Michigan Madness

If this past week’s college hoops tournaments are any indication of what the Big Dance will deliver, we are in for one tremendous show.  I can rattle off 15 teams that have a legitimate shot at taking the title.  I am, however, getting a little tired of hearing talking heads cry about who got snubbed.  This is probably the weakest field I can remember in a long time.  There’s parity in the NCAA’s!!  If your team failed to present the committee with a regular season performance that warrants a “lock” to get in, then you certainly don’t deserve the bid.  Though this year’s field is certainly weak, it may result in some phenomenally exciting finishes and even better calls.   Speaking of calls, here’s Gus Johnson’s Weekend Schedule…

6:40, truTV, Dayton — UTSA vs. Alabama St. (Gus Johnson/LenElmore)
2:10, TNT, Cleveland — George Mason vs. Villanova (Gus Johnson/Len Elmore)
4:40, TNT, Cleveland — Ohio St. vs. UTSA/Alabama St. (Johnson/Elmore)
Let me say quickly that not having Gus on Day one saddens me. And furthermore, to give him the #1 seed is a joke! (I take that back if Ohio State loses…that would be the greatest moment since the Fab5)  It looks like we’ll unfortunately have to wait for the Gus Volcano to blow in round two.  Hopefully one of these Michigan-tied teams will still be around.
1. Michigan
I haven’t forgotten 91’, and nobody likes Duke.  If you watched the Fab5 doc on ESPN (or grew up with them like me) this one may be even more interesting.  Michigan does have to get through Tennessee first which is no small challenge…especially if Bruce Pearl shows up looking like this:
2. The Grizzlies of OU
Yes, Oakland University has gotten into the tournament again.  A crazy-obscure school in Rochester Hills, MI.  They drew Texas who, in my opinion, is terribly overrated and is led by a weak head coac; Rick Barnes.  Oakland matches up better with Texas than a lot of teams that they could have drawn so if Texas takes this one lightly, they are in for trouble.  I don’t see this upset happening…but its definitely one to watch.  Hell, if Oakland and Michigan make the sweet 16, they play each other!

3. Izzo and the Spartans
Would you count this guy out? Michigan State has the easiest route of all the teams that are similarly-seeded.  They may potentially play the weakest seven, two, and three seeds in the field (UCLA, Florida, and BYU respectively).  They haven’t had the most productive of seasons, but they certainly have experience to make a run….again.   The talent is present, and they call the coach Mr. March. Don’t sleep on The Spartans

4. Steve Fischer
Way back when, I prayed to the gods that were The Fab5.  I will forever root for Steve in any venture he embarks upon in his life. San Diego State looks great.  They are athletic, great jump-shooters, and have tremendous guard-play.  They have as good a chance as any to take home the Ugly Piece of Glass. Go Aztecs!

-by Lowell Ahee


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