Archive for Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Commentary: UCLA will bring sanity to madness

March 19, 2008


The brackets are out. The wait is over. The field is seeded. The bubbles have burst.

The dance is about to begin.

Forget about your job. Focus on what is important now. Get serious about your bracket.

Find your favorites among the Devils, Heels, Hoyas, Bruins and Tigers. Look for an upset from the Golden Flashes or Golden Eagles, the Delta Devils or the Governors.

It's March. It's mad. It's the best time of the year.

The brackets are out.

Beware of three-point-shooting Drake. Take heed of Davidson. Look out for Western Kentucky. And be afraid-be very afraid-of Butler.

For the next three weeks, we can suspend reality. For these weeks, all is right with the world unless, of course, you're Dayton or Ohio State, Massachusetts or Mississippi, and believe you were unfairly robbed by the selection committee.

It's March, and this is the great escape.

Can't afford to drive your car to the grocery store because gas is climbing close to $4 a gallon? No worries.

Concerned the economy is spiraling downward into a lingering recession? Don't sweat it. It's time to get away.

It's March. Time to celebrate the game. Time to enjoy North Carolina's dizzying fast break and UCLA's hardscrabble defense.

It's time to marvel at Kansas' ball movement, Georgetown's mental toughness, Duke's intercontinental jump shooting and Memphis' athleticism.

Time to anticipate matchups. In what might be called the "Bon Voyage Classic," freshman O.J. Mayo and USC play freshman Michael Beasley and Kansas State in a first-round showcase game.

The brackets are out, and the second-guessing is in.

How can Arizona be invited and Arizona State, which beat the Wildcats twice, be snubbed? How does Baylor get an invitation when Virginia Tech doesn't? And South Alabama not only gets in, but gets to play in Birmingham? Puhleeze!

The brackets are out, and parity is in.

A dozen teams could win the championship. Quieter seeds like Notre Dame, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Wisconsin, Temple and Stanford can beat any of the field's higher seeds.

Questions? Sure, we've got questions!

Can Memphis, Clemson or Pitt make free throws? Will Duke hit enough threes to get to the Alamodome in San Antonio? Will North Carolina execute its half-court offense when the pace slows to a walk? Is UCLA healthy?


UCLA will coast through the West. Texas, seeded second in the South, will play practically at home for the regional in Houston. And it will stay in the state, in San Antonio, for the Final Four.

North Carolina will make it through the dangerous East Region. And, deep breath - Georgetown will beat Kansas and win the Midwest.

Who plays on the final Monday?

UCLA meets North Carolina in a wondrous contrast of styles.

The Bruins will dictate the pace and stop North Carolina from running. UCLA's Russell Westbrook will muzzle Wayne Ellington. And UCLA's Kevin Love will win his personal slugfest with Tyler Hansbrough.

The brackets are out.

And the Bruins are the brackets' best.


craigers 9 years, 10 months ago

PPuuuuhhhlleeeeze! The Bruins? Are you joking?

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