March Madness is on the Horizon!!
Posted by admin on February 12, 2008
With NFL and NCAAÂ football over and done with, spring training not being in full swing for awhile, the NBA approaching the All-star breakÂ and hockey,Â well, being hockey, American sports fans have onlyÂ one thingÂ attracting their attention – college basketball.Â NCAAÂ basketballÂ is rightÂ in the middle ofÂ its season and isÂ displaying some absolutely brilliant performances. So much so that February, the month that is notorious for gloomy weather and a lack of holdiay festivities (well, there is Valentine’s Day, but unless you are a girl this day is just another excuse for Hallmark and See’s to empty you wallet) is spreading cheer throughout the country and giving us something to look forward to – March Madness.
I cannot think of any other veune that offers as much as March Madness. The best 64 teams in the country squaring off in a one-and-done tournament where old rivalries resurface and new rivalries are born. 63 games in 17 days! Dick Vitale shouting at the top of his lungs!! Buzzer beaters, triple overtimes and net-cutting celebrations!!! And how can you forget,Â BRACKETS!!!!Â You just can’t ask for anything more than that.Â
The excitement in me is building toÂ dangerous levels. I simplyÂ can’t wait to get it started. So,Â I won’t. HereÂ areÂ the teams who I think will be in the Final Four come March.
1. Duke – The Blue Devils showed incredible poise and determination by beatingÂ theÂ Tarheels in Chapel Hill – two thingsÂ every final four team needs. Coach K has his team firing on all cylinders. Barring some kind ofÂ injury to a major role player, the Blue Devils will be there in the end.
2. Kansas – TheyÂ can run andÂ gunÂ AND they can set up the half court. They can shoot the threeÂ AND bang down low. The can defend zone AND man to man. They have size, strength and speed.Â I don’t see a weakness. The Jayhawks are playing well and willÂ be a tough matchup for anyone.
3. UCLA – The Bruins haveÂ 5 players who average double-figures in the points column. The only other teams who have that kind of depth are Duke, Kansas and Xavier. Simply put, the Bruins can come at you from any angle. Most teams just will not be able to handle that much firepower.Â
4. The Darkhorse – Drake – The Bulldogs are having a dream season. Yes, they don’t play other top 25 teams during the regular season, but confidence is huge is college basketball. And with only one loss on the season, Drake has a lot of it. (I would have chosen North CarolinaÂ as the fourth spot, but with injuries to Ty Lawson and other Tarheel role players,Â North CarolinaÂ will have difficulty handling the ball) Drake isÂ a team full of sharpÂ shooters. If they can continueÂ their hot streak,Â midnight may never strike during this Cinderella’s runÂ in March. Â Â
These are my picks. But then again, March Madness isÂ known for its unpredictability. That’s part of its allure. You really never know what is going to happen.Â Â Â Â