Sunday, March 14, 2004
THIS POST: Work In Progress, updated as the selection show unfolds.
Basketball fans everywhere are dropping everything to see who's going where in the big dance. Let me be the first to say: I hate CBS's graphics this year -- too much red and yellow, looks like a bad powerpoint theme. Ok, got that out of my system.
The four 1-seeds: Kentucky, Duke, Stanford and St. Joseph's. Of those, I think St. Joe's will probably bow out first, and I wouldn't be surprised if they're the first #1 to lose to a #16. Not dissing them necessarily; just not impressed with going unbeaten in the Atlantic 10. If Kentucky plays like they did in the SEC tournament, they're already in the Final Four - but that's a tough level to sustain. Duke can make it if their bracket's relatively easy, but I think their confidence was rattled today as Maryland came from way behind (again) to take the ACC Championship.
USC is a 10-seed, matching up Friday against 7-seed Memphis - a rematch of the old Metro Conference, woo hoo. I don't like the prospect of beating Oklahoma State in the second round if we get through the first game, but hopefully we can make the weekend fun. I think Blake's MSU Bulldogs as a 2-seed should have no problem in the first game, but they'd probably play Louisville in the next game, and that one could be tough.
Duke and UNC could meet up in the regional finals of the Atlanta Bracket - but I don't think so. Too cocky and not enough talent to back it all up, I don't think the 6-seed Tarheels will survive the weekend. But that's just me. Alabama's an 8-seed matched up against the Salukis of SIU at the 9-seed, and I don't know that the Crimson Tide will make it out of that first game or not. NC State is a 3-seed, playing U-La-La, and if they win that one I think they'll also handle Vandy as a 6-seed in the second round.
First thoughts on the Final Four - 1-Duke, 1-Kentucky, 4-Maryland, 3-Pitt. Don't hold me to it.