2012 March Madness Preview

2/21/12 in NCAABB   |   msylvan10   |   20 respect

We are just one week away from the best sports month of the year. That's right folks, March. While a legitimate case could be made for October, with Spring comes both the promise of new beginnings and postseason excitement. As baseball fever begins to permeate the air for little leaguers  and old-timers alike, we are simultaneously blessed with the greatest playoff format in American sports -- March Madness. After watching ESPN's BracketBusters coverage this past weekend, I could really feel the tourney rapidly approaching, and decided to give a quick preview of some key squads to watch (and ignore) as we head into March. Please note that you will not see many numbers used as evidence to support the conclusions presented. All opinions expressed in this article are based completely off of biased opinions, irrational convictions, and long-standing principles. In other words, they are facts. Please feel free to ignore this advice if you don't enjoy winning your office bracket pool. I'll try to skip the obvious ones, and just make a few observations that you may have not yet considered...

Long Beach St. 49ers

I don't care what the outcome of that Creighton game was, and I don't care where they ultimately get placed on the bracket, "The Beach" will win at least one game in the tourney. That is a guarantee. This team can put up points and run the court faster than just about anyone in the country. Casper Ware is the real deal, they're a veteran group, and they've played the most difficult non-conference schedule in the country. Plus, the Niners are just plain fun to watch. I'd take an LBSU game on TV over one of those Big Ten snoozefests any day. In all seriousness, this team is a scary matchup and I could see them dancing into the second weekend. But speaking of the Big Ten...

Ohio St. Buckeyes

Ohio St. is garbage. That is just a fact. They are the most overrated team in the country and Jared Sullinger is the most overrated player in the country. I really hand't realized it until I watched that pathetic excuse for a basketball game last week against Michigan State. ESPN touted it as a great defensive battle, but anyone who watched the broadcast could see it was just a battle to see which team could put up more bricks than the other. When I saw that Michigan was +6 at home this past Saturday, it was the quickest I've ever jumped on a bet in my life. Not that I'm high on Michigan or anything. In fact, I'm not fully buying any Big Ten team this year. Not saying that one of them (including Ohio St.) couldn't reel off a few wins in March, I just don't see any of them ending up in New Orleans.

St. Mary's Gaels and Murray State Racers

This was supposedly the big matchup of the weekend, and the Racers put this one in the books pretty quick. As I expected them too. Murray State -1 was another gift-wrapped line. If anyone just looked at the two teams standing around on the floor, the difference in athleticism was truly astounding. I've now watched St. Mary's get beat up on national TV in 3 of their past 4 games. Including once to LMU at home. I think it's safe to say this team is pretty terrible. But not to take anything away from Murray State. Saturday was my first chance to watch them live, and I definitely like what I saw. Isaiah Canaan can really score and could be this season's Kemba Walker. Not yet sure how they would match up against a bigger team that can also match them athletically, but I definitely think the Racers could win a couple games in the Dance.
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