Double down on Duke
Five bucks says Jim Nantz uses the line, “Remember the Alamo,” this weekend. No, it won’t be because he has seen the trailer to the new Billy Bob Thorton movie. Well, hopefully not. The more probable reason for hearing this line will be that the NCAA’s Final Four showdown is being held in San Antonio, Texas.
Tomorrow the Cowboys of Oklahoma State University will face the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech and the Duke Blue Devils will be tested against the University of Connecticut Huskies. With most brackets currently in the toilet, it’s been hard for people to pick someone to root for.
The smart pick would be Duke. Word has it that the owner of CBS, the company that holds the rights for broadcasting the NCAA through 2012, is a Blue Devil fan. Although this surely doesn’t secure Duke’s spot in the championship game, they are sure to get a few favorable calls. Just something to watch out for.
In all honesty, Duke is quite the powerhouse. They have two senior guards in Chris Duhon and J.J. Reddick. These guys have a lot of tournament experience but expect some big plays from freshman Luol Deng, the Atlantic region’s Most Outstanding Player. Duke’s greatest asset may be Coach Mike Krzyzewski. The future Hall of Fame inductee will need to devise a game plan to stop the surging Huskies.
When I attended the University of Portland’s game against Gonzaga earlier this year, I sat next to Channel 8 sportscaster Joe Becker. He talked my ear off, but amidst the clatter he did state that the Huskies would win it all. I told him I’d put that in here if he was right and it’s looking like he has a pretty good chance.
Connecticut has two outstanding players that have been unstoppable as of late. Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon have dazzled fans while demolishing most opponents along their travel down the road. The Huskies haven’t been to the finals since they beat Duke in 1999 but if they are going to do it again it will have to take more than just overcoming Coach K and his Blue Devils.
The OSU Cowboys are the sole survivor out of the wide-open East Rutherford division. They beat St. Joseph’s in a close one last Saturday, due in large part to the play of guard John Lucas III. Lucas scored the team’s last five points, hitting his final shot to put the Cowboys ahead for good.
OSU is a good team with a deep bench. Many believe that they should be ranked higher than their second seeding. Coach Eddie Sutton rolled his team through the Big-12 this year and the momentum has carried on through the tournament. He will try to wear down Georgia Tech, which will give him the advantage with his depth.
If you’re like most sports fans and love the underdog, unless your one of those Yankee magnates, the team to root for is the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech, unlike Oklahoma, probably should have received a lower seed then they hold. They beat the loveable Jay Hawks on the shoulders of point guard Jarrett Jack. Jack had 30 points against Kansas, advancing his team to the Final Four in overtime.
Although I’m not excited about it, the OSU Cowboys will face Duke in the finals. The Huskies are the better team, but CBS will pull some strings so they can see Duke reach the finals. Georgia Tech is my favorite but they just won’t have the stamina to stay with OSU.
After loosing my shirt in the bracket, I’m going to double down on Duke in hopes to break even. Though, with the way things have been going, I’d suggest you pick someone else.