Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Madness Of The Madness...

Four more tournament thoughts before it tips off...

1. North Dakota State, which is a prime candidate for an upset, is playing in Minneapolis. Why is that important? Because the incomparable Gus Johnson is calling games in Minneapolis. Can you imagine his rising inflection as NDSU (I'm assuming they have a nickname, I just don't know it) buries deep three after deep three? I can't fucking wait.

2. How far has Xavier's basketball program come in the last twenty years? Every Muskie fan I know has no faith in this year's team, and kind of thinks they're just plain average. Even if I sort of agree with them, isn't it borderline unfathomable to consider that XU is a goddamn No. 4 seed? Xavier, a four seed! A big game for them fifteen years ago was at Evansville!

3. One of the more intriguing matchups of round one is Clemson-Michigan. On one hand you have Clemson, a supremely talented squad led by an inept coach in Ollie Purnell. On the other you have the minimally talented Wolverines, led by one of America's ten best coaches, John Beilein. Clemson should homicide Michigan, but Beilein should be able to keep his boys in it. Stay tuned, people.

4. UConn's making the championship game. Out of every contender from the Midwest and West regions, I don't see a major threat to the Huskies. When it comes down to it I just don't see Memphis, Missouri, Michigan State, Louisville, Wake or whoever taking them down.

Final Four predictions and opening-round Vickers to be posted Thursday morning.

-Brad Spieser (