kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Final Four

OK, I got one half of the bracket correct (UNC vs. KU); I also picked a couple of upsets (Western Kentucky, Villanova). In general, my brackets look like they've gone through a Cuisinart. UCLA suprised me, although they came awfully close to losing to A & M, and there are some folks in College Station (or, as my Dad likes to call it, Malfunction Junction) none too happy about how that game concluded. Memphis also played extremely well, with surprising discipline; they clearly were underrated by me. I think I'm guilty of not liking the program there, a prejudice shared with many I hear and read on this topic (the same was true of Huggins at Cincy and KSU): the programs recruit incredibly talented athletes, but they can be a bit thuggish at times (this Memphis team not as much as in the past, or Cincy's team) and, well, as at many programs, academics might take a back seat. Details. If Memphis plays like it did against Michigan State, I don't see how they lose.

In any case, before my picks, I will add that I think I get stupider listening to Billy Packer. Given the three options of listening to him, ignoring him, or always believing the contrary of what he says, I'm confident the first option kills brain cells. I'm not sure about the other two, but imagine if one got more intelligent simply by negating a given source of information. This would be useful.

Digression: I know, it sounds like a strategy to use with Bill O'Reilly. Last night O'Reilly said in consecutive sentences that the US has never done x, and that the US did x but it was ancient history. This was in the context of the claim that the US government would introduce a disease to unsuspecting citizens. They have never done that; they did that, but the Tuskegee experiments were ancient history. End of digression.

UNC vs. Kansas

Soap opera city, babeee! The KU fans--me included--probably need to get over Roy Williams going to Chapel Hill. Self is a great coach, Williams is an honorable man and put KU back on the map after it had been floundering (in spite of Larry Brown's visit). I know that UNC has Hansborough, although he should have gone to Kansas, much closer to his home (beautiful Poplar Bluff). I know they have tons of great athletes, and I'm not sure if anyone other than maybe Collins can stay up with Lawson. But I'm going out on an irrational limb, and picking Kansas. If they play as tight as they did against Davidson, they may get run out of the gym. Sometimes you just have to see which Kansas team shows up. I'm hoping for the one that beat Texas for the Big 12 Championship. But this will be a game time discovery. I can see them being within 5 points at half, and going on to win, especially if they can stop some perimeter shooters or getting one or two Tar Heels into foul trouble. I can also see Arthur with 3 fouls in the first 12 minutes, and the entire second half devoted to making the score less horrifying. Again, we'll just have to see. Go Hawks.

Memphis vs. UCLA

A lot of folks are picking UCLA here. I've consistently picked against UCLA, and consistently been wrong. I see no reason to stop now. The standard claim is that UCLA and Ben Howland's defensive genius can stop Memphis from doing what it wants. I think that may well be false. I don't see UCLA scoring much, and I don't see them stopping a lot of transitional baskets. They may also have trouble if Memphis does some pressing to speed up the game. UCLA could win if Memphis can't figure out how to deal with Love, or at least minimize the damage he can do, and if it hits a good number of outside shots. But the latter has been problematic, and the sheer athleticism of Memphis may pose serious problems for UCLA. I'm very much looking forward to this game; an interesting clash of basketball philosophies, as it were. I pick Memphis.

Championship Game

Somehow, I can imagine KU beating UNC, but UNC playing Memphis in the Final. I think I've been reading too much Walt Whitman.

As Jay Bilas has correctly pointed out, the way teams play at this stage of the tournament can vary widely from week to week. UCLA played great last week, and not so great the week before. This makes the Final Four and Championship game tricky to predict. In spite of all reasoning, evidence, logic, and sanity, I'm going with my Jayhawks. (For those betting, this means put it all on the Bruins to take the whole thing.) KU over Memphis.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmmm, no other comments.

It's just you and I arguing about KU being able to go further.
I think we have successfully scared off the competitive views with our totally irrational emotional thinking. I always have trouble every year filling out brackets, I never can step back and honestly say where they will end up. I always want them 2 games deeper in the bracket than they end up. (check my KSU preditions this year) And then when they field a really good team I see them not have the resiliency and bench to get them in the winning column.

Last weeks game was such a major HEART ATTACK!!! OH.. MY.. GAWD!!! (in my best sorority accent) That game was such a nail biter and I was rooting for Davidson all through the tournament until they beat Wisconsin. Then I thought, oh nooooo.

Now did you hear Sutton was booted and KU is all abuzz about Self going home to coach in Okla???? WTF, didn't we go through this before??? I guess we are doomed to reincarnate and repeat our failures until we learn to properly live thru it. Oh Basketball Gods what is the true answer. I have forgiven Roy and moved on, why do you taunt us so? I even rooted for UNC to win. (Well ok not all the games but hey come on!)
The KU players and coach are too focused to even care it Self leaves next year they've got work to do now. I hope the press asks Self some other questions other than are you considering leaving or thinking about maybe leaving????

Too stuperstitious to make predictions that could hex us.


3:56 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

The Davidson game was, simply, excruciating.

I wonder if, in the discussion of the hiring of Tom Crean, there will be any mention of the KU-Marquette national semi-final. I think KU was up by 40 at one point, before going on to lose the final to Syracuse because of free throws. That--and the one with Arizona--was one that got away. They should have two more, the way I (irrationally) count.

I hope Self doesn't leave. On the one hand, T. Boone Pickens seems willing to give him scads and scads of money. On the other hand, how much would anyone need to be paid to live in . . . Stillwater.

Pickens might have enough to get me to move there, but just barely.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I love conversations that involve both college basketball and Tuskegee syphilis experiments, I am torn about which topic to comment. I was of the understanding that the government did not actually introduce the disease into unsuspecting victims, but that they withheld treatment from them in order to study the disease's progression in humans. Oh well, in one case Bill O'Reilly contradicts himself, in the other, he is out-and-out wrong. What else is new?

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kansas over memphis?

Good call!

12:10 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Yes, indeed. I'm taking as many bows as my aged body can handle, having picked the final four.

so i got three games right. that's three more than the guys (except bilas) got right on espn. i finally realized that if they are experts, i'm an expert.

or, to extend yogi berra's remark, in basketball, you don't know nothing.

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