Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why Your Team Won't Win the NCAAs, Part II

Picking up where we left off yesterday...

Team: Duke

Seed: 2, Midwest Regional
Reason To Think They'll Pull It OffFinally at full strength now that they have Ryan Kelly back, payback for embarrassing loss to Lehigh last year, long history of March success, uncanny ability to work refs
Reason They Won'tRebounding consists of Mason Plumlee and...Mason Plumlee. Also, there is some small chance that there is a just and kind God.

Team: Ohio State
Seed: 3, South Regional
Reason To Think They'll Pull It OffB1G [n] champions. Deshaun Thomas is a force. Excellent at forcing turnovers.
Reason They Won'tBy law, no B1G [n] team other than Michigan State is allowed to do well in the NCAAs. Strong possibility they get demolished on general principle if they run into an SEC team.

Team: Syracuse
Seed: 4, East Regional
Reason To Think They'll Pull It OffFinally got their whole team on the court at the end of the year when James Southerland came back. Beastly on the boards. High likelihood of this being Jim Boeheim’s retirement tour, with “Win One For the Guy Who Looks Like A High School HIstory Teacher With Painful Gastric Bloating” looming in the background.
Reason They Won'tMay not have recovered from hand-delivering the Big East (For Certain Values Of Big East) championship game to Louisville. Regard defense as an elective, much like Rocks for Jocks. Have never really demonstrated they can win outside of New York State.

Seed: 5, Midwest Regional
Reason To Think They'll Pull It OffHighly ranked all season. Plays stifling defense. Slows the game down to molasses-in-Beloit-in-January levels, which frustrates opponents, audiences, refs, and anyone who isn’t a three-toed-sloth 
Reason They Won'tAllergic to scoring; confuse basketball with Wisconsin weather and refuse to believe anything higher than mid-fifties is permissible in March. 

Team: Butler
Seed: 6, East Regional
Reason To Think They'll Pull It OffPlucky underdogs with two Final Four finishes in recent memory. Rotnei Clarke can light it up from anywhere. Did we mention Hoosiers?
Reason They Won'tNot actually that good.

Team: North Carolina
Seed: 8, South Regional
Reason To Think They'll Pull It OffRanked as high as 17th in some power rankings. Hugely underseeded as an 8. Possesses vast array of talent, have played with the energy of a coked-up weasel since Roy Williams went to a small lineup.
Reason They Won't17th still isn’t 1. 

Team: Indiana
Seed: 1, East Regional
Reason To Think They'll Pull It Off: Loaded with talent. Slam the door better than anyone. Go up by 20 while the other team is still trying to figure out how to pronounce "Oladipo". much less stop him.
Reason They Won't: Like every other bully in the field, has no idea how to deal when someone hits back. Coach Tom Crean has apparently caught the crazy from his brothers-in-law.
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