Monday, April 02, 2007
Hi, I'm Chris from Run Up The Score. You may know me from such works of crap as Metal Band At Retard Party, Larry Johnson Is A Big Stupid Poopyhead, and The Decapitation of Larry Leadfoot. I'll be filling in for AA tonight as he moves into his new house of ill repute.
Outside of a few thrilling Sweet Sixteen games, this year's tournament has been One Shining Turd. Other than VCU's immensely satisfying stunner against Duke, eleventh-seeded Winthrop provided the biggest upset of the opening weekend, beating a Notre Dame team that had played way above its talent level all season long. Of course, Winthrop was promptly throttled by Oregon while VCU fought valiently but ultimately succumbed to a despicably boring Pitt squad. That left the sports media to force 7th-seeded UNLV into the Sweet Sixteen Cinderella role, which was much like forcing a cat into a filled bathtub. Put another way, you could eat an entire bottle of Tums and not experience such a chalky, disappointing three weeks.
Still, Florida and Ohio State have a chance to kinda-sorta salvage this tournament. Florida is favored by five points, which would ordinarily make me want to call a Caribbean gaming tycoon and place a bet on the Buckeyes if the Gators weren't so talented at every position. Both teams are 7-2 against the spread in their last nine games, so that's no help.
Gametime is 9:15 ET (8:00 a.m. in Kathmandu, a nod to Awful Announcing's huge Nepalese following). CBS.com is also ready for the action -- their Sportsline site is counting down every second until the title game, which begins in...
What will we do until then? Drop your predictions, insults, Billy Packer jokes, and laments about Gus Johnson's absence in the comments. Apparently, we're going to be waiting a long time for tip-off.
As a matter of disclosure, my girlfriend will win our NCAA tournament pool if Florida prevails tonight. She managed to pick all four of the Final Four teams. I picked Kansas to win the whole thing -- seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I look back on it and say "Kansas?!? I'm lucky they got out of the first weekend unscathed!"
We're a half-hour from the start of CBS' coverage (hey, Sportsline fixed the countdown clock!) and it seems to me that people are giving Ohio State the same chance that we all gave Florida in the BCS championship game back in January. What needs to happen in order for Ohio State to win tonight?
1. Greg Oden needs to stay out of foul trouble. Ohio State can't afford for him to pick up two fouls in the first six minutes of the game, because they'll be screwed if that happens.
2. Ron Lewis can't go 1-for-9 like he did against Georgetown.
3. Mystery offense. Jamar Butler? Daequan Cook? Ivan Harris? Ohio State will need substantial offense from more than just Oden, Lewis and Mike Conley.
4. Luck Of The Brick. Maybe Lee Humphrey and Taurian Green finally go cold tonight.
5. Rebounding. Florida just slaughtered UCLA on the boards. All five guys need to crash the defensive boards for Ohio State.
I'm watching the ESPN GameDay coverage, and they went out and asked a bunch of current high-profile coaches who they thought would win tonight's game. Every single one said Florida except for Bobby Cremins, who practically admitted that he picked Ohio State just for the sake of being different.
You know, Florida is only favored by five points. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that the Washington Generals were playing tonight.