Brackets ? What Brackets ? Aren’t They Meant To Support Things ?
Well it’s Kaput , Auf Wiedershen , Dasvadiniya , Sayonara , Bonsoir as far as my brackets go in the men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament . My choices are as bad in the choice I made in having gotten married after living with the ex for over a decade. Not the wisest of decisions I’ve ever made in my life but I think that I can live with it ! Well she’s gone her way I’ve gone in mine after a somewhat lukewarm divorce and I can say is that I survived. Now on to the tournament itself where we’ve seen surprises and the teams we thought would excel have done so with legitimate ease. Perhaps the biggest surprise however may well have been the quick departure of Jamie Dixon’s — Pitt Panthers’ team who many well have felt were a legitimate contender for this year’s title. The Panthers’ demise at the hands of the Butler Bull Dogs in the round of 32 shows us all why we can’t really take anything for granted . That apparent one point loss 71-70 essentially ended the Panthers’ season and that of their fans.
Slide show for your perusal .
Now while I’m under no illusion that there’s still a great deal to play for as far the tournament now goes I can’t help but wonder how many of the fans and their brackets now seem to be panning out ? I’ve heard it said that President Obama’s picks in part are still in tact and that if anything tells me that he’s more concerned with the tournament than the more pressing needs that he , his cabinet , the House and Senate face in dealing with many of the acute issues that the country presently faces. Hell there’s an unemployment rate of 9.5% , the economy a mess , and need we be reminded that the budget deficit is almost 10% of the nation’s $14 trillion ($14,000,000,000,000) economy (GDP) ? But I doubt that the President much less the Congress is that overly concerned with that issue much any of the others that the country now faces as they’re simply only paying it lip service . I’ve yet to see this or any other administration actually make a legitimate attempt in dealing with the fiscal woes of the country. Hell the vast majority of the idiots in Congress wouldn’t know the difference between balance sheet and baking sheet !
As I alluded to earlier there were surprises to be had once the tournament commenced on the 15th March 2011 with a litany of games that started the ball rolling . The tournament now kicks into high gear because from hereon in it’s all about the glory acclaim and fan worship for the teams now left to compete. And at this moment in time I for one don’t feel that there’s a clear cut favorite that stands out in spite of what many analysts are saying . If anything they’d rather make those comments solely for the sake of making them to elicit some commentary from the fans and beat writers alike covering the tournament nationwide. What might be more different in the coverage of this season’s tournament is the fact that it is being shared by broadcast and cable networks alike . You have the primary programmer in this case being CBS who in conjunction with TNT , Tru Tv and TBS are sharing the television. However, CBS will take over the scheduling once the tournament comes down to the Elite 8 , Final Four and the championship game itself. Though I’m not totally against this , it does as such throw my planning completely out of the window unless I’m fully aware as to the scheduling of the games to be televised and in particular the ones that are of interest to me .
As an avowed Duke Blue Devils’ fan I’m looking to see whether or not Mike Krzyzewski and this Duke team can become the first to successfully defend a national men’s title in two different decades since Krzyzewski , himself , accomplished the feat in 1991 and ’92 . Having won it all in 2010 defeating Brad Steven’s Butler team 61-59 , this would be Krzyzewski’s fifth title overall in his illustrious career and perhaps further cement his career as one of the best coaches ever in collegiate basketball . Perhaps someone ought to remind the outspoken and now somewhat ridiculous Jalen Rose the pride of playing for the institution doesn’t come down to color but character and integrity ? His denigrating of African American players past and present who’ve played for Duke speaks to his stupidity and lack of respect not only for some of his peers but also how little respect he has for his race and in particular the environment he’s eschewed as it relates to the background of the players he’d chosen to denigrate as well as the program. And less we forget his alma-mater Michigan is not without controversy as it relates to the basketball program and that a teammate of his at the time Chris Webber was embroiled in some NCAA violations while attending the school.
Now with many of the top seeds still remaining in the tournament and the thought being that it’s now about viewing who stands the best chance of making it through to the Elite Eight amongst those contenders left. Among those left as #1 seeds are Ohio State , Duke , #2 seeds —- North Carolina and San Diego State and Florida the two time national champions under coach Billy Donovan . The coach will be looking to add a third title to his resume’ in the last five years having won national titles in 2006 and then repeating 2007 . Adding a third title for the young coach and this team at this stage of his career would be a remarkable feat. But that’d be predicated upon the Gators being able to get by the BYU Cougars led by the nation’s leading scorer and one of the main candidates for Player of the Year Jimmer Ferdette .
These series of games will go a long way in telling who amongst the likes of Marquette , Florida State , Arizona , Wisconsin , Ohio St, Butler , Kansas and Kentucky are likely to proceed on to the Elite Eight . And at this juncture many a fool and his money have been easily parted but that’s certainly not the case for those who still have their brackets in tact. I’d dare say that this is the one time of the year with regard to a sporting event where the whole nation is engrossed such an event. Other than the Superbowl I for one can’t think of any other sports’ event that literally has the viewers and nation at large so engrossed. Most certainly it becomes the water cooler topic amongst employees at work who are either discussing the merits of their picks or where they went wrong in making those picks. I know that’s definitely the case for myself amongst my colleagues at work but also my own close personal friends outside of the work environment. Gladly, it hasn’t taken a toll on my personal relationship although the girlfriend whose interests in sports lay somewhere between the AVP Women’s Tour (Beach Volleyball) and perhaps once in a while the odd NFL game that might just have Tom Brady on view. For some reason she thinks he’s the closest thing to an “Adonis” there is in the world of sports ?
There have been some outstanding players on display during this tournament and I dare say that we’ll be hearing a lot more about the likes of Jared Sullinger , Jon Diebler , Nolan Smith , Kemba Walker , Kyle Singler , Kyrie Irving and a slew of other players who will be parading their skills for not only the fans but the NBA scouts , general managers and no doubt coaches who’ll be watching the latter stages of this tournament with a great deal of interest . It gives many of these players in question another chance to showcase their talent with a view to making and then taking that inevitable next step to the professional ranks. I know this for fact , the NBA and the NCAA wouldn’t want it any other way. Because it’s a mutually beneficial thing for all parties concerned from a competitive and financial standpoint !
By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted
Picture gallery for your perusal .
As to the the tournament itself , how do you see the whole thing panning out how are your brackets now holding up ? For myself it simply imploded within the first two rounds of the tournament. Beyond that I can only redeem myself if Coach K and the boys pull through . So I’m now hoping that will definitely be the case , hoping for something good ! Chime in with your thoughts on the tournament and which teams or players have impressed you the most ?
Alan aka tophatal ………………..
NCAA Sweet 16 Draw games scheduled for 24th and 25th March , 2011 .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Butler guard Shelvin Mack , right, fouls Pittsburgh forward Gilbert Brown (5) during the second half of the Southeast Regional third-round NCAA tournament college basketball game, Saturday, March 19, 2011, at the Verizon Center in Washington. Butler defeated Pittsburgh 71-70 . AP Photo/Alex Brandon …..
(2) Andrew Smith (44) of the Butler Bulldogs puts up a shot against Ashton Gibbs (12) of the Pittsburgh Panthers during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Verizon Center on March 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. Butler won the game 71-70. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….
(3)Members of the Pittsburgh basketball team including Nasir Robinson (35), Ashton Gibbs (12), and Brad Wanamaker (22) walk off the court following their loss against Butler in the third round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Verizon Center on March 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. Butler won the game 71-70. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images ……….
(4) Nolan Smith (2) of the Duke Blue Devils talks with his teammates in the second half while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ………
(5) Darius Morris(4) of the Michigan Wolverines and Kyle Singler (12) of the Duke Blue Devils go up for a rebound alongisde Jordan Morgan (52) of the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …….
(6) Billy White (32) of the San Diego State Aztecs and Juan Fernandez (4) of the Temple Owls look for a rebound during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at McKale Center on March 19, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images ………..
(7) Jared Sullinger (0) and Jon Diebler (33) of the Ohio State Buckeyes look on from the bench late in the second half against the George Mason Patriots during the third of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 20, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ………
(8) Scottie Wilbekin (5) of the Florida Gators drives for a shot attempt against the UCLA Bruins during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 19, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Florida won 73-65 . Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……
Eye candy ……….. Sybilla
UB 40 ………….. “Higher Ground”
UB 40 …. feat’g ……… Chrissie Hynde ……….”Breakfast In Bed”