Just a note: Yesterday's win over Ga. Tech was actually FSU's 4th ACC
Tournament win so far.
They won one game last year, and they won two games either their first or
second season in the conference. This was noted by Coach Robinson in his
Personally, I like Stanford, Mich. State, Ohio State and Duke as #1 seeds.
I think Temple should get a #2 seed and could well make the Final Four
depending on who they are placed with. I think it's really a wide open
tournament with no dominant teams, quite interesting, probably because
there are so many young teams out there. I think Tulsa and Kentucky could
make a run as could St. Johns and for once Maryland. I'm not sold on
UConn's resurgence. Arizona: how is Loren Woods' health? We don't have a
team that consistently plays great defense but I don't see a lot of teams
out there who will outscore us. It will take a team with athletic size
inside and quick scoring guards to knock us off, our two weaknesses being
in my estimation rebounding and defending great 2G's.
From a Duke perspective, this has been a magical year, more satisfying in
many ways than last year. Where will it end? I agree with Coach K that
the ultimate goal begins next week with the NCAAs, although winning the ACC
tournament always tastes sweet (may Andre discover this). Now that
Dunleavy Jr.'s back and apparently near full strength, I give Duke as good a
chance as anyone else to win it all. Still, it wouldn't surprise me, nor
would it sadden me greatly, should Duke fall a few games short of matching
last year's run. I'm extremely proud of our heroic senior Cwell, junior
leaders Shane and Nate, the outstanding freshmen, Matt, Coach K and the
entire coaching staff. They have shown that Duke basketball transcends who
wears the jersey. Coach K deserves an A+ for the way he has schooled this
From an ACC perspective, I'd have to rate this a down year in almost every
conceivable way: Too many mediocre teams; no real challenge at the top; poor
non-conference record. The ACC doesn't deserve more than four bids, and
that's rarely been the case. I still think the ACC's one of the top five
conferences this season, but I have no real confidence in the teams
performing well in the NCAAs (with the exception of Duke).
From an NCAA perspective, it's been a year of incredible parity. While
some may have felt Cincinnati stood the best chance of winning it all,
they've rarely lived up to expectations. They could still have flamed out
in the second round, even before Martin's unfortunate injury. I'd peg
these teams as having the best chance of making the Final Four and/or
winning it all: Mich. State, Temple, Duke, Stanford. I could also see
UConn and St. John's making a strong run, regardless of their seeds. The
Big 12 and SEC will get six teams apiece, but I downplay their chances to
win it all, or even get a team to the Final Four. I'm also not sold on
Arizona or Syracuse. And, to top it off, I won't have to worry about
whether to root with my heart (lose) or head (win, ACC) whenever Carolina
plays in the NCAAs since they'll likely lose by next weekend at the latest.
Let the games begin!
In one way, it seems unfair to drop Cincinnati out of a #1 seed berth,
in view of the team's record all year, their consistent winning ways,
and the fabulous accomplishments of my choice of NCAA Player of the
Year, Kenyon Martin. As Dickie V said, "They deserve to be a #1 seed."
But seeding isn't really about who "deserves it" ; it is a matter of
which teams can make it to the Final Four, in the estimation of the
Committee. It is all about projecting winners -- and I don't think
Cincinnati can get there without Kenyon Martin. But my heart really
goes out to him and his team-mates.
On a related subject, it would have been interesting to see whether or
not the Bearcats could have won it all with a healthy Martin. They
seemed to be such prohibitive favorites, in much the same way that Duke
was last year, and look what happened to us. I still hate UConn for
From Adelaide, a Cameron Crazy in absentia (New Orleans)