Saturday, March 25, 2006

Four Corners

Somebody throw some water on me. Not because I am so hot. I need to be woken up after watching that dreadful UCLA/Memphis game. I am happy UCLA won and I expected the Bruins to force the tempo of the game, but I think they took it a bit too far. The refs kept calling fouls, UCLA kept missing free throws, and Memphis could not make a 3 point shot. In the end, you have to give credit to UCLA for getting to the final four. It makes the Pac 10 look good too.

LSU is so athletic and big. In hindsight, they seemed like such an obvious pick for the final four. I knew Duke would not get out of the sweet 16 and had them losing to either Texas A&M or LSU in every pool. But, I wish I had the guts to pick them over Texas. I don’t know why I fell into the Longhorn trap. They are so talented and have a great team, but they are way too inconsistent to win 6 or even 4 games in a row. Shame on you Money.

The Final Four is shaping up to be a good one in Indy, with LSU and UCLA and most likely Uconn and either Florida or Villanova. Those are 4 really great teams from 4 power conferences. I do give George Mason a chance tomorrow so don’t book the ticket to Indy yet. Uconn should have lost on Friday to Washington. I will blame the coach for this one. You would have thought Romar would have learned his lesson after Stanford burned Washington in the regular season on a last second 3 point shot. How in the world does Anderson get a shot off? Don’t let the only guy who can kill you, shoot it. If nothing else, foul them before they take the shot and put them on the line for 2 free throws.

Money’s Trip to the Bank: The team in ALL CAPS is my pick.

GEORGE MASON +8 vs. Uconn
This is a home game for George Mason. They will give these guys a fight, a fight they will most likely lose, but one that should stay competitive throughout. The Huskies do not have that killer instinct and won’t feel the need to blow somebody out. They will win, just not by 8 points.

FLORIDA +1.5 vs. Villanova
It has been a great run for the Wildcats. They have proven the country wrong by winning with 4 guards. But, this is where I draw the line. Florida can do the same thing offensively that Villanova can do, but they also have a frontcourt, and they are playing better defense too.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Four Corners

Connecticut Huskies; 2006 National Champions. Money is ready to anoit these guys the winner after their OT victory over Washington. Simply put, they should have lost. But they did not, so they move on and will it all, in spite of how poorly they are playing. They have too much talent and won’t lose again.

I can’t remember so many close good games in a single tournament before. I don’t have a good memory to begin with, but no other tournament sticks out like this one. Everywhere you look, somebody is making a last second 3 point shot or crying.

I know these guys don’t want to end their collegiate careers, but I could really do without all the crying, especially from our Player of the year candidates. You don’t see me crying about my locks not coming in. I turn the page and move on and so should they. If you want to cry, then sit down with me and watch Roy Hobbs in The Natural hit a homerun that breaks the stadium lighting.

No more teams left in Washington DC, so Money is officially pronouncing George Mason the best team in Washington DC. I should get an award for this.

Money’s Trip to the Bank: The team in ALL CAPS is my pick.

UCLA +3 vs. Memphis
I will admit that Memphis is playing great basketball right now. Yet I am still not convinced they are as talented as they look. They have not been challenged in over 2 months, and their 3 victories in the tournament have come against Oral Rob, Bucknell and Bradley. UCLA plays the kind of defense that can disrupt their style of play. The Bruins will shoot better, control this game, and make us realize how young these Tigers really are. Bruins win outright.

TEXAS -3 vs. Lsu
Texas needs to thank Duke for losing. The Blue devils would have beaten Texas again. How does LSU and Texas stack up against each other? They are very similar, in that they both play great defense and rebound. Where do they differ? Texas can shoot.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Four Corners

Money has a bit of a dilema here. He does not want to drift from his final four picks of Uconn, Ucla, Texas and Florida, but at the same time he needs to be honest with his clients. Afterall, this is called The Truth.

I still believe my teams can make it to the final four, yet I find myself wanting to bet against everyone one of them this weekend. I suppose I can still do that(bet against them) and still have them move on to the Final Four.

Money’s Trip to the Bank: The team in ALL CAPS is my pick.

LSU +6.5 vs. Duke
I believe that Duke is more scared to play LSU than they are Texas. LSU matches up well with Duke and has the athletes to stick with Redick. Don’t think about the one point victory over Texas A&M. That was a great win over a great Aggies team.

WEST VIRGINIA +5.5 vs. Texas
They played earlier this year in November. Texas won 76-75. Neither team was at it’s best then. Both teams are doing well, with a slight edge going to West Va. Expect another nailbiter.

UCLA -3.5 vs. Gonzaga
I must admit, this spread puzzles me. I think it is about 2 points too many. I really don’t give Gonzaga much of a chance to win, but am a little worried about this line being as high as it is. Gonzaga will struggle to score every time they come down the floor. UCLA will slow the pace and play extremely efficient on offense. The Bruins won’t lose and should be able to cover the 3.5 in a low scoring game.

BRADLEY +6.5 vs. Memphis
Bradley is for real. They beat argueably two of the hottest teams in the country. They are not young either. They are an experiend team that will be well prepared. Speaking of age, Memphis may show it in this game. Rodney Carney is the only significant contributor who is a senior. Memphis really has not been challenged in over 2 months.

GEORGE MASON -1.5 vs. Wichita State
These teams know each other well. In fact they played each other about a month ago. George Mason hit a last second shot at Wichita State to win the game. This is a home game for George Mason. They have the advantage.

WASHINGTON +6.5 vs. Uconn
If you have followed The Truth, you knew this pick was coming. Brandon Roy is a special player. He is the kind of player that can beat Uconn. He will need help and a near perfect game from his teammates, but the timing is right. Uconn seems distracted and Washington is playing at a high level. The “Huskies” go down.

FLORIDA -3 vs. Georgetown
Georgetown will prove to be quite a challenge, but there is no team hotter than Florida right now. Back the Gators.

VILLANOVA -2.5 vs. Boston College
BC has lasted about 2 games longer than I thought they would. And to their credit they have been playing well. But nothing will prepare them for the ass-whooping they will receive from the Wildcats. BC simply will not be able to stop these guys.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Four Corners

What a great start to the best time of year. It hard for me to describe how excited I get prior to the start of the tournament. My productivity at work declines, my relationship with my family is temporarily tarnished, and I don’t shower. I will work on the first two problems in April and make amends, but there is really no reason to stay dirty, so I may fix that problem sooner than later. So many fantastic games, both from a spread point of view, as well as the actual game too. Today I will document some of my thoughts and come back with predictions on the games on Wednesday.

My final four is still intact. I picked Uconn to defeat UCLA in the final game, with Texas and Florida joining them as the other two entrants. How do I feel about this now? Actually, not very good. I am worried about Uconn. They don’t have the look of a champion. I watched almost every game played over the last four days, but I have to admit that I have not heard Rudy Gay’s name mentioned at all. Yes, he had 19 points on Sunday, but if he is truly the player he/we think he is, then he should be dominating, not sharing the spot light with Rashard Anderson. Marcus Williams cannot do this alone, and so far he is. If they don’t turn up the intensity, they will lose to Washington. Other than Uconn, I feel pretty good about my final four picks. Florida is playing great and so is UCLA. Texas took care of business in Dallas, as they should.

Duke, if they both get there, will be a big test for Texas. JJ Redick is an outstanding college basketball player. I emphasize the word “college” because I don’t think he will contribute at the next level. But, in college, there is nobody better. He is capable of making any shot, from anywhere on the court, at any time. He looks like he is just toying with some of these guys. Who else is playing at a high level? I really like Craig Smith. He reminds me a lot of myself as a player, great body and intimidating enforcer down low. He smoothly made two free throws at the end of the Pacific game to tie it. He is very hard to stop. I bet he is no bigger than 6”4’. Have you seen Glen “Big Baby” Davis, or Roy Hibbert put the ball on the court and dribble? They guys can play and are really mucking up things inside for their opponents. Patrick O’Braynt of Bradley made himself a lot of money yesterday. I think Allen Ray will make the best pro next year. Great shot, and quick hands and feet. Obviously, after getting his eye poked out, he is tough.

I still believe that George Mason is the best team in Washington DC.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Four Corners

Money’s Trip to the Bank: The team in ALL CAPS is my pick.

GEORGETOWN +2.5 vs. Ohio State
Hibbert will win the battle of the big men and the Hoyas guards are shooting better than the buckeyes. After this game, there will no longer be any Big Ten schools left in the tournament.

GEORGE MASON +6.5 vs. North Carolina
The Patriots will benefit from the return of their second leading scorer, Tony Skinn. Remember, this is a very young North Carolina team. An upset is possible.

ARIZONA +6.5 vs. Villanova
This is a home game for Villanova, but Arizona is playing at a high level now and matches up well with Villanova. This bet makes me uneasy, but it is the right thing to do.

UCONN -9 vs. KentuckyThe huskies roll. They had a wake up call against Albany. Kentucky is not very good. Uconn will be a good first half play (-5) as well.