Hey everyone, Benster's in the house. And as you can guess, I can already feel the HYYYYYYYPPPPPE!!!!!!!!!!!
No, really? You don't say!
I've been feeling it since about 2:30 this afternoon, Decrepit, when the Gophers took the floor against The. Ohio. State. University. Unfortunately, Evan Turner didn't want to see the Gophers celebrate.
Yeah, it was a bit of a butt whoopin', Seabiscuit. But I understand that the Gophers got in anyway.
Yes, because they beat the Illinois Cheating Illini in Champaign, so the great brains on the Selection Committee decided to send the Gophs instead. And I also think they wanted to prevent any possibility of Bruce Weber wearing his godawful orange sport coat, especially since the Tennessee coach, Bruce Pearl, has one that's even worse -- I've even added the picture to prove it. Which is saying something, old fella!
I appreciate the fashion critique, Benster, but I thought you wanted to talk about the tournament. Or are you channeling Fearless Maria?
No, I'll leave the fashion talk to Fearless Maria, and/or Joan Rivers. They can fight it out on the red carpet. I know who I have my money on, geezer!
Well, let's do it this way, youngblood. I'll ask you some questions. Do you like the brackets generally?
I have to think that the brackets seem to be heavily stacked at the top, and I was a little surprised that the mid-majors got a bunch of at-large bids, especially after last year. I think we could see more than a few upsets in the first weekend.
Who do you think is going to pull an upset?
I have to like Cornell. I don't think they are really a 12 seed at all. Now the Ivy League isn't exactly the Big East, but Cornell can play basketball and their opponent, Temple, should be on high alert.
Were you surprised that the Badgers got a 4 seed and Michigan State got a 5?
I was a little surprised, because Wisconsin got thoroughly drubbed by the Cheating Illini in the conference tournament, but apparently that didn't matter very much and you do need to remember that the Badgers beat the Spartans badly in Madison and were competitive in East Lansing. Also, winning against Duke really helped the Badgers' cause. Now, can I ask you a question, old dude?
Who do you think is on upset alert?
Well, I'll go with the easy choice and say Purdue. The Boilermakers were a very good team before Robbie Hummel got hurt, but without him they don't have a lot of firepower and they looked almost helpless against the Gophers on Saturday. Siena has a history of being a tough team to beat in the tournament and I would expect that they will be able to handle Purdue. I'd also suggest that Butler better watch its step against Texas-El Paso, and the aforementioned Tennessee will wish they didn't have to play San Diego State. Pearl may hope that his neon sport coat will frighten and/or blind the Aztec players. Now, let me ask you this: how will the Gophers do against Xavier?
I guess it depends on which team shows up. The team that played like demons this weekend against Purdue, or the team that didn't bother against Michigan. Xavier is undoubtedly a talented team and has been pretty good in recent years, but the Gophers should be able to give them a lot of trouble, especially with the Twin Towers of Sampson and Iverson. And it would help if Blake Hoffarber decides to throw up a few prayers like he did in high school.
I agree with that. Any opinion on who is going to win the whole thing when it's done?
I like the West Virginia Mountaineers. They play good defense and they won the Big East tournament, which is no easy thing. I'd like to think they can harass John Wall and Kentucky enough to get to the Final Four, and then they can annihilate Duke, because everyone wants Duke to lose, except maybe Jay Bilas and Coach K. But Jay Bilas is one of those ESPN guys who is going running on coffee this weekend and probably wishes he was back at Duke instead of being a stat head.
So you've already developed a dislike of the Dukies, huh? A sign of good judgment, grasshopper. We are quite pleased to see that.
I'll give Bilas this much, at least he doesn't try to match his tie to his highlighter like Digger Phelps, who probably needs a fashion intervention right after they get to Bruce Pearl and Bruce Weber.
Good to know, Benster. So you're going with West Virginia, huh?
John Wall may be talented, but if West Virginia won't let him get near the basket it won't matter very much. And Kentucky cheats even more than the Cheatin' Illini. Maybe after Calipari gets run out of Lexington, maybe the 'Cats can bring in Lou Henson. Wait, I'd better check on that and make sure he's not dead. Okay, he's available. Ben out!