Some March Madness That is Not About Ruben, Ike, or Lucas

March madness


I don’t like to brag about this a lot on the site, Jimmy, but I’m not a one-dimensional guy who just sits around thinking about the Mets all day. Nope, I am two dimensional, I’m also a hoops nut, always have been. And so you could try and get me to talk about the Mets today, but c’mon, cut a fella a break. Ruben Tejada, no matter how much we wish, never goes away; we can talk about him next week. Today is a National Holiday, the beginning of March Madness. So, I’m declaring that we talk hoops. Two Guys Talking NCAA Basketball. It has a decent ring to it.


I’m totally with you. I married a college basketball player. But in the end, I’m just another guy with just enough knowledge to be dangerous. For most of these teams, I don’t actually know what I’m talking about.


BuffaloI’m going to start with the SOUTH bracket because I find it very confusing. Now I’m not going to lie about this because Mr. Opperman might read the blog every day. I failed Geometry in High School. So I’m on shaky ground, and have to look to you Jimmy. A lot of the games in this region are being played in Buffalo. Buffalo is south? South of what, the North Pole?


You are getting bogged down in literal meanings, where words represent actual things. That’s sooooo last year.


Well, as to the actual games in that “region” I know it is boring but I have to pick Florida winning this bracket. Kansas doesn’t do it for me; Bill Self can tell me all day how hard his schedule was. All those losses are still losses. Syracuse got a three seed even though I haven’t seen them play a decent game in six weeks. And UCLA plays past my bed time.


Picking Florida is boring, but that’s my play here, too. Sold team and I like Donovan a lot. Where I live, Syracuse is the popular team. I saw them twice in the Dome, that amazing game vs. Duke and a lemon against Boston College. They can’t score, can’t pull away from teams, seem stuck in neutral. There’s a half-dozen real flaws to the Orange — that they don’t shoot 3’s is a glaring one — but I can see them in the Elite 8.

A little something for the ladies

A little something for the ladies

In the East, I often joke that my wife has the hots for Tom Izzo. She loves that guy. And his team seems to be coming together at the right time, recovering from injuries, playing their best basketball. It feels like a weak region, though Virginia played solid ball all season long to win the ACC.


Michigan State will be a trendy pick after winning the Big Ten tournament. I’m not a trendy guy. I’m picking the number one seed again in Virginia. They have been playing great since conference play started, and that’s when good teams start rolling. I like Harvard for at least one upset, I see them beating Cincinnati. Cincy can do some things well on a basketball court, shooting is not one of them. I find that can be a problem.


I hate Cincinnati. Something punkish about that program.


Harvard actually has more skilled players than the Bearcats, who padded their resume by playing in a conference with legendary programs such as Rutgers and the University of Central Florida.

There is one team I do respect in the weak AAC and that is Louisville, the defending National Champions. They have a tough road back to the Final Four in the MIDWEST, with Kentucky, Duke, and Michigan all in their bracket, not to mention the undefeated Wichita State Shockers. I’m picking the Cardinals here, but this bracket looks stacked to me.


Louisville is balanced, offense and defense, I like them too. I really do enjoy Duke’s offense though, college basketball’s most hated team. They miss size in the middle, and it’s been their undoing all season long. The potential Kentucky/Wichita State matchup will tell us a lot about two teams I can’t quite figure out. The winner of that probably goes up against Louisville. Great region. The team that comes out of there goes to the Final.


In the WEST, I’m going San Diego State. Bill Fisher goes back to the Final Four, and the NCAA sanctions won’t come until 2016. It takes those guys awhile to catch up with a program. I’m also picking Oregon to go all the way to the elite eight out yonder.

Why the Ducks?


Mike’s Final Four:

Florida, Virgina, Louisville, San Diego State

Jimmy’s Final Four:

Florida, Michigan State, Kentucky, Wisconsin


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  1. James Preller says:

    Meanwhile, the Deep Thinker has Wheeler batting 8th today, undercutting both d’Arnaud and Lagares.

  2. Reese Kaplan says:

    I wrote about how a winning Mets team functioned vs. the current sorry lot over at Mack’s Mets today:

  3. Love reading your work, Reese. The two teams — the organizations — are so far apart, though, it’s like comparing apples to auks.

  4. Eraff says:

    Frank Cashen was a Great General Manager…. and he worked in the “ancestral version” of this Ownership— my recollection was that Doubleday had more influence in those years (before the split).

    Better Ingredients make better Pizza !?

  5. Eraff says:

    I believe the 9th spot, after the pitcher, is a better and easier slot than the 8th slot. I’ve always thought that Leadoff and 8 we’re the toughest slots for hitters, Tactically. The 2 slot with a base stealer would be the 3rd toughest, tactically.

    Inverting the 8/9 slots with the Pitcher Batting 8th?… seems to pretty much trash the 7th slot, which could be a pretty good RBI position behind a decent middle order with High OBP guys in front of you.

    Re-Inventing the wheel is tough work!

  6. Eraff says:

    Appreciate other eyes…. Has anyone watched Flores and thought “Wow…this guy’s a hitter!”? Apart from any preconceptions based on “hype”, I haven’t seen a “big hitter” at bat. ???

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