Region #3 of BOTL 2012 is up and I know it’s late, but I will try and get it done this week. Who will win the East? It’s a shock, check out after the jump.
In the interest of my own time, this region was so dull that I will skip recaps for these games and just tell you the scores. We’re on the West region so let’s see who will face UNLV in the BOTL Final Four.
I guess Kansas can’t have a Mega Millions winner AND a basketball champion at the same time. Kentucky is your champion after holding off a furious Kansas rally 67-59 to win their first championship since 1998. The game predictably sucked as the Wildcats were up by double-digits almost the entire game, but the Jayhawks cut it to 5 late on before deciding to turn it over some more at the most inopportune time. Anthony Davis wins MOP despite not scoring 10 points, primarily because he had 100 rebounds and about 35 blocks on the night. Kentucky set a record for blocked shots in a title game (I’m pretty sure they had 12, but CBS didn’t put up a graphic late) and looked the part as the nation’s best team. John Calipari gets his first title and I’m confident he’ll enjoy it for as long as the NCAA doesn’t investigate the Wildcats for any rule violations.
In summary, this was one of the worst tournaments in the history of March Madness. Kentucky being dominant is fine, but having one overtime game and zero buzzer-beaters makes even the two #2 seeds losing to #15s completely empty. Then again, one of those teams was Duke so maybe not “completely”. Still, the late travel by Elijah Johnson with the score 65-59 on a made three typified the anticlimactic bore that was the majority of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. From the final minute free-throw stalling, lane violations, poorly timed three-pointers, and costly turnovers, the good games of this year never had the chance to be great or even a classic.
Oh well, hats off to the Kentucky Wildcats for an impressive destruction of every team they faced. Now it’s up to them to defend their title next year in Alanta. Wait where?
Two storied programs are squaring off in New Orleans this evening to determine college basketball’s NCAA Men’s Division I National Champion for 2012. March Madness has been lackluster and totally devoid of drama. So what do I want from Kentucky and Kansas tonight? Four simple things….
1.) Kansas to win. This will get towards my 2nd wish, but one of the reasons I want Kansas to win is because it would at least get one bracket on this site 100% accurate in picking the winner. Also, the Jayhawks have been the only team in this tourney who have had close finishes in the closing minutes (including their 13 pt win over North Carolina) virtually throughout the tournament. I rip on Bill Self a lot, but he did a good job of avoiding his usual terrible upset and rallying to beat an arguably superior Ohio State team. Oh, and I’d rather have Self win than….
2.) John Calipari losing again. I cannot stand John Calipari as a head coach. He’s fantastic at his job but he’s had TWO Final Four teams wiped off the records due to NCAA violations. While Calipari did not directly commit them thus was never individually punished, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have played dumb on the Derrick Rose-SAT scandal at Memphis or Marcus Camby’s $40,000 “gift” from an agent at UMass. He is the only coach in the history of college basketball to have multiple teams vacate Final Four appearances. I’m certain that when all is said and done and Kentucky’s entire roster bolts for the NBA the NCAA will “discover” violations in the Wildcats’ program that will lead to a 3rd vacating. I don’t hate Kentucky and think they’re an excellent team, the guy who coaches them? Great basketball coach, but very much dirty.
3.) NO LANE VIOLATIONS! Syracuse vs. UNC-Asheville, Notre Dame vs. Xavier, and Kansas vs. Ohio State have all been affected by late-game lane violation calls. Just terrible. No more stupid basketball, okay? And Aaron Craft’s underhanded playground attempt at an intentional miss symbolized the brain fades from this entire tournament.
4.) Jim Nantz to come up with a spontaneous championship call. Seriously, Nantz, why? For whatever reason when March Madness comes around he unleashes the puns before delivering a completely scripted call of the winner of the title game. Just some examples over the years:
“The Huskies are the top dog in 2011!”
“And Duke, is the King of the dance, 2010!”
“Rock, Chalk, Championship! Kansas takes the title!” (2008, which I predicted)
If the game is close and down to the final shot (I doubt it), please do not burst out some newspaper headline. He is probably the only announcer I can think of who actually does this consistently. Oh, and it will be mighty difficult to make that call anyway because Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr do not ever shut the hell up when the game is on. I really don’t see a need for a three-man booth in any sport.
Oh yeah, Kansas 68 Kentucky 63 with Thomas Robinson as tournament MOP. Book it, please!
Don’t know what BOTL is all about? Read this. You can access box scores for today’s post for up to 24 hours and then it disappears from the archives.
Let’s go back down South where the #1 overall seeded Duke is looking to make the most of their 2nd chance after a humiliating loss to Lehigh.
First things first, this is the last season I’m using this goofy title. If I continue this from 2013 onwards it will be known as the SCI (Second Chance Invitational).
Now, let’s get down to business. College basketball determines its best team with the NCAA Tournament, it’s 69th with the NIT, and 101st with the CBI. With so many tournaments, I figured I would create a fake one to meet near halfway between the big tourney and the NIT. Battle of the Losers is a simulation done entirely by me to take the 32 teams who were eliminated in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament, and re-seed them for fairness.
For example, the highest seed eliminated in the West region was Missouri, so now they become the #1 seed in BOTL. Automatically they face the #16 seed LIU-Brooklyn (now a #8 seed). Memphis becomes a #2 seed, Virginia a #3, and so on. Got it? Basically the more upsets, the stronger the region is.
Here’s your field of 32:
#1 Duke vs. #8 Western Kentucky
#4 Notre Dame vs. #5 UConn
#2 Wichita State vs. #7 South Dakota State
#3 UNLV vs. #6 New Mexico State
#1 Missouri vs. #8 Long Island University – Brooklyn
#4 Colorado State vs. #5 Long Beach State
#2 Memphis vs. #7 BYU
#3 Virginia vs. #6 Davidson
#1 Southern Miss vs. #8 UNC-Asheville
#4 Harvard vs. #5 Montana
#2 West Virginia vs. #7 Loyola (MD)
#3 Texas vs. #6 St. Bonaventure
#1 Michigan vs. #8 Vermont
#4 St. Mary’s vs. #5 Alabama
#2 Temple vs. #7 Detroit
#3 San Diego State vs. #6 Belmont
Per usual, there is a 3rd place game in place and all games are simulated using Whatifsports.com. First region will come tonight or tomorrow!
Past editions of Battle of the Losers:
2010 – Georgetown def. Texas 70-61
2008 – UConn def. Gonzaga 82-79