags in the Final Four. Why? I don't know, I guess because I just learned how to pronounce Gonzaga


North Carolina will keep its improbable roll going against Tennessee, who edged Louisiana, then got to play UConn without their best player. Miami-Tulsa is almost as good as UCLA-Iowa St. I thought Miami was going to regional final, but I think I've changed my mind. Let's put Tulsa (a team that lost three times to Fresno St.!!!) in the Final Four.


Florida should have lost to Butler in the first round, but they're still here. Seton Hall should have lost to Oregon in the first round, yet here they are, with a huge upset of Temple in their pocket. Steve Spurrier has coached both Duke and Florida. Florida would be in a lot better shape if this was football. Duke should survive this. Seton Hall is in New Jersey, Oklahoma State is in the middle of nowhere. All in all, when this is over, the Cowboys will have to go back to Stillwater. Cowboys will fight like crazy to stay away from home. I think Duke will go to the Final Four. Yawn.


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