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Westsider Rider

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lakers and March Madness

This was supposed to go up on Monday morning after the Michigan coaching search post but work got in the way so here it is. Now onto the other two big stories of the weekend, starting with the slumping Lakers who have now been brought back to life by Kobe Bryant. He dropped 115 points in two games, which is just ridiculous. I wasn't able to watch the Friday game in Vegas but damn, watching those highlights it was ridiculous. So with the Kobe explosion the Lakers have now won 2 in a row and need to get back all the games we lost during the losing streak. Two road games now against Memphis and New Orleans/Oklahoma City which will cause problems knowing how the Lakers usually treat these games. Let's just see Kobe drop 50+ again and get the W's.

March Madness in Vegas was awesome, as it was last year. Sure I didn't win money again but being in a place with that many people and that many TV's is a lot of fun. This year we stayed at the Aladdin and just watched the games at their setup which had 5 projection screens to take in all the action. The only negative is because it gets so packed you have to sit in your seats all day long. Even though I was with 3 other friends and we rotated through in pairs to hold our seats I got sick of sitting there. I've never gotten sick of just sitting in one place and watching sports. Next year I'll probably try a different venue but I will be there.

Sweet Sixteen tips off later today and let's see how my picks turned out after the first weekend:

Makes me look smart: Winthrop over ND, VCU over Duke and Vanderbilt to the Sweet 16.
Makes me look like a moron: Davidson over Maryland, Creighton over Nevada, Gonzaga over Indiana, LB State over Tennessee and the biggest one of all Texas to the Championship game.

In today's games:

Kansas-Southern Illinois: The Jayhawks have too much talent for the Salukis. I don't think Kansas is as great as a lot of the country thinks but they should have no problems with Southern Illinois.

Pittsburgh - UCLA: UCLA is the pick here, they are my National Champion pick and I'm sticking with them. They struggled at times with the offense against Indiana but when they needed the buckets they came through with them. The Bruins have yet to play their best and I think it starts tonight; the teacher will defeat the student and UCLA advances to the Elite Eight.

Ohio State - Tennessee: These two teams played earlier in the year with Ohio State getting by in a close one at Columbus. I don't think Ohio State is as good as their hype, they are too young, but they will take care of business against the Volunteers. After watching the Buckeyes a number of times this year I will say it again Ron Lewis is the guy you must watch for. Everyone focuses on Oden, Conley and the rest of the freshmen, but Lewis the veteran is the guy that makes plays.

Memphis - Texas A&M - The Aggies have homecourt advantage in San Antonio and are a team to be reckoned with in the tournament. Acie Law IV aka Ice in my book is one of the most clutch players I've ever seen and if it comes down to it he will make the plays to keep A&M in the tournament. But I don't see that happening I expect A&M to take control and win comfortably. I believe, once again, that Memphis is overrated and they will get knocked out in this round. The Tigers never play any legitimate teams in conference play and always walk into the tournament with an inflated record. The way the Mean Green of North Texas gave them a scare just adds to my opinion.

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