A word from Madame Commissioner

The NCAA men’s hoops tourney resumes again tonight, with the East and West regional semi-final matches.

Wisconsin-Syracuse:  The Fab Melo-less Orange meet their biggest challenge to date in the tourney.  Both teams have quality defenses.  If Wisconsin is to beat Syracuse, it probably needs accurate three-point shots combined with a balanced inside-outside attack to keep Syracuse’s defense guessing.  If Syracuse is to beat Wisconsin, it might want to force turnovers and be prepared to leverage its bench quickly.

Cincinnati-Ohio St.: Cincy has a guard-heavy lineup and won late-season/conference tournament games against four better seeded Big East rivals.  They’re quick, too.  Whether that’ll be enough to compensate for OSU’s superior size and rebounding ability will likely be a key factor.

Florida-Marquette: Florida is a hot-cold team.  Marquette likes to create opportunities, especially turnovers.  If Florida can hit its threes and limit its turnovers, it could be the Gators will pick the Golden Eagle carcasses clean.  The Marquette defense, if it can hold Florida to about 35% from the floor in the first half, likely paves the way to a berth in the Elite Eight.

Louisville-Michigan St.: In my view, this is the first matchup between two teams that could go all the way.  Two of the toughest coaches in the game today, Rick Patino of L’ville and Tom Izzo of MSU, have at it and the sidelines could be just as entertaining as the court play.  Patino is frenetic, push-the-envelope and Izzo is adaptable, tough-it-out.  If you’re going to watch only one game this evening, this would be my recommendation.

UPDATE:

Leading ATiM Rocks brackets benefiting from a win (by team):

  • Wisconsin: USF Baby, Moderately Yello, Michi#2
  • Syracuse: ashot, Blade Warriors
  • Cincinnati:
  • OSU: USF Baby, DogJS, Moderately Yello, MIA#2, Blade Warriors
  • Florida:
  • Marquette:
  • L’ville : MIA#4
  • MSU: USF Baby, DogJS, Moderately Yello, MIA#2, ashot, Michi#2, Blade Warriors

So if any other bracket favors the likes of Florida or Cincy, or even L’ville, it can make up some serious ground with a win.

6 Responses

  1. SYR-WI was a really great game. What happened to MSU? Besides L’ville, which played a great game. Both fun to watch.

    I do note a change in the ATiM standings.

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    • ‘Goose, I wish MSU had won. One of my brackets rides Louisville, but I was not rooting for them.

      That Baylor really could make the Elite 8 while MO went out in the first round still bugs me. Baylor has 7 excellent players – probable future pros – but no team to speak of. Really.

      I have no use for Calipari because I suspect his ethics. Favored or not, I root against KY.

      Okie, Syr truly hung in there to win, to their credit. Personally, I am now rooting for UNC and Kansas to win tomorrow.

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      • mark:

        I have no use for Calipari because I suspect his ethics.

        I went to the Final Four two years ago in Indianapolis. On the morning of the semi-finals, I got up early and was walking down the deserted street in search of a place to eat breakfast, and happened to walk by Calipari who had six or seven kids in tow in what seemed to me an obvious recruiting effort, treating them to a trip to the final four and his sage insights in the hopes of gaining favor. Not one of the kids looked older than 14. I thought, damn, he’s getting them young.

        There are, I suppose, more benign explanations, but I agree with you…I have no use for him either. Every time he departs a school to move on to bigger and better things, a scandal at his old school seems to be in the offing. It happened at both UMass and Memphis. When he leaves Kentucky, I expect an NCAA investigation and punishment to follow soon after for the Wildcats.

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  2. Thanks, Mark. I don’t have TV access here, so I was following the score on my iTouch and explaining the whole March Madness concept to a Dane who’s here at the meeting. . . in the end, he was commiserating with me over MSU. Now I’m reduced to rooting for OSU (*shudder*) and IU. Go, Hoosiers!!

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  3. I thought, damn, he’s getting them young.

    Welcome to the bidness of college recruiting. An acquaintance’s nephew had college scouts hanging around his high school freshman football workouts. The pressure on the kid and his parents has been surreal.

    Like

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