With Pac-10 play starting this past week, I've caught the ever dangerous March Madness fever. That means I will be slacking in almost all facets of life, and following NCAA hoops closer than ever. Sure it may be a little early to start thinking about March, but when you are stuck in your house in Pennsylvania with an impending wintery mess of a storm about to hit you, what else is there to do.
So where is the first place I turn to when I catch this annual illness? None other than ESPN.COM's Joe Lunardi and his bracketology. It really all means nothing until the selection committee has spoken, but that doesn't stop bracketology from being one of ESPN's most searched phrases. So, I've decided to dive in a bit and look at ASU's current road to the final four. For those who don't know, I annually finish with a top bracket in pools, so what I say is what would happen if this were the actual seedings(sarcasm).
Lunardi has 4 Pac-10 teams right now that are worthy of tourney talk. UCLA, CAL, ASU, and Stanford (yes, the team we beat by 30). At first glance I'm sure you are thinking, "Hey how could he leave U of A off his bracket?" Err...actually, I don't think anyone who is reading this is thinking that.
The first matchup for Harden and the Devils is a tough Illinois team. Oh, if only this were a BCS game, it would be a lock that we would win. The perennial 7-10 matchup is one that many bracketeers love going with the upset. Not me. They may be 13-2, with quality wins over Purdue and Mizzou, I forsee them hitting a rough patch in the Big Ten and I am predicting they won't even make the tourney come March, so lets just chalk this up as a win for the Devils.
The 2nd round takes the Devils to a tough matchup with the Longhorns from Texas. I don't know what to think about Bevo's team. They have some impressive wins against UCLA and Villanova, however they squeaked some wins out over Texas State and Texas Southern. Because of that, I give the upset win to the Devils. Harden and Pendy will go off...and the Longhorns will realize that Rudy Carpenter was trash talking to them about this matchup, not the Holiday Bowl(prob shouldn't have gone there).
After Texas, ASU plays Big East foe, Marquette. Since originally I completely overlooked this game and started writing about the Elite 8 matchup, I'm just going to give the Devils the win.
A young Xavier team will upset Pitt in the top half of the Midwest bracket to face the Devils in the Elite 8. Xavier is a team with just 1 senior and 2 juniors and are currently 11-2. They have 2 good wins, Memphis and Missouri(although this one was expected), and their 2 losses were to Duke and Butler. If the Devils can beat them last year, surely we can beat 'em again. Moving on to the Final 4.
The road stops here Devils fans. ASU faces UNC in the final four and well...we don't stand a chance. I've already given the National Championship to the Tar Heels, even after their loss to BC.
Well...snow has started to fall here in Eastern PA... time to startup the fireplace, put on my winter jacket and snow boots, and take care of the snow covered driveway.