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Bracketing the End of Days

March 13, 2011


The sky will be on fire. The earth will tremble. The seas will swallow cities whole. And teams that we thought were long dead will rise up out of the ground with their dreams rekindled. While Revelatory statements about basketball may be deemed inappropriate in the wake of real life tsunamis, earthquakes, and personal loss, sport always epitomizes a way for us to understand and have faith in life regenerating, that new ages eclipse the old ones, and that all is not lost. Our obsession is both our cure and our disease, paradoxically putting our world into focus, while displacing us from the reality of what's truly important.


Today, ambitions will be answered and others refuted--there will be tears, heartache, and desperation, as some teams play for seedings, others scramble to stay alive, and others huddle around a screen for news that they will be rescued by the committee's helicopters. Yet, the racing pulses and pounding heartbeats that shock our continent today are only the tremors and aftershocks of what took place, while we were sleeping last Thursday night, at the start of these conference tourney proceedings, and it is a vain measure to mistake shot blocking and dunks for tidal waves and drowning. Sometimes, when we sweat over whether to pick an eight seed or a nine seed, we should remember what the fates are deciding for us--fire or ice?

Okay, so after going all Jonathan Edwards on you with those first two paragraphs (after all it is Sunday), we'll lighten the mood with some basketball picks, but we would like to say that our hearts and prayers do go out to the nation of Japan and her people.


PICKS:

SEC Tourney
I'm picking Florida over Kentucky. Kentucky may be without freshman guard Doron Lamb, which means they'll have to account for his thirteen points a game somehow someway, but I'm mainly picking Florida because this game is not in Lexington and it just seems too easy to pick UK to win its 27th conference championship. Do you remember the girl in elementary school who won all the Citizenship Awards, that's Kentucky, except she's really not nice...not nice at all.


ACC Tourney
I'm picking North Carolina, not because of my obvious bias, but because there's a pattern that's developed in four halves of basketball between these teams this year--Carolina is better. They've outscored the Devils in three of the four halves, and proven that their frontline is too much for Duke. If Kendall Marshall doesn't turn the ball over like he did against Clemson and someone other than Barnes hits a few perimeter shots, then I don't see the Tar Heels losing. Other things to consider: let Nolan Smith get his and stop everyone else as the key to stopping the Blue Devils and the fact that Russ and his brother were joking with me yesterday that Duke needs to implore a goon-first strategy today--I don't think it's a good sign that that is what's probably best for Duke against a more athletic UNC team.


A-10 Tourney
My girlfriend fiancee went to Richmond, and they're the better team; but my gut is telling me to pick Dayton--someone has to bust a few brackets today and leave some coach to pine about the fact that his team won their games and deserves to play in the Big Dance no matter what upstart Dayton did. Dayton wins, unless they decide they really want to defend their NIT crown.

Big Ten Tourney
Penn St. is playing for certainty and Ohio St. is building credentials. I think the Nittany Lions will be hungrier and make it a game, but at some point, Ohio St. and Jared Sullinger's killer instinct will go off and the Buckeyes will make their case that they're the only sure thing in this year's tournament, besides uncertainty. It's also interesting to consider that David Lighty came in with Mike Conley, Greg Oden, and Daequan Cook. The idea just makes him seem ancient, and it's that combination of antiquity and raw talent that fuels the silver and scarlet on the hardwood.


2 comments:

Teach said...

now we know why i never make predictions...all of my gut feelings and bias have made me 0-3 so far today...good luck to Duke, Richmond, and UK in the tourney.

March 13, 2011 at 3:13 PM
deckfight said...

um, might pick richmond over vandy. yes, i said it. congrats on the engagement.

March 13, 2011 at 9:28 PM

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