Trevor Freeman
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March 11 - NCAA Tournament Preview

Chicken Wings.  Cinderellas.  Yuengling.  Bracket Busters.  Nachos.  Harold Arcenaux.  Budweiser.  
Sweet 16.  Jalapeno Poppers.  Bryce Drew.  Chicken Fingers.  Elite Eight.  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.  
Bo Kimble.  Mozzarella Sticks.  $20 a bracket, winner take all.  Jack Daniels.  Final Four.  Do you feel
it?  Is it in your blood yet?  Is your body ready for the monthlong binge that is the greatest sporting
event on the planet?  Are you ready for the Madness?    

With March Madness kicking off this Thursday, we are all officially under the bracket gun.  For all of
those who have not watched more than ten minutes of college basketball this season, but want to fill
out their bracket with confidence, I have taken the ball and run with it.  Preview the Big Dance on a
Sunday night I have.  Instead of going with the standard “Best Player, Best Team, Sleeper” approach
by region like every other newspaper/website does, we took a more unique approach.  Without further
ado, let us begin our preview with………..

The Danny & The Miracles Award (annually given to the player most likely to put a team on his back
and carry them through the tourney):  Kevin Durant.  Remember a couple months ago when I said that
there were only three other players on the planet I would rather have to start a basketball team than
Kevin Durant………well we officially down to one.  Dwyane Wade.  I would take Durant over every
other player in the NBA, Europe and college.  Kevin Durant is the best player to play college
basketball in the last twenty-five years and he will captivate the nation over the next month.

The “I Cannot Wait For This Team To Make Dick Vitale Look Like A Blithering Idiot” Award:  This award
can only go to Xavier who got trashed by Dick Vitale (and Jay Bilas) on ESPNU’s Bracketology.  Not
only do the Musketeers belong in the Big Dance, they have a great chance to emerge as the story of
the first weekend.  This is a talented team that underperformed in nonconference play.  Xavier got a
big-time break by playing their first two games in Lexington, KY, which is a short drive away from
Cincinnati.  The Ohio State University needs to be on upset alert in Round Two.

The First Round Matchup That Will Cause Me To Spend Thirty Minutes On The Sh*tter at Work Award:  
Notre Dame versus Winthrop.  This game has officially passed the “Battle of the Jessicas (Alba
versus Biel)” as the biggest debate currently being raged inside the head of this writer.  

(As a note……..a strong third place is the showdown between Yuengling and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
which rages every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and occasionally Sunday or Wednesday.)

The 1,000 Pound Gorilla:  Florida.  If I was down to my last five dollars and I had to pick a team to win,
the team I would pick is the Gators.  Billy Donovan’s crew looked downright scary in the SEC
Tournament.  
    
The “Slapped In The Face” Award:  I cannot believe Nevada is a #7 seed.  The Wolf Pack have been
ranked in the top fifteen all season long AND have made the past four NCAA Tournaments.  Not only
do I see them bending Creighton over the first round, but they will convincingly beat Memphis in the
second.  

The Mouse McFadden Award (annually given to the small-school player most likely to go nuts on the
big stage):  Every ACC coach should be given “Moneyball” as required reading and be forced to turn to
the page where Billy Beane talks about how kids of ex-big leaguers are always the best investments.  
Davidson’s Stephen Curry (son of legendary NBA marksman Dell) has been lighting up the
scoreboard in his freshman campaign.  His jump shot is a thing of beauty.  Plus he has more
athleticism than his father ever did.  Of all the freshman shooting guards I would take Curry over
Wayne Ellington (North Carolina) and Daequan Cook (Ohio State).  Maybe even Matt Bouldin
(Gonzaga) and that is saying something because I think Bouldin will be Deron Williams all over again.

The Neil Patrick Harris Award (annually given to an old face that makes a comeback and provides joy
to our lives once again):  Is there anything better than having UNLV back in the Big Dance?  Can we
all agree that they should be allowed to start cheating again?  Having the Runnin’ Rebels involved
makes the whole month a little more fun.  Georgia Tech will be tougher for them in Round One than
Wisconsin will be in Round Two.  Just remember that I said that when “Wink” Adams and the boys
get through to the Sweet 16.

The “I Don’t Believe CBS Doesn’t Have Anything To Do With The Draw” Award:   Nobody can convince
me that CBS did not have a hand in trying to set up a Gonzaga-UCLA rematch in Round Two.  If that
happens, it will honestly scare me as Gonzaga would like nothing better than to exact revenge on a
UCLA team they had beat last season in the Sweet 16.  They are still upset in Spokane about the
Bruins ending the season of the best team Gonzaga has ever fielded.

The UW-Milwaukee Award (annually given for most predictable upset call):  Old Dominion over Butler.  
Butler has been sliding down the stretch and Old Dominion is the most undervalued team in the
nation.  Not only will the Monarchs win, they may win big.  

The “I Don’t Want To Encourage Gambling, but……..” Award:  Old Dominion is getting two right now
against Butler and Winthrop is getting four and a half against Notre Dame.  These two games and the
word “tease” come to mind.

Rip Van Winkles (by region):  The committee did us a favor this year in underseeding some very
strong mid-majors.  There was a host of candidates and below are the ones that I personally love:

Midwest:  Old Dominion
West:  Holy Cross (…..the answer is “no”….I am not trying to put the reverse jinx on my radio
colleague “Boston Mac”.)
East:  Oral Roberts
South:  Xavier

The Christina Ricci Award (annually given to the most overrated team):  Anybody who has seen
Christina Ricci in person will agree that she is highly overrated.  I saw her at a lounge in the Village
and let me tell you that both bartenders and about 27 other women there were more attractive.  Maybe
it was four years ago and she has drastically improved…….but I doubt it.  Just like I doubt Pittsburgh
right now.  I think the Panthers blowout loss to Georgetown was not an accident.  The Panthers just
aren’t very good.  They lose to Duke in Round Two.

The Sarah Jessica Parker Award (annually given to the most overrated conference):  How the Big Ten
got six teams in is beyond me.  Remember how Florida undressed The Ohio State University in the
BCS Title Game and USC whupped Michigan in the Rose Bowl and everybody associated with
college football felt like a jacka$$ for overvaluing the Big Ten.  That is going to happen again this year
when every single Big Ten team is eliminated in the first weekend.

The Michael Myers Award (annually given to the scariest team):  Georgetown has been the best team
in the nation over the last two months of the season.  The Hoyas boast the best frontline in the nation
and their guards have gotten better as the year has progressed.  After this year’s Dance you will hear
more people wondering aloud about how undervalued Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green are.  Especially
Hibbert.  All I know about Hibbert is that he is 7’2” with good hands and can run the floor.  Oh……..and
he is improved every year he has been in college.  Just know that if he was Senegalese and named
Hasheem Senehibbert or Chinese and named Yi Jianhibbert that he would be in the top five on Chad
Ford’s Draft Board.   

The Hampton Award (annually given to the team most likely to pull a mind-blowing upset):  Oral
Roberts will beat Washington State in the first round.  Write it down.  Caleb Green and Ken Tutt are
both big-time ballplayers.  Oral Roberts almost beat Memphis in the first round last season and did
beat Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse in nonconference play this season.  This might be the first time that
a 14 seed will walk onto the court with athleticism that is as good or better than the 3 seed they are
playing.

The Indiana “Don’t Forget The Name On The Front Of The Jersey” Award:  Let’s put it this
way………you can pick Duke to lose to Virginia Commonwealth in the first round……or you can do the
smart thing and realize there is no way in hell Coach K loses a first round game to a first-year head
coach.  You make the call.

Trevor’s Elite Eight:  Florida, Oregon, Villanova, UCLA, Texas, Georgetown, Tennessee, and Texas
A&M.

Trevor’s Final Four:  Florida, UCLA, Georgetown and Texas A&M.

Trevor’s Final Two:  Florida and Georgetown.

Trevor’s Champ:  Florida……….give me a couple more days to grow bigger balls as I really, really
wanted to pull the trigger on “Hoya Paranoia”.



If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail me at
trevor.freeman@realityfanforum.com.