Beginning Thursday at noon, 32 games will tip-off in a span of 33 hours. Before you go handing in that losing tournament bracket (You will not win. You have no chance. You might as well not enter.) take a gander at SIOC's first round "analysis."
You know how sometimes when you use a coupon for a free sandwich, the person at the register looks at you like a lazy freeloader who doesn't deserve a delicious sub, but then they still give it to you because it's the rule and they have to? I assume that's how the Georgia basketball team feels. I'd also like to point out that after all the Bulldogs have been through (tornado in the Georgia Dome, playing 85 minutes of basketball in a Saturday double-header, winning the SEC championship late on Sunday afternoon) they were rewarded with shortest break of any tournament team. Xavier is pleased.
The Big 12 was weak this year, but Kansas did have impressive nonconference wins against USC, Arizona, and ... uh ... Ohio. But don't worry because
After wining the A-10 title game in Atlantic City the Temple team decided to go out to a nice restaurant for dinner. They couldn't find one. That won't be a problem this week in Denver, but the Owls will have to contend with the Spartans tough rebounding and
Baylor is the quintessential "happy to be here" team. It's their first tournament berth in 20 years. It's ecstatic. They get a whole extra week before next fall's 63-7 Oklahoma football pummeling is the only thing they have to look forward to.
Before the start of the season Kent State coach
I'm officially declaring the
The always mysterious 5 o'clock game. It sits alone, the bridge between the afternoon and the evening, its sole purpose to ensure that the thought of even speaking to his family won't cross
It's a battle for NBA draft position as K-State's
Lack of impressive nonconference road victories? Check. Inflated seed despite lack of conference-tournament championship? Check. Offense that relies too heavily on three-pointers? Check. Stir all those ingredients in a bowl, bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, and you got yourself another early Duke tournament exit.
Winthrop makes its eighth tournament appearance in 10 years while Washington State makes just its sixth appearance in school history. The key to the game is Cougar guard
Last Sunday's Big Ten title game received an overnight rating of .18, meaning one person watched 18 percent of the game. Even though the Big Ten is unimpressive, the consensus is Wisconsin deserved better than a No. 3 seed. So now, the Badgers will either play with a chip on their shoulder and make a run to the Final Four, or they'll confirm the Big Ten is weak and feeble by getting crushed before the weekend ends.
Which of these teams is not like the others? The answer is Arizona. The Wildcats are the only at-large team with a losing record in their conference and the only at large team with more than 13 losses. None of that is good for
George Mason is back after a two-year hiatus, and anything other than a Final Four appearance will be considered a major disappointment. The Fighting Irish are led by Big East player of the year
AU (who shall henceforth be referred to as "America's Team") makes its first tournament appearance. No longer will the public be ignorant of its nickname (The Eagles), or the color of its jerseys (blue.) Meanwhile, Tennessee is already printing up T-shirts with its official 2008 slogan: "Hey ... remember when we beat Memphis"
Another mid-major showdown. It will be just like watching ESPN2 on that Saturday in February when nothing else is happening and they set up televised mid-major games. Prepare yourself for a 4300-percent increase in
Speaking of mid-majors, a St. Mary's win would do wonders for Gonzaga and the entire WCC. TV networks can't hype Gonzaga vs. "Anonymous WCC Team," but they can sell Gonzaga vs. "that St. Mary's team you need to watch because they'll probably make the tournament." If this keeps up, the WCC could soon have enough money flowing through it for there to be a scandal.
Sometimes when the Jazz play a cellar-dwelling team from the East,
A lot of people out there think Butler was screwed by the tournament committee. What they don't know is that mid-majors have to fill out an application to be considered for anything higher than a No. 7 seed, and this year Butler forgot to turn it in on time.
It's a monumental accomplishment for a school to reach its first NCAA tournament. That's why UMBC
Here is what Texas coach
"We're scheduled to come play Arkansas next year, and if the fans don't treat us well, we're not going to come. You can put that out there. I'm serious. We've got enough money here we can buy our way out of it. So, they'd better be good to us."
There's nothing like invoking the massive funding of your basketball program in order to threaten a crowd into cheering for you. Austin Peay will enjoy their home game.
The NCAA put the kibosh on UConn's tours of ESPN, but if the Huskies reach the Final Four,
Here's the one problem I see for North Carolina down the road: Because they don't have anymore home games, the next time
St. Joseph's most impressive nonconference win came against Sienna. Oklahoma went 0-5 against the top three teams in the Big 12. St. Joseph's lost to Holy Cross. Oklahoma lost to Stephen F. Austin. Three words. N-I-T.
Because there's a law that every NCAA tournament article has to have at least one upset pick (I think it's tacked onto the Patriot Act), let's go with Sienna over Vanderbilt. Vandy can't play away from home, and the MAAC is my favorite conference with a four-letter acronym.
The Bulldogs need just five wins to give guard
The last time Boise State made the NCAA tournament was in 1994. They were a No. 14 seed. They played Louisville in the first round. As you can see, the selection committee is not real creative with first round matchups.
There's nothing duller than a No. 5 vs. No. 12 game featuring two major conference teams. The good news is that
After a brutal Conference USA schedule, Memphis surely has a few minor skin lacerations and maybe even a blister or two. That's what happens when you bang bodies with the likes of East Carolina and Rice.