Thursday, March 15, 2007

NCAA: March to Victory (I)

An intro segment to the NCAA 07 Basketball tournament

The NCAA college basketball tournament has been called the most exciting event in all of sports. This may not be very accurate but it is definitely a very intriguing event with multiple story lines and unprecedented drama generated by the single elimination format. Here are three reasons to watch the tournament:

-The talent level is just tremendous. With the NBA installing the “one year out of high school” draft rule many players who could have been acting like 16-17 year old immature basketball players in the NBA, are playing college hoops. Instead of draft class topped by Bargnani, Aldrige and Morrison (pedestrian players), we are heading towards the deepest NBA draft in years. There are NBA- level talents in the teams playing in NIT! Just check out this list and watch for some of these players during the games.

-The version of basketball played is much closer to real basketball than it is to street ball and (And1) mixed tapes. If you play basketball, you may learn something or two watching these kids. I was never a big fan of those who claim that college athletics are “better” “purer” and “more exciting” than professional ones, but one has to admit that while every now and then there is an epic instant-classic NBA game like yesterday’s Mavs-Suns, there are many extremely boring, isolation-based, ball-palming un-watchable NBA games. Take these two examples:
-College kids make their open shots. You cannot say that about the recent NBA.
-Big men play a fundamentally-sound low-post game. They may not be that quick but most of them has at least on or two low post moves.

-The college tournament is the only real high-stakes sporting event scheduled until early April. The NBA regular season is practically over but we have to sit through another month of meaningless games to determine which team, the Nets or The Knicks is going get bounced in the first round of the endless playoffs. MLB opening day is April first. And even the ridiculously over-hyped NFL draft is scheduled around the third week of April.

Now, I was planning on explaining the rationale behind my bracket selections for this years tourney until I realized that this is probably the only thing more annoying than someone telling you about their fantasy team. But last Sunday I got a good look at all four top seeds in their championship games, and I was convinced that this years tournament is a must-see event.

My notes from hoops Sunday [4 college games, and 1.5 NBA ones over 12 hours (I just could not finish the Lakers-Mavs game because it was over by the first quarter. That was the same game after which Phil Jackson announced: "we could sign Jesus Christ right now and he won't be able to help us.Terrence in Sierra Madre followed up on that by: "Let’s how they don’t try to recruit Mohammad, then the whole Middle East will go nuts, screaming bloody hell and burning Lakers jerseys")] are:

I like Greg Oden more than Kevin Durant, but my favorite Ohio State player is Mike Conley jr. Florida has three players that can be top ten picks (Noah, Brewer and my favorite Horford). I have no idea how good are Georgetown or UCLA.
North Carolina has excellent guard play and the third best player in all of college in Brandan Wright. Texas coach played zone defense on Kansas’ last possession of the second half and Kansas hit a three pointer to tie the game and win in over time.[And I am a stupid idiot to pick Texas to beat UNC in the Elite 8. I just hope Durant plays the game his life against UNC and I hope that Roy Williams did not watch tape of the undersized Brandon Rush shutting Durant down in the second half against Kansas]. More thoughts on teams (other than my final four) andsome excerts from Bob Knight's latest interviews may be coming soon.

Given the fact that the stakes are high than ever, and given the fact that this is the most important and most exciting tournament ever (for 1254 reasons), Abu Shreek may retire from public life and take a vow of eternal silence if he does not win his high-stakes pool.


Reckless said...

the march of victory this time will be mine! ;)

Anonymous said...

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اهلا بكم , اضع لكم موقعى لتتطلعوا عليه

منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عامة تهتم بالكثير من الاشياء المصرية . منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عربية عموما مصرية خصوصا و هى منتديات عامة تهتم بكل ما يهتم به الشباب المصرى من الحوار او النقاش او اخر الاخبار او جديد الصور و الاغانى و الالبومات و الكليبات و الافلام و النكت و الفيديوهات و الموبايلات و تحتوى على اقسام مميزة مثل قسم اللغة الانجليزية و قسم اصحاب المواقع و المنتديات و قسم البرامج و القسم الاسلامى و قسم المرأة و قسم الرومانسية و الرياضة المصرية و الكثير ....
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