Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Prediction for March Madness Thursday games!

We will put our basketball reputation on the line (since we don't have any), and use our mad basketball skillz to predict all sixteen games that will be played tomorrow in the NCAA tournament! That's right, we are diving all the way in. We'll be shocked if we get more than eight of them, right :)

First wave of games
Action tips off with Xavier facing the Georgia Miracle Dogs. As we saw with the G-Mac Syracuse Orange Miracles, things can catch up with a team after a miracle run, so we expect a comfortable Xavier win. Of course Xavier is a crazy team as you can see from their record, so they could lose by 20. But we'll stand by our prediction of a comfy X win.

Cancel the Bucknell and Bradley references, Kansas will coast through Portland State. Portland is now a state? I have to catch up with modern geography :)

The next one is hard to predict, Temple or Izzo? While Temple hasn't had frequent NCAA trips the last few years, their coach, Fran D did when he was chewing Ivy at Penn. But ultimately we'll sing-a-long like Dick Vitale and praise Izzo's NCAA tourney savvy. Michigan State wins. It might be a double over-time game though!

Second wave of games
The second wave of games starts off with a repeat of the Elite 8 game of a few years ago, where Kentucky tries to avenge the D-Wade loss. If Patrick Patterson was playing, it would be a different story, UK would probably have been a top eight seed, but without PP, and with the crazy Marquetts guards, we predict a close Marquette victory.

An intriguing battle will take place between Baylor and Purdue, Baylor a team that was perhaps picked because of its off-court success in recovering from the Dave Bliss tragedy. Half a dozen other teams could easily make a good case why they should have been picked ahead of Baylor, but that is for the Bracketology historians to dissect in the future. Ultimately we think that Purdue will win, but Baylor will give them a scare before bowing out.

A game that promises to be nice as well is Kent State vs the Slugfesting Rebels of UNLV. Lon Kruger has shown that his teams have a fight, even if they are undermatched and the chances stacked against them. But we are going with a gut feeling here, and are predicting Kent State over UNLV.

It is tempting to do "Oral" jokes, but we'll leave that to the late night talk shows. We predict a comfy Pitt victory over ORU.

The second wave of games finishes with a game that will be played on CSTV at 445pm eastern (145pm pacific), after all the other games have finished up. It will be the battle of the Academics, but we expect Stanford to deliver a woodshed beating over the Cornell Big Red. Red from the Stanford spanking ;-)

Afternoon games, first wave
And now we jump to the afternoon games, where the two superfreshmen square off, Michael Beasley vs OJ Mayo. The game is further complicated by the fact that OJ Mayo and Billy Walker were high-school teammates and their one-on-one games were getting very intense even though they are friends. Unless Beasley scores more than 50 points, we predict that Tim Floyd will outsmart and dissect Kansas State, and USC will get a relatively easy win and move on to the next round. Tim Floyd will be officially named party pooper as he takes out Durant and Beasley in consecutive years. But this time he has OJ Mayo so don't blame him :)

We predict that both Duke and Washington State will have relatively easy paths to the second round after they tip off with the Belmont musicians and the Winthrop "where's our previous coach" Eagles.

The last game of the day promises to be a typical 8 vs 9 matchup of Texas A&M and BYU. Even without Billy G Clyde, we expect the confused Mark Turgeons to defeat the BYU Cougars. It will be an interesting battle inside as Trent Plaidsted squares off with Jordan and Davis and the other A&M inside players. But we have an opt-out for BYU: If Tavernari makes more than six three-pointers, BYU has a good chance of winning!

Last wave of games
The first day of March Madness, and usually the most exciting since it's the start of the tourney, and there's sixteen games, closes with UCLA and Wisconsin getting comfortable wins and moving along in the second round.

Jim L and his miracle Masons are facing off Notre Dame, but after last year's Winthrop upset, and Digger Phelps's zone and out of bound plays, the Fighting Irish will have an easy victory over the Final Four Cinderella. We expect "Gody" to give Will Thomas and the other George Mason inside players a major headache and the Domers have the outside shooting to match up with whatever Coach L throws at them.

Last but certainly not least, Bob Thuggins squares off with streaking Arizona. We pitted these two teams against each other during championship week, before the brackets came out, and before West Virginia beat UConn in the Big East tourney. Since we had hints of being clairvoyant, we feel brave enough to predict a half-time fist-fight between Bob Huggins and Kevin O'Neill in the tunnel as the teams are heading to the locker rooms.

Oh the game? That's right we are supposed to predict the game. We feel that unless Alexander the Great scores more than 40, Arizona has enough guard play and JoJo Hill to take out the Bob Thuggins Beileiners. Arizona wins.

And this concludes our sixteen predictions for day one of the NCAA tourney. And if you readers out there behave and eat your cereal, we may post a set of predictions tomorrow for Friday's games. No promises though.

Be sure to check our summary and detailed March Madness TV listings so you can plan ahead your TV watching and TiVoing. And remember, if you are TiVoing or recording games, give them at least an extra hour as buffer time. Since two games are played per arena, it only takes one or two overtimes or delays to make the games run a lot longer. And the TV timeouts are a bit longer in the tourney.

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