Thursday, January 17, 2008

Crazy Eights

There are a few sites that I checked religiously, and are located on the side navigation bar of The Truth. I frequently check Ken Pomeroy statistics, Sagarin ratings and Sports Illustrated has some great college basketball writers, starting with my favorite, Seth Davis. Luke Winn has a good blog and Grant Wahl will occasionally contribute some good articles, one of his best being the annual Magic 8. He picks eight teams in January, of which one will be the National Champion. He has done this for the past 9 years and picked the eventual winner every year, except for 2003 when Syracuse won it all.

Frankly, I don’t think it seems that tough to do. I mean you are picking one team of 8 to win it all. I think at this point, we have a good idea of who can play and who can’t. Anyway, he did it, so Money will do it as well.

We definitely had a few overlapping teams, but it is hard not to, when some of these teams are so obviously primed to win it all. I can say that my original final four is still in tact and that I still truly do believe in them. I also will continue to keep Georgetown, Washington state and Texas out of the final four. The one exception I would make would be to include Indiana as a team that may be able to make some noise in the tournament with DJ White and Eric Gordon.

Without further adieu, I give you my Crazy Eights (in alphabetical order). One of these teams will be cutting down the nets in April.

This is a team that I am buying now. They play better defense with Lute gone now and Bayless is back and dominant now after a short 4 game injury stint. They have some good victories thus far, and I expect them to get better with a healthy Bayless now.

Wouldn’t you know it, the moment that Money drops these guys, they become dominant again. Money is always one year too early when making his predictions. There is still time for these guys to break our hearts, but they have everything a coach would want. Anything less than a national championship for this team would be an utter failure.

As B. Anthony predicted, Padgett would get hurt and Caracter would get kicked off the team. The good thing about this sport is that it is not football. You can still win it all if you pull yourself together, which they seem to be doing now. They have the talent and the coach to get them there. Watch out for these guys, provided everyone stays healthy and does not get kicked off the team!

Never discount a Tom Izzo team, especially one being led by Drew Neitzel. This is the type of player that is capable of accomplishing greatness in the tournament.

If you read The Truth then you know about Memphis. They could have trouble with a team like Washington State, Georgetown or USC, but I am splitting hairs. These guys are really good and fun to watch.

This is an incredibly talented unit, they could be exposed on the defensive end and the injury to Bobby Frasor will make Ty Lawson’s season longer, but they have the players and the coach to overcome this.

Kevin Love is the perfect compliment to this team. Aside from Kansas, this is the team with the fewest flaws.

This team is doing great this year and they have not received the All-American play from Chris Lofton yet. This is great because it is allowing Tennessee to play together as a team and focus more on their defense.

Just missing the cut:

Where have you gone Acie Law? This was my team last year. I loved them, but I abandoned them. Law went pro. The coach bolted for Kentucky. All is lost. Not so fast. They still stress and play great defense. The improvement now is in their offense.

The combo of DJ White and Eric Gordon could be prove to be quite special come March.

Tonite’s plays

LOUISVILLE -3 vs. Marquette
This game may blow up in my face, as it should be close and the past couple of meetings have been won by the visiting team, but I think this Louisville team is about to catch fire.

MINNESOTA +1.5 vs. Indiana
Under the radar Gopher team will trip up Indiana who does not play well in Minnesota.

This bet has more to do with my lack of confidence in Cal then my respect of ASU.

ARIZONA +5 @ Stanford
I like this Arizona team a lot more with Bayless back.

WASHINGTON STATE -19.5 vs. Oregon State
The cougars will look to get back on track against the lowly beavers who really suck. Quitters!


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