Get inside March Madness with SI.com's Luke Winn in the Tourney Blog, a daily journal of college basketball commentary, on-site reporting and reader-driven discussions.
3/11/2007 07:45:00 PM
Yours Against Mine in Bracketland (With a D-Wash Cameo)
NEW YORK -- Indy's bunker boys have emerged with all of Sunday's major-conference-tournament champs -- Florida, North Carolina, Kansas and Ohio State, in that order -- as No. 1 seeds. How much those designations actually mean is up for debate. According to Joakim Noah in his post-dancing diatribe to a flabbergasted Bill Raftery after winning the SEC tournament on Sunday, the seeds don't matter. "Who cares!" Noah yelled. "At the end of the day, it's yours against mine -- we'll see who gets it!"
After watching Florida over the past three days, I'm pretty sure I don't have the guts to pick someone else's over the Gators'. The committee handed Noah & Co. the easiest road to Atlanta, giving them far more room to overcome the consistency issues that were discussed last week.
North Carolina, on the other hand, is the No. 1 in which I have the least confidence. With Marquette, Texas, Vanderbilt and especially Georgetown in the Tar Heels' path, and Tyler Hansbrough's Plexigass masquerade likely to continue, the odds seem heavily stacked against UNC. In the West, Kansas and UCLA are essentially both No. 1s, and I don't see anything getting in the way of them meeting in San Jose, Calif. to decide a berth in the Final Four. Ohio State's Midwest region, meanwhile, is weak overall -- there are zero threats to the Buckeyes in the first three rounds -- but contains the most dangerous No. 3 in the entire bracket, Texas A&M. As much as Ohio State has dominated down the stretch in the Big Ten, am I crazy for feeling more comfortable slotting the Aggies in Atlanta?
Your Blogger is back in New York, where in a few minutes I'll enter the Sports Illustrated NCAA tournament bunker and assist Grant Wahl on the magazine's bracket. Regularly scheduled blogging will resume after that. In the meantime, Blog Pool is open, and Mr. Klitschko would like you to join. Please do.
In the interest of not leaving you content-less for the rest of the evening, the remainder of this post is being turned over to an actual NCAA tournament participant. Players can make good bloggers (check out what The New York Times' Pete Thamel solicited from Penn's Stephen Danley on Saturday), so we turned to former Q&A subject Deron Washington of Virginia Tech for a YouTube guide to his three best dunks of the season.
Washington, if you haven't heard of him yet, is the best human highlight reel not named Kevin Durant in college hoops. While he didn't actually code up the YouTubes, he did provide us with the breakdown late on Friday night:
Deron's No. 3 Dunk:
"No. 3 came against Miami, at home. The YouTube clip of it shows a whole bunch of game dunks and then a few I did in practice. (The actual dunk is the fourth "game" slam on the footage.) Ze [guard Zabian Dowdell] made a nice pass through like three people. I felt like I was just sitting in the air for a minute -- and then I dunked it straight through."
The No. 2 Dunk:
"No. 2 came at home against Boston College, when I came right down the middle of the lane. That was such a fun game; we were running up and down the court like it was streetball. I saw Jamon [Gordon] looking at me and he was like, 'Oh Yeah, we're about to get a top-10 play.' He just passed me the ball, and as soon as I caught it, I just took off. I was expected a little bump from [Tyrelle] Blair, since I had dunked on him at BC, but he didn't jump. I was leading so far forward when I dunked it that I almost feel -- that's why I had to grab the rum with two hands.
"ESPN showed my mom after that dunk, and she was kind of mad, because people called her to ask what she was doing -- she was talking to herself, and it was pretty funny. She gets pretty excited. She's just like me, a real energetic person."
The No. 1 Dunk:
"No. 1 came at BC, the first time I dunked on Blair. That was a great one. Jamon, once again, made the pass. I slipped to the basket and Blair came over to help. I took off and Blair jumped with me, and it seemed like he hit the ground while I was still going up. I dunked it, and he didn't say anything -- he just turned around and went to get the ball."