So, Week One of Madness is done, the moon is full and Gonzago folded like a cheap card table. This year, you may as well pick the winners in your bracket by uniform color or your favorite mascot. Or, go with the Biggest Thing in College Basketball. Guard Play. Who has the clutch shooter two guard, or the best point? Guard play is the thing. Gonzago had the good big man but when that broke down they had no superior guard to make it all come together. So, now they go home to enjoy the rain and snow. So, who has the best guard play? I still have three of my four Final Four picks in the Sweet 16. No, I did not pick Harvard over New Mexico, LaSalle or St. Louis over anyone. Now I am embarrassed. The MWC conference did not come through as my upset conference of the year pick. What is left? Pick the guard play, forget about who plays the most physical. Fouls are not called in the tournament. Hack and attack is the order of the day. Anyone left for the second week knows that is true and adjusts accordingly. Forget about depth. Any team that goes beyond a rotation of seven or eight guys is gone but, barring injury, that is no big deal because fouls are not called in the tournament. If you have any other hesitations, remember these two truths:
- Guard play is foremost.
- Fouls do not get called.
So, since guard play is vital and depth is less important, I stick with my first prediction that Florida, Miami and Louisville will come out of their regions. Florida will beat Miami and Louisville will beat, well, not the Zags, since they have returned to class and their futile search for their post man’s biceps.
With the Zags gone, who will come out of that region?
I love Arizona. I believe in Arizona. I should have picked Arizona in the first place, over the guard poor Zags. I didn’t and now I have to live with it.
So, I am picking Ohio State. Arizona has better talent, good coaching, et alia, but, frankly, I put them with Duke. I often picked Duke to get to the last weekend and I will again, the year after they do it the next time. Duke has let me down for years, as has Arizona. I love them, believe in them and cannot pick them.
L’ville over OSU and Florida over UM in the semis.
L’ville over Florida in the Big Game.