Even clueless idiots can fill out a bracket

March 17, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

I feel a little silly doing an NCAA Tournament column, considering ...

  • I've watched less college basketball this season than probably any season over the past 10 years. That's what happens when you spend your free evenings playing way too much online poker.

  • With Maryland in the NIT, I have little interest. (I know, it's blasphemous, but it's the truth. It's also the truth that I'm completely stunned I just spelled blasphemous right on the first try, which is akin to a 16 seed beating a 1.)

But hey, I don't need to have any clue about what I'm talking about in order to write as if I do. Stupidity has never stopped me before. I've picked the Seahawks to reach the Super Bowl twice.

So here's one idiot's take on which two teams are getting too much love and which three teams aren't getting enough.

Too much love

1. Duke. I'm not saying the Blue Devils shouldn't be a No. 1 seed - winning the ACC Tournament clinched that. I just don't think they're a Final Four team.


They have three good players in J.J. Redick, Daniel Ewing and Shelden Williams, and Redick's ridiculously overrated. There are many college guards who can shoot as well or better than Redick's 41-percent clip from 3-point range, yet all you hear is how he's the best shooter in the country. It's ludicrous. Also, Duke has no bench whatsoever.

2. Louisville. Sure, the Cardinals are great when they're shooting well. What happens when they run into that one game when the shots aren't falling? Because it's going to happen at some point in this tournament, and they don't rebound well enough to overcome it when it does. This team is just too one-dimensional.

Not enough love

1. Arizona. Every year, one player winds up stealing the show for these three weeks. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Salim Stoudamire. He shoots better than 50 percent from 3-point range and is a better defender and ball-handler than Redick.

The Wildcats have depth with post player Channing Frye and swingman Hassan Adams, and had a better regular season than No. 1-seed Washington, the loss to the Huskies in the Pac-10 Tournament final notwithstanding.

2. Gonzaga. The Zags are the college equivalent of St. Maria Goretti. They play disciplined, well-rounded, hard-nosed basketball that takes advantage of other teams' weaknesses. You think Texas Tech coach Bob Knight or Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser wants to face Gonzaga? Adam Morrison and Ronny Turiaf are as good a tandem as any in the country.

3. Connecticut. They're getting more love as of late, but it's still not enough. You want to talk about deep and talented teams? The Huskies are it. Granted, much of it is young talent (Charlie Villanueva, Josh Boone, Rudy Gay), but college basketball as a whole is younger now with all the high school studs going straight to the NBA these days. Repeating as national champions is a nearly impossible task, but UConn has a real shot.

Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7520, or by e-mail at

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