19 March 2008

Go West

Gotta get this finished so I can go back to more important things, like offending squeamish white folks. Yes, it's so easy even I can do it!

WEST Region

1 UCLA vs 16 Mississippi Valley State

MVSU wins the Best Player Name award with backup guard Stanford Speech. Still, he's no Scientific Mapp. and that's not enough to give them much hope, I'm afraid.

8 BYU vs. 9 Texas A&M

Mormons or Farmers? These two schools seem made for each other, and, unfortunately for the Aggies, that includes being perfectly foiled by the efficient Cougars.

5 Drake vs 12 Western Kentucky

A perennial MVC doorstop, Drake came out of nowhere to have the school's best season ever buoyed by an arsenal of perimeter snipers. Drake shares a common bond with many of their mid-major colleagues: they're lacking in size, and they could make a Sweet 16 run if they could avoid getting exposed too quickly. Unfortunately for Drake, they're likely to get smushed by Connecticut. It's a frustrating refrain.

4 Connecticut vs 13 San Diego

As if on cue, here is San Diego, who won't give significant minutes to a player taller than 6'8". Little more than a nuisance for UConn's enormous 7'3" center Hasheem Thabeet. The Toreros (great mascot!) are only here because of a great run through the WCC tournament. Would that it could continue.

6 Purdue vs 11 Baylor

A battle of gritty overachievers. Baylor may be the story of the tournament, its program on the brink of extinction after being ripped apart in a tawdry scandal by former coach Dave Bliss, possibly one of the worst people alive. The Bears were brought back from the precipice by former Valparaiso assistant Scott Drew, who was on the sidelines for one of the greatest finishes in tournament history 10 years ago this week. I've gotten myself so worked up I think I have to advance them now. I don't really believe it, though.

3 Xavier vs 14 Georgia

Georgia won only four games in the SEC this year, then slipped through the backdoor by winning the meaningless conference tournament, which included being interrupted a tornado and playing three games in two days. Xavier knows the feeling; they were in the same position two years ago, also as a 14 seed. Naturally, sportswriters are already whining that no Big Six school should be dissed with being the equivalent of Cornell or Cal-State Fullerton. May we all take our Thursday-morning piss in their corn flakes.

7 West Virginia vs 10 Arizona

Two teams going in opposite directions, which means they'll obviously turn it around in time for the postseason, right? As an Indiana fan, I wish it worked that way. Bob Huggins, however, has never stopped sucking.

2 Duke vs 15 Belmont

I regret to inform you that the annual duty of beating Belmont has unfortunately fallen to Duke this year, but still, it has to be done, and if you have to hold your nose and make unseemly alliances to do the dirty work, then you do what you must. Memo to Atlantic Sun teams: Just because Belmont students are facing a soulless future of making and selling manufactured Christian pop music, doesn't mean you need to show them any mercy.

1 UCLA vs 8 BYU
4 Connecticut vs 5 Drake
3 Xavier vs 11 Baylor
2 Duke vs 7 West Virginia

1 UCLA vs 4 Connecticut
3 Xavier vs 7 West Virginia

1 UCLA vs 3 Xavier