Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Dozen Sounds Good



More on the Madness.

Had UCLA and Villanova in my original brackets in the title game. I'm surprised 'Nova got knocked out but not surprised the Bruins are back where they belong :^)

I took 'Nova to beat UCLA in the finals but that was because they had a great four guard lineup that I thought would overwhelm the Bruins with speed, quickness and skill.

Florida's a whole different deal so I want to revise my finals prediction.

I've got the Bruins over the Gators in the finals. Twelve national championships sounds good to me.

Florida plays only 7 guys consistently. UCLA goes 9 deep. Too many athletes in great shape playing knock down defense for Florida to win. None of the national commentators have mentioned that UCLA is simply in a lot better shape than other teams which allows them to play so intensely through the whole game.

I don't think I've seen anything like UCLA's last two games. They held two of the best offensive teams in the country to scores out of the pre-shot clock era. Some of the best defense and fundamentals I've seen in a long time.

I told my son Andrew that the UCLA--LSU game was over 9 minutes into the game. The LSU guys were bending over at the waist sucking for air and you could see by the looks on their faces that they had already quit. I was pretty disappointed to see that--you don't expect an excellent team like LSU to mail it in but you've gotta give UCLA a lot of credit for it.

Great for Ben Howland. Under Steve Lavin UCLA had the athletes and a lot of heart, but little discipline or fundamentals or toughness. Now they've got the whole package. No trash talking. They let their play speak for itself.

In the "playground/hip hop" era of college and pro hoops, discipline and class give you a huge edge. Maybe the Bruins can become the Spurs or the Pistons of college hoop.

Whatever happens tomorrow night, I think something good is going on in Westwood.

4 Comments:

Blogger 3wishes said...

Interesting take:INDIANAPOLIS - They won't come out and say it, after all they are showing the NCAA Tournament, but CBS has to be down right mad about LSU and UCLA being in the Final Four. Not so much because people over there don't like the two progams. But because the two programs eliminated the two biggest stars.

When LSU beat Duke, that knocked out national player of the year J.J. Redick. When UCLA beat Gonzaga, that knocked out runner-up Adam Morrison. Now, they can't promote the tournament with those two celebrating a big shot. And you know how the networks are about promotion.

The only thing that would be worse for the network is for Florida to beat George Mason on Saturday. That way, they don't even have the underdog factor.
:^

10:50 AM  
Blogger jon said...

I'm just Gladwelling it and going with my first impulses next year. Every change I made after the first time I filled out my bracket was terrible.

My first bracket had LSU in the final four, where they were beat by UCLA. I changed that to putting Texas into the title game by beating LSU and UCLA. Oops.

My first bracket had West Virginia in the Sweet 16. I changed that to Iowa. Oops.

My first bracket had Bradley over Kansas, but then I decided to put Kansas all the way into the Elite Eight. Oops.

My first bracket had Alabama over Marquette, then I switched it around. Oops.

I clearly have a much better idea of what I'm doing before I start thinking about it.

8:33 PM  
Blogger 3wishes said...

Big L on forehead here

9:46 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

I'm bummed.

Great coaching by Florida. They brought their big guys out to set very high picks (near halfcourt)to free their guards to get their offense in gear. That's where UCLA really shut down good teams in the past few weeks--their guards overpowered the opposing guards by really getting on 'em. Florida recognized that and that's what made the difference in the game.

Still great to see the Bruins in the finals. They were without their best player by far, Josh Shipp, due to injury. Everybody is coming back. I'm looking forward to the next 10 years in Westwood.

9:56 PM  

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