UPDATE: Make sure to check back on Monday after Selection Sunday - I'll be setting up a free bracket challenge with an opportunity to win swag from your favorite college team.
Selection Sunday arrives this weekend, and that kicks off the Degenerate Christmas that is the NCAA Tournament. I guess it’s actually more like Hanukah with the multiple days of gambling gifts, but since there are actually 10 days with games, it falls right between the 8 days of Hanukah and the 12 days of Christmas. So let’s just call it the Degenerate Holiday Season!
This is actually the first weekend since I invented Degenerate Friday to start the 2009 NFL season that I am not going to make a gambling pick for the weekend. Why? Because the only real gambling options are the conference tournament championships, which will depend upon the games during the day today, so it’s not as compelling of a read later in the day. I have picked things like Olympic hockey and baseball futures in recent weeks, and two weeks ago I already made my NCAA futures best value bets, so this weekend, I am attempting to show some restraint. Save the money up for that huge wager on Thursday or Friday to take Sienna to cover the spread, Villanova to not cover the spread in their first round game, or loading up on Texas losing their first game no matter who they play. Texas started the year 17-0 and went 7-9 after that. Ouch. If you absolutely have to scratch that itch and find some sweet action this weekend? Bet on Jimmy Johnson winning the NASCAR race or find a prop bet on how many times Clark Kellogg says “tremendous athlete” or “this year’s George Mason” during the CBS selection show. Or if all else fails, head to your local Indian casino and play blackjack for a couple hours after bar time……….
Instead, just a couple quick hits get you ready for Selection Sunday, then check back next week as The Sports Addict will break down the brackets unlike anywhere else. (I actually have no idea what that means – it just sounds really dramatic and better than saying I will have a break down like Lindsay Lohan, meaning it will be crazy. I should probably be quiet before she tries to sue me for $100 million like she did with eTrade.)
Does the Syracuse loss hurt their seeding? No, not at all. They are still among the top 4 teams in the country despite their mini slump to end the year. They will likely slide firmly into the 3rd #1 seed, which means based on the s-curve system that they will be paired with the second best #2 seed, which could be someone like Duke or West Virginia. The obvious bigger issue is the health of their center, Arinze Onuaku, who busted up his knee yesterday in the Syracuse loss to Georgetown. Their seed is secure, but their place as a lock to get to the elite eight might have taken a serious hit. Then again, they won’t need him for their first game, and if they get placed in a Friday-Sunday bracket, he will have almost 10 days to rest assuming there is not serious damage to the knee.
While anyone that knows me knows that I am not a fan of Marquette, I have to admit that I like the effort that Buzz Williams gets from his team. They are not the most talented team, and they have a glaring lack of size, but they play with a ton of heart and have a ton of experience in close games – they lost 7 Big East games by a total of 21 points. Depending upon the matchup in the tournament, they could be a dangerous first round opponent. Will I be rooting for them? Probably not – there’s still too deep of wounds from Kevin O’Neill ruining Shannon Smith’s confidence and "Tan Tommy" Crean acting as if he created basketball and his leadership was the reason Marquette got to the Final Four (overlooking that guy Dwayne Wade, maybe you’ve heard of him?). But I’m coming around…..and maybe it’s just because of Buzz’s dancing/celebration skills……. …….
I tried to watch a Moutain West tournament game yesterday – San Diego State against Colorado State. I really tried to watch it with an open mind, wanting to like San Diego State and have them among the teams I believe can strike a first round upset or at least a cover. Ugh, it is as painful as trying to sit through Gossip Girl when they’re focusing on Dan Humphries & Vanessa Abrams – you just want to get back to the big leagues with a scene involving Serena or Blair. The first half of the game was full of dust ups and guys posturing after every foul, and I lost interest quickly. Thankfully the game stayed close and SDSU remained disciplined enough to hold on for the victory. I don’t see them being competitive in the first round of the tournament – assuming they get in.
I just saw a headline that Jennifer Hudson is going to sing “One Shining Moment” at the end of the tournament instead of the traditional version sang by David Barrett (up until 1994), Teddy Pendergrass (94-99) & Luther Vandross (03-09). While I have absolutely nothing against Jennifer Hudson – I respect her singing, and she’s been through a lot personally – is she really the right person? I’m not a fan of the change, but mainly because I remember being a little kid and my parents letting me stay up after the championship game ended until I saw “One Shining Moment.” I’ll reserve judgement on Hudson until I hear her version on April 5th. If this video doesn’t get you ready for the tournament – I don’t know what will. (check out the sweater Lou Carnesecca sports at the 42 second mark)