I did about as bad as I could have on my picks for the Sweet 16, but you just like Jesse James I’ll have to dust myself off and move on. Maybe I underestimated Tennessee, and I definitely gave the double digit seeds a little more credit than I should have. I thought they’d be close enough to cover a spread or two, but that wasn’t the case. I guess the last two days truly were separation days. The Cinderella’s went down, and the true contenders are headed to the Elite 8 with the Championship in sight. There was one thing I pondered while watching Duke tonight, did anyone get screwed more by the making of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy than Scheyer? He must hear so much hobbit trash talk on the court every game I wish we could hear him mic’d up. I know I’d be getting my punches in… Anyways, here’s my picks for the weekend games, and who will be making the final four.
Kentucky (-3.5) Over West Virginia
This is a tough one for me. I will be pulling hard for West Virginia, and huggy bear. But as much as I want them to win, I know they won’t. They need to pick up the defense, and if they can somehow stop/slow down Kentucky from running up and down the court, they have a shot. I just think Kentucky looks too good to be beat. This will be the first truly good team they’ve faced, and we should be able to tell if they are going to be able to walk their way to a Championship after this game. I thought Cornell would put up a little fight, but I was completely wrong. I think I’ve now forced myself to not pick against Kentucky again in fear of being eaten by Demarcus Cousins. Is it just me or is anyone else curious how much bigger he is going to get when he hits the pros? Christ, he already looks as big as Al Jefferson out there. Ok, ok, maybe that was an exaggeration, but agianst Cornell’s twiggy center, and most other players he’s come across he looks like a man amongst boys. The guy is going to be huge after he hits the weights for a couple years.
Butler (-3) Over Kansas State
I’d really like to see Pullen have some more cracks at game winners, the guy is nails when it matters most. My biggest question for this game is, how much does K-State have in the tank after that double OT marathon. I’m impressed with how many minutes those guys have played, and maybe Gus Johnson made them seem a little longer, but it has to catch up to you somewhere along the line. Maybe they are just young and can shake off the soreness or are in that good of condition. I think adrenaline could get them through this game, but Butler is playing out of their minds right now. Never bet against the team with the longest winning streak even if you really want to win the bet. This should be a good game. I’m REALLY looking forward to this one!
Tennessee (-2) Over Michigan State
Uh oh, I think I see a theme starting here. I’ve picked all the teams that I don’t want to win, but I think will win so far. I won’t break the trend with this pick. I’m sticking with my earlier point of view that Tennessee isn’t that much fun to watch, but good for them making it to their first Elite 8. Maybe I’m just bitter they knocked out my hopes of winning my pool by beating Ohio State. I do like the way Chism plays, but in the end I hope Lucious and Summers can keep up their great level of play, and beat Pearl’s Vols. Michigan State can do it, and I hope I jinxed Tennessee by picking them! Let’s just hope it’s a close one!
Baylor (+4) Over Duke
I want Baylor to win, and I’m picking them, whew, I’m glad there’s one team I will root for and bet on! I think the crowd in this one is going to help. They are pretty much playing this in their own backyard. Baylor is bigger and more athletic than anyone Duke has faced in the tourney. The Bears defense is what made them destroy St. Mary’s, and they’ll need to do the same with Duke, although I don’t see it being anywhere near a blowout. It’s been about seven years since the murder of Patrick Dennehy, and is also the first time Baylor has made a splash in the tourney since the scandalous cover up. Maybe they do have a little Cinderella story in them… or maybe we will see Duke roll to a championship. It’s pretty tough to not like a Coach K team these days. I mean the kids have to hang on his every word every day after coaching the Dream Team. If there’s one team that trusts their coach all the time it’s him. I’m still taking Baylor though!