A bracket busted

I watch a lot of college basketball.

I like to think I’m a reasonably knowledgable fan of the game. I can tell the difference between man-to-man, a 2-3 zone and its hyper-active cousin, the 1-3-1.

I know the coaches. I know the players. And I spend a couple of hours every year going over schedules and statistics before filling out my bracket.

And all of that knowledge and planning this year netted me ZERO teams in the Final Four.


It’s not my fault.

Who had Kansas losing in the second round? Who thought Butler would beat Syracuse? And let’s have a show of hands for the folks that had Michigan State and Tennessee playing in the Elite Eight?

OK, maybe I should have picked Duke out of the South regional. I thought that Villanova pick was oh-so-clever…

So, now I find myself in a bind.

It appears highly likely that a team I dislike – West Virginia or Duke – will win the national championship.

First of all, which do I root for in the semifinal?

West Virginia’s coach, Bob Huggins, is a fine Xs and Os coach and a tireless recruiter. His programs also lag behind in terms of academics. The biggest stat – and this was before the NCAA took away scholarships for this sort of thing – was during a four-year period in his tenure at Cincinnati he didn’t graduate a soul.

Not one of his players got a degree in four years.


Duke, on the other hand, sets the standard for academic excellence. And its fans are far less annoying than the ones fof Carolina.

But its coach, Mike Krzyzewski, irks me for entirely different reasons. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a wonderful in-game coach and his kids go to class and graduate.

He does all of that right.

It’s the brand of basketball he teaches that bugs me.

It’s a physical, on-the-edge-of-the-rules style that has won Duke many games through the years. Hand checking, holding guys coming off screens, charges that aren’t charges – that sort of thing.

Take that mentality, combined with his scowling and intimidating officials on the sidelines, and its no wonder that the Blue Devils rarely lose a game at home.

But thanks for that gold medal, dude.

I guess I’ll take Duke, and then root like hell for Sparty or Butler in the title game.

Maybe next year, I’ll skip the brackets all together.

Would a blank one be any worse?


2 Responses to “A bracket busted”

  1. Sloan Says:

    i like your posting

  2. Mike Bollinger Says:

    It is not a foul unless they call it a foul.

    Everyone should d-up with that in mind.

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