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Blog Entry

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

Posted on: March 31, 2010 2:29 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2010 3:07 pm
 

MATT JONES

I am trying to talk myself into this Final Four, I really am.  I look at the field and see the loveable underdog (Butler), the mighty unlikeable power (Duke), the coach looking to break through (West Virginia) and the consistent, “How Do They Do It?” performer (Michigan State).  In theory that looks like a good bunch and would seem like a group I could rally behind.  But I am just not feeling it and I must admit I am a bit depressed.

See this was to be the Tournament when the stars came out and we got to see the best of the best .  The Midwest Region had Kansas and its pack of old school veterans and new school talent.  I was certain they would win their second title in three years and we would all have to accept that Bill Self is more “NCAA Champion” than “loser to Bradley and Bucknell.”  And if Kansas fell, it had to be Ohio State and Evan Turner, right?  He is so good AND he wears braces, a combination that almost surely is deserving of a Final Four.

And then in the West, old Jimmy Boeheim was going to be there, that much was certain.  Wesley Johnson was going to do his thing on a national stage and we were all going to be able to see the power of a perfectly executed zone.  And if for some strange reason, the Orange fell, well then Kansas State and their manic coach would be there to entertain and potentially scare us.  Throw in the fact they have a player with an Amish beard, and the excitement would have been at a fever pitch.

Then there was Kentucky.  You KNEW Kentucky was going to be there .  It was certain.  John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, John Calipari….it was a murderer’s row of storylines.    The Cats were the most talented team in America and had at least four future NBA Lottery picks on the roster.  There is no way that team doesn’t make the Final Four and dazzle us with at least a few amazing fast breaks and gravity-defying dunks.  There was no way that group could lose, could they?

Well they all lost, and some of them in brutal fashion.  And now we are left with four teams, none of which is really good enough to be the National Champion.   Yeah I said it.  None of these teams are very good.   In fact, if I were to have ranked the teams in terms of national championship worthiness going into the Tournament, only two of the teams in the Final Four would have even been in the Top 10, and West Virginia would have been highest at #5.  Now one of them will join Arizona in 1997 and Florida in 2006 as the only champions of the 1990s that were not among the four best teams in the country (for the record, my four this year were Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse and Ohio State…in that order). 

Look I love the scrappy underdog.  And if Butler becomes the most unlikely champ in NCAA history, then I will cheer.  But we know that will not happen.  Instead, we will likely either see a flawed West Virginia team or a mediocre Duke bunch with a gift-wrapped path to the Final Four, cut down the nets.  And that is fine I guess, but it doesn’t appeal to my sensibilities.  I either want to see greatness rewarded, or true “out of nowhere” underdogs capture the nation and produce a champion to remember for eternity.  None of these teams fit that bill.

So I guess I will root for Michigan State.  Tom Izzo has 6 Final Fours in 12 years and that record is beyond impressive.  And even though this bunch is one of the worst teams of the group, he is a great coach who deserves the second title that elevates him into the discussion as of the all-time best to roam the sidelines.  While this particular group doesn’t really deserve the title, he does for his overall resume of work.  So I will take Izzo and root for Sparty this weekend.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.


Comments

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: April 2, 2010 11:17 am
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

Exactly what I was thinking.  He says WV path was gift wrapped yet they had to beat one of the teams he thought ought to be there, Kentucky.  Butler, another team he doesn't want to see there, beat both Syracuse (who he thinks should be there) and Kansas State (who he says should have been there if Syracuse wasn't).  One team I see that was basically gift-wrapped a Final Four berth was Duke who got too high a seed then had to play the play in team, California, an injury depleted Purdue and Baylor to get there.  Sounds like a rough road, eh? I mean, really, Baylor?  And even then they needed a bogus charging call to change the complexion of the game or they may have lost.  And the really gift wrapped, though no fault of the committee, berth to the Final Four was Michigan State.  As a #5, they haven't had to beat anyone above a #4 to get there.  I suspect we will get Michigan State-Duke in the Final, but will not be at all surprised if it is Butler-WV who both have had harder roads to get there.



Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: April 2, 2010 11:02 am
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

Sounds like sour grapes to me.......Isn't this what they mean by "one shining moment" and "on any given day" Give it up......this is what it is, enjoy it and GO STATE



Since: Mar 29, 2010
Posted on: April 2, 2010 8:15 am
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

I think you mis-read my post.  What I was saying was Kansas and Kentucky were definitely #1 seeds.  People have been making the case that the other 2 #1 seeds should have gone to Syracuse, West Virginia, or Ohio St. instead of Duke.  My point was to show why I thought those teams were not as qualified for a #1 as Duke:

Syracuse (#4 AP, #4 Coaches) Lost last 2 games before tournament, lost in Sweet 16

WVU (#6 AP, #5 Coaches) Worse record (27-6), lost to Nova, Purdue, and Notre Dame which were all in Duke's "cupcake bracket"   

Ohio St (#5 AP, #6 Coaches) Lost 8 games including 3 to unranked teams, lost in the Sweet 16

I was stating that West Viriginia lost to Nova, Purdue, and Notre Dame, not Syracuse.



Since: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: April 2, 2010 1:11 am
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

This is why bloggers drive me crazy. Florida, which won in 2006, was a champion of the 1990s? West Virginia's path to the Final Four was "gift-wrapped" with Kentucky and its four lottery picks. Butler, which is not good enough to be national champion beat both Syracuse and K State. Three of the four teams in the Final Four were ranked in the preseason top ten (OK, so were Texas and NC) and Butler is always ranked low early on. The point is, these are good teams that play solid fundamental basketball and deserve to be here. They proved it on the field of play, unlike college football where 2 teams get a shot at a national title just by playing well in a big-name conference.




Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: April 1, 2010 8:39 pm
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

You are a joke Hatin MSU. Everytime State has made a Final Four, National Championship Game or even winning the National Championship etc. you have some kind of claim that Izzo is lucky. Man, is he the luckiest coach that has ever lived. Last year and in previous years I think you claimed that it was all talented assistant coaches that were carrying Izzo to Final Fours, National Championships, Elite Eights and so on. Get a grip , quit huffin paint or what ever it is you are doin and realize 6 Final Fours in 12 years does not get lucked into.



Since: Nov 16, 2009
Posted on: April 1, 2010 7:40 pm
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

You clearly did not read the article...and got all upset at the title. He is simply saying that these final games will not be as exciting as they could have been. I don't care who you are Kansas vs. Kentucky would have been an amazing game...something to be excited about. That is all he is saying, not that the Duke, Michigan State and company do not deserve their spot. Simmer down.



Since: Jul 12, 2008
Posted on: April 1, 2010 6:31 pm
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

Wow Matt, you really swung and missed with this one.  How can you say that none of these teams is good enough to be the national champion?  They haven't lost in the tournament, so in my eyes they are good enough to be national champions.  If Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, and Ohio State truly were the best, then they would still be playing this weekend.  The fact that anyone in the tournament has a chance to win it shouldn't make you depressed because that is the beauty of March Madness.  I am sorry that you have failed to grasp this.



Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: April 1, 2010 6:02 pm
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

i'm pretty sure u might be a bigger moron then the columnist!



Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: April 1, 2010 5:22 pm
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch



I am saying that is the worst idea. college football is the only sport that does it, and is the only sport that repeatedly crowns national champs that might not be worthy



Since: Apr 1, 2010
Posted on: April 1, 2010 5:18 pm
 

Hard to Get Excited About this Bunch

So you are saying you want a BCS type system for college basketball?  That would be AMAZING!!!  Then we could have what everyone THINKS are the two best teams in the NC game. 


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