My beloved Longhorns were thrashed by a USC team that taught our freshmen how defense wins games. Even though Kevin Durant scored 30 points the Trojans absolutely shut down DJ Augustin and a 19-0 run early in the second half created an insurmountable task for the young Longhorns. More than one NBA analyst has gone on record saying that Durant would be wise to stay in college for another year to bulk up, work on defense, and polish his skills. While these are all wise and logical points, I expect they will not amount to more than a few minutes of consideration when Kevin is offered tens of millions of dollars as the top pick in the NBA draft.
Meanwhile, my tournament predications are not worthy of much respect this year, as my 70% correct puts me into the lower third of the competitors in this year’s pool. All hope is not lost, though, as most of my Great 8 and Final 4 teams are still alive going into the Sweet Sixteen. For those who care to review the details, here are the Final Four predictions for my two entries:
Final 4: Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State
Finals: Kansas vs. North Carolina
Champion: Kansas (137 total points scored by both teams)
Final 4: Wisconsin (out) UCLA, Georgetown, Ohio State
Finals: UCLA vs Georgetown
Champion: UCLA (141 total points scored by both teams)
For the past two years I was away from television and on a spring break cruise with my family when the NCAA Basketball Tournament seedings were announced. After watching the Longhorns lose a heartbreaking overtime game to the Kansas Jayhawks for the Big 12 Tourney Championship I think I’d like to go back to that pattern. It’s hard to get wound up about basketball when you’re swimming with dolphins in the cool blue waters of the Caribbean.
The Longhorns overcame some enormous deficits to win the games that enabled them to play for the Big 12 Tourney Championship, and displayed incredible fortitude as they battled against Kansas, just announced along with North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio State as number 1 seeds. But as quickly as their leads would expand when things were going right, they would disappear in seconds when the youthful Longhorns would begin committing turnovers and rushing their shots.
Here’s hoping that this amazing freshman class, led by Kevin Durant, the best player in the country without dispute, will learn from their disappointments and play deep into the NCAA’s. And here’s hoping that Kevin thinks hard about what a great time he had at Texas and how much more he could learn if he decided to stay another year instead of accepting the top pick in the NBA draft … hey, a Longhorn fan can dream!
The NCAA didn’t do the Longhorns any favors by sending them to Spokane, WA and seeding them into the same bracket with USC and North Carolina. And do you think it’s an accident that we are playing a team called the “Aggies” in the first round? Both the Texas Aggies and the Jayhawks got seedings in regions that appear at first examination to be less competitive than the Horns’.
I’ll post my brackets online here before the tourney begins so you can watch my progress in the annual office pool.