March 14 - NCAA Tournament Preview
Derrick Whittenberg, Lorenzo Charles, Bo Kimble, Hank Gathers, Bryce Drew, Keith Smart, Danny
Manning, Tate George, Sean Woods, Christian Laettner, Hampton, East Tennessee State, Coppin
State, Murray State, Princeton, Coach K, Jim Calhoun, Jimmy V. March Madness has finally arrived.
In my opinion there is not a finer sporting event on the planet and not a fairer way to determine a
champion. I know…..I know…..The NFL Playoffs are an outstanding time and well……..that’s
probably because it is also a one and done tournament. However, I prefer the NCAAs because of the
sheer drama which is 65 teams filled with college kids competing for a prize that only one can win.
That and because the NCAA Tournament is one of the few times you hear the phrase “four team
With March Madness kicking off this Thursday, I have taken the liberty of reviewing the brackets.
Instead of going with the standard “Best Player, Best Team, Sleeper” approach by region, a little fun
was had. We 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):
Adam Morrison. He’s the best player on the planet not currently wearing
an NBA uniform. There is no doubt in my mind that Morrison will get the
Zags through to the Sweet 16 where they will face UCLA. And if Gonzaga
beats UCLA in that game………….they will be in Indianapolis…..
The First Round Matchup That Caused Me To Spend Thirty Minutes On
The Sh*tter at Work Award: West Virginia versus Southern Illinois. This
game is going to be a nailbiter. These are two evenly matched teams
who have a knack for doing damage in the NCAA Tournament.
The 1,000 Pound Gorilla: When UConn shows up to play they are the best team in the country. It is
as simple as that. The Huskies have size along the front line, a point guard who can distribute, a
couple zone-busters, and a Hall of Fame coach in Jim Calhoun. That being said, UConn has brain
farting problems and this could rear its ugly head against a good, disciplined team…….say Michigan
The Mouse McFadden Award (annually given to the small-school player most likely to go nuts on
the big stage): Steve Burtt Jr. from Iona is going to make some big-time noise against LSU. Do not
be surprised if he hangs 35 on Thursday night. Burtt Jr. averaged 25.4 points per game and is
impossible to guard one on one as he can take people off the dribble with ease and hit from
downtown (41.2% on the season). Burtt Jr. won’t be scared of the big stage as he is a New York
native and Rucker Park legend. Steve Burtt Jr. was a part of MTV’s “Harlem Hoops” documentary as
he starred on “Ruff Ryders” who lost to Fat Joe’s NBA laden “Terror Squad” in the EBC Finals.
The Billy Packer Award (annually given to the biggest asshole involved with the NCAA
Tournament): This year we have a tie between Jim Nantz and Billy Packer for the classless way they
treated Craig Littlepage.
The UW-Milwaukee Award (annually given for most predictable upset call): Shockingly enough,
UW-Milwaukee is repeating this year. No way they lose to Oklahoma. (I don’t want to be the guy
encouraging gambling………….but as of today UW Milwaukee is getting 2.5 points………proceed
Best Idea I Have Heard In Awhile: Lenn Robbins from the New York Post openly suggesting that the
NCAA Selection Show be carried live from a Las Vegas Casino.
The Aggravating Conundrum Award: Duke wins this for the 17th straight season. Nobody likes
Duke……..yet nobody wants to be stupid with their NCAA Tournament pool either.
The Hampton Award (annually given to the team most likely to pull a
mind-blowing upset): When South Alabama beats Florida, remember that you
read it here first. John Pelphrey (whom many may remember from his stint with
Kentucky’s “Unforgettables” in 1992) is coaching South Alabama and was the
assistant coach at Florida from 1996-2002. Does anyone think Billy Donovan has
drastically changed his playbook since Pelphrey left? This could easily be a Jon
Gruden versus the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl situation. South Alabama
has the talent to hang in and the Pelphrey factor will put them over the top.
The Indiana “Don’t Forget The Name On The Front Of The Jersey” Award: Michigan State grabs this
honor. Nobody is talking about this team yet they return every significant player from last year’s Final
Four run. Plus, Tom Izzo coached teams seem to play better when the lights are on.
Trevor’s Elite Eight: Duke, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, UCLA, UConn, Michigan State, Boston College,
Trevor’s Final Four: Duke, UCLA, UConn and Boston College.
Trevor’s Final Two: Duke and UConn.
Trevor’s Champ: UConn.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.