March Madness: My Champion

I’ve changed my mind.  Yesterday I attempted to break down an entire region, and to fit that into a blog post is near impossible to do if done correctly.  So instead, I won’t bother filling your brain with the tendencies and percentages of Morehead State or Wofford (I honestly had no idea Wofford was a institution, and neither did my spell check) because I don’t have a clue.  Instead, let me explain to you why you and I should have the Kansas Jayhawks cutting down the nylon and bathing in confetti come April 4th.  Lets start with the fact that they have won 32 of their 34 games this season, most coming in the Big 12, certainly a tough conference.  When deciding on who could prospectively advance in a tournament of this size and magnitude, something to ask yourself is:  Is this team battle tested?  For as many times as Kansas has beaten the pants off opponents (23 games this season were won by 10 points or more), 7 times they have been in games that were decided by 5 points or less, and conveniently they’ve have won all 7.  And let’s be honest, one of the games they lost this season to Kansas State was more or less a fluke, in my opinion.  I use the term fluke loosely, but seriously, Kansas State was unranked, had lost 4 of 7 coming in, and Jacob Pullen, who hadn’t scored more than 24 points all season, went and drank some of that special Space Jam drink and poured in 38.  But that one loss is neither here nor there.  The overall umbrella point is that this Jayhawks squad isn’t just showing up and winning 30+ games because it says “Kansas” on their jerseys.  Have you seen the Morris twins?  Right before the college season kicked off I wrote about these brothers, Marcus and Markieff, but could never have envisioned the dual success they’ve had this season.  One brother is 6’9″ tall, the other is 6’10”.  It takes watching these brothers for about 5 minutes to see how active and hard they play.  When the shot goes up, both are fighting tooth and nail to snatch the rock off the rim like two rabid pitbulls fighting for the same chew toy.  There are possessions where I can’t even tell them apart.  On the back of their jerseys, they both say ‘Morris’, and traditionally you could just put their first initial in front of the last name.  Well, both first initials are ‘M’.  So of course one jersey says MC. Morris, and the other MK. Morris, which I think is great.  Admittedly I have a soft spot for these two brothers, and those with siblings know how special that relationship can be…now imagine you were both playing at the highest level of basketball, on a #1 seed, you’re both having great seasons, and both are projected as first round NBA draft picks! (Momma hit the jackpot).  You talk about good genes?!?  These two make the Olsen twins look like starved nobodies….wait…nevermind.  Marcus Morris was selected player of the year in the Big 12, but his brother Markieff is the league’s leading rebounder!  And this Kansas team is no 2-man show.  Point guard Tyshawn Taylor is top 5 in the Big 12 in assists per game and is playing some of his best basketball coming down the stretch.  In fact, dude’s highest point total (20) this season came in the Big 12 championship this last week when Kansas waxed and buffed Texas by double digits. Oh, and the fact that Kansas has a guard with the last name ‘Morningstar’ has positivity and Karma written all over it… just a thought.  I wrote yesterday about how important it was in this tournament to be taking good shots and not putting all of your eggs in three-point baskets.  What’s so encouraging about this Kansas team is that in all of Division I basketball, they are number 1 in field goal percentage.  High percentage shots equal more points on the scoreboard which equal more wins.  Simple enough?  In that same field of division I college hoops, which I’ll remind you is over 345 teams, Kansas is number 2 in assists.  And one more thing: Coach Bill Self.  Not only is he the Big 12 coach of the year, but he’s been king of the mountain before by winning the national championship in 2008.  Quick recap.  Point guard play?  Check.  Big men who rebound and score?  Check.  Discipline shots?  Check.  Hall of fame coach?  Check.  The NCAA tournament is as uncertain as the stock market, where futures change in an instant.  But if there’s one team that’s been consistent as a mutual fund and promises to earn your bracket dividends, in my humble opinion, it’s the Kansas Jayhawks.

 

Here is a not-too-shabby list of 15 buzzer beaters from NCAA tournaments past.

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11 Responses to March Madness: My Champion

  1. Gene Bruno says:

    Zach,

    You do make a good argument and it got me to put them in the final four of my bracket “guesses”. However, from my observations (although they not as in-tune as yours) I just feel that Duke will end it for them if Pitt doesn’t sooner. They all have great coaches, a true desire to win and everybody has been there before.
    We are going to have some great games to watch!

    Good job Zach- you keep the excitement up!!

  2. Danny B says:

    errbody around here still think the knicks are wayyyyyyyyyyyy bettter after the trade? nuggets are 8-2 with the former knicks, the current knicks are 6-6 with melo (2 losses to indiana, 2 more to the cavs). Melo is overrated! Guess it wasnt so “silly” that the bockers were considering holding on to their “role players.”

    • ByesLine says:

      Not a bad point “Danny”, I’ve watched a handful of Knick games since the Melo trade, and they don’t look good to me either. Here’s the thing, in my opinion, 10 times out of 10, you need to make the Melo trade happen. It’s almost to big of a risk not to make the deal (And nearly every single noteworthy analyst would agree with that). Also, I don’t believe even the Knicks brass themselves thought that NY would be a contendor this season, this was clearly a move for the future, and I think in time it will pay off (In the form of being a top 3 team in the east in the next few seaons). 12 games in Feb/March after unloading nearly everyone on your team will surely have its bumps in the road. That being said, they still shouldn’t lose the Cavs twice. Why has Amare only hit double digit rebound once in last 9 games? Why would Melo ask to guard LeBron a week and a half ago in the closing seconds and not Danny Granger on Tues night? I don’t get that…Fundamentally i think the Knicks had the right idea, but just because you have puzzle pieces doesnt mean you can build a puzzle.

  3. lebron james says:

    Ohio state plain and simple. Lets get it buckeyes

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pete ur wilin the olsens look like crack whores

  5. John says:

    Wofford upset special over BYU first round!!!!! Place your bets!!!!!!!

  6. Pete says:

    The Olsen twins are hot

  7. Anonymous says:

    no doubt about that. if jimmer fredette was on kansas he would be no different than brady morningstar – just another nice role player. that is how talented this team is. rock chalk jay hawk cutting down the nets.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great breakdown of kansas, I can easily see them winning it all. This is a very weak field this year and kansas is one of the few great teams in that field.

  9. H.D.H.H. says:

    As good of a season that Kansas has had, I really think Duke will repeat as national champs..they have those same characteristics Kansas has, but a better coach. Duke babyyyy

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