March 12, 2014

10 Lists of 10

I'm borrowing this idea from Matthew Berry.  Sue me.



Actually... um... please don't sue me.  It's such a blantant rip-off, that I'd almost definitely lose that court battle.

Speaking of court battles (boom, nailed you with a clunky literary segue!), these 10 lists of 10 are themed "UVA Basketball in the 2014 Postseason."

[Profanity Warning]

List 1 -- 10 Teams I Think Can Win it All
1 - Florida.  Obv.  They're everybody's (including Vegas') favorite to win it all right now.
2 - Arizona.  Probably the best defense in the country, and scoring guards who can deliver the goods.
3 - Wichita State.  Meh.  Gotta give them the benefit of the doubt, especially given last year's Final Four run.
4 - Michigan State.  Never bet against Izzo in the NCAAT.
5 - Wisconsin.  If I think we can do it (spoiler alert: I think we can), then I have to say I think Wisky could do it.
6 - Louisville.  They are red hot right now.  I'm not sure how much that matters, but there it is.


7 - Iowa State.  The Cyclones are my darkhorse.  Matchup nightmares, 1 thru 5.  Melvin Ejim can power this team way further in the Big Dance than you think.
8 - Duke.  Begrudgingly.
9 - Syracuse.  They've been slumping, but a little rest right now could get them rolling again once the Tourney starts.
10 - Virginia.  Damn right.

List 2 -- 10 Teams I'd Love to See UVA Play in the Tournament
1 - Kansas.  That's right.  With Joel Embiid out (or rusty and not at 100% once he returns), this team is infinitely beatable.  I'd love to get a 3-seed with them positioned as the 2-seed opposite us, for a potential Sweet Sixteen matchup.  We'll win that game.
2 - Wichita State.  Fuck the mid-majors.  I'd really like to test the Shockers in a potential Elite Eight matchup.  I think we can beat these guys.  And if not, hey, we lost to a damn good team!
3 - VCU.  God damn, I want that re-match.  And I relish the chance to send these assholes packing, to shut Shaka up about who's the best program in the state, once and for all.  Fuck VCU.
4 - San Diego State.  Good defensive team?  Son, we would rip your heart out and shove it down your fucking throat.  Please oh please give us a 3 with them the 6, or give us a 4 with them the 5.  We will stomp these bastards out.


5 - Villanova.  They've had a great season, but I really don't know how good they are.  Creighton bombed the shit out of them.  Twice.  If we do end up with a 3-seed, I'd rather see Villanova as the 1-seed in the Elite Eight than any of the other three possibilities (Florida, Arizona, Wichita).
6 - Michigan.  Honestly?  I think we'd beat the fuck out of these guys.  It's exactly the kind of team we match up really well against.
7 - Oklahoma.  They had the quietest pretty good season in the history of pretty good seasons.  They're sneaking around in the shadows, hoping nobody notices them.  I think we'd drop an atomic bomb on their heads.
8 - UCLA.  I don't buy the Pac-12, and I especially don't buy UCLA.
9 - Ohio State.  I just want a piece.
10 - Texas.  We are their nightmare matchup.

List 3 -- 10 Teams I Hope UVA is Able to Avoid in the Tournament
1 - VCU.  As much as I relish the chance to knock these fuckers out of the Dance, I'm scared shitless about them doing that to us.  I'd be on pins and needles, needing a defibrillator on standby, if we played the Rams in the Tournament.
2 - Memphis.  Those guards are numerous, and all good as shit, and all thrive on the dribble-drive.  We thought Seth Allen and Dez Wells were rough?  Joe Jackson, Michael Dixon, Geron Johnson, and Chris Crawford are otherworldly as slasher-style scorers.  This might be Virginia's nightmare matchup in the entire Tournament field... and while we're on a 3-seed trajectory, Memphis is on a 6-seed trajectory.  Pray we don't see the Tigers in the 2nd round.


3 - Creighton.  They could just shoot over the top of our defense and bomb us into submission... just like they did to Villanova.  Twice.
4 - Cincinnati.  There aren't many teams that I think could out-tough Virginia in the Tournament, but Cincy is one of those teams.  (Wichita and Arizona might be the only others.)
5 - Kentucky.  NBA-level talent is NBA-level talent, even if the pieces and parts don't fit together properly.  UVA simply cannot match their talent level.
6 - Iowa State.  Like I said, I think the Cyclones are a team of destiny.  Melvin Ejim, DeAndre Kane, Georges Niang... these guys are sick-nasty, and pose matchup problems galore.
7 - Saint Louis.  This team is good, man.  Really good.  I think we can beat them, but I'd rather not risk the indignity of losing to a mid-major in the Big Dance.
8 - Florida.  I don't think we can beat them.
9 - Iowa.  I still have vivid memories of them picking us apart on our home floor in last year's NIT quarterfinals.
10 - UConn.  Too much stellar guard play for me to feel comfortable facing them.

List 4 -- 10 7 Mid-Majors that Scare the Shit Out of Me
1 - Wichita State.  Right?  Riiiiiiiight.
2 - VCU.  Eat a dick, you're still a fucking mid-major.  Scratch that, you'll always be a mid-major.  #VCUfootball
3 - Gonzaga.  I remember 2001.
4 - Delaware.  If we get a 3, and they get the corresponding 14, I'll be terrified.  They have shooters and slashers, enough to give us plenty of trouble.
5 - New Mexico.  They went belly-up in last year's Tournament, and return all the talent they need to make a meaningful run with that chip on their shoulder this year.


6 - Saint Louis.  Shut the fuck up, A-10 fans.  Your conference is a mid-major conference.  (If you get to play Duquesne, Fordham, and fucking St. Bonaventure twice each season, it's a mid-major conference.  Sorry.)  But the Billikens have legit Final Four aspirations.
7 - Harvard.  A very solid #35 in KenPom, with a blowout win over BC and a close shave against UConn already on their résumé.  Plus, they already proven they could make noise in the Tourney by upsetting 3-seeded New Mexico last season.
8 - North Dakota State.  Scratch that.  I just watched them sputter through a brutal win over the IPFW Mastodons in the Summit League Championship.  The Bison no longer scare me.
9 - Ummmm, that's all I've got.
10 - ???  Screw you, mid-majors.  You make the Tournament magical, but you're super annoying when I'm about to have a highly-seeded dog in the fight.

List 5 -- 10 Teams I Think Will Outperform Their Seed
1 - Oklahoma State.  C'mon.  This is too easy.  Lunardi has them as a 10-seed right now, and with Marcus Smart playing well, it's really not hard to see them making a Final Four run.
2 - Louisville.  Trust me, they'll be one of the toughest outs in the entire Tournament field.
3 - Iowa State.  They are my darkhorse, so I'm riding them hard.


4 - Memphis.  Guard play (and the Tigers spread the floor with four of them!)
5 - UConn.  Guard play.
6 - Cincinnati.  Grit means something in the Tournament.
7 - Kentucky.  Too much raw talent to not outperform the 7-seed Lunardi has them earning.
8 - Arizona State.  Jahii Carson is the kind of point guard who can power a team deep into the Dance.
9 - Michigan State.  As a 5-seed?  No 1-seed wants to see these guys in the Sweet Sixteen, know that.
10 - Iowa.  Dangerous team.  Very dangerous team.

List 6 -- 10 Teams I Think Will Fall in Upset Losses
1 - Villanova.  Just a feeling, I guess.  Jay Wright is a great coach, but he hasn't proven that he can take a team to the Final Four.
2 - Kansas.  No Embiid, no bueno.
3 - Duke.  This year's Dook team has "Sweet Sixteen Upset" written all over it.
4 - Michigan.  Again, I'm just not buying these guys.  Nice late-season run to win the [flawed] Big Ten, but Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert aren't Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr.
5 - Syracuse.  They only go six deep, and are very clearly worn down and out of gas at the end of this season.  Welcome to the ACC grind, motherfuckers.


6 - North Carolina.  You know it, I know it, we all know it.  Roy Williams is a huckster hack, and this year's Tarhole team is flimsy and fragile.
7 - San Diego State.  I have two words for you, SDSU: prove it.
8 - Oklahoma.  5/12 upset victim.  Book it.
9 - VCU.  Maybe just wishful thinking on my part.
10 - UMass.  Please, God, give them a power conference bubble team (like Tennessee or Pitt) in the 1st round.  I want to see that carnage.

List 7 -- Top 10 Talents in the 2014 NCAA Tournament
1 - Jabari Parker, Duke
2 - Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
3 - Julius Randle, Kentucky
4 - Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
5 - Gary Harris, Michigan State
6 - Doug McDermott, Creighton
7 - Zach LaVine, UCLA


8 - Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
9 - Terran Petteway, Nebraska
10 - C.J. Fair, Syracuse

List 8 -- The Next 10 Talents in the 2014 NCAA Tournament
1 - Cleanthony Early, Wichita State
2 - Nick Johnson, Arizona
3 - Shabazz Napier, UConn
4 - Cory Jefferson, Baylor
5 - Melvin Ejim, Iowa State
6 - Chris Walker, Florida
7 - Xavier Thames, San Diego State


8 - Jahii Carson, Arizona State
9 - Russ Smith, Louisville
10 - Adreian Payne, Michigan State

List 9 -- Other Awesome Players in the 2014 NCAA Tournament
1 - Joel Embiid, Kansas (if he plays)
2 - Nik Stauskas, Michigan
3 - Kendall Williams, New Mexico
4 - Joe Jackson, Memphis
5 - Rodney Hood, Duke
6 - Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati
7 - Cameron Bairstow, New Mexico
8 - DeAndre Kane, Iowa State


9 - Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
10 - Aaron Gordon, Arizona

List 10 -- 10 Deadeye Sniper-Style Shooters Who Could Gun Their Team to the Final Four
1 - Michael Frazier, Florida
2 - Doug McDermott, Creighton
3 - Ethan Wragge, Creighton
4 - Phil Forte, Oklahoma State


5 - Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati
6 - James Bell, Villanova
7 - Gary Harris, Michigan State
8 - Rodney Hood, Duke
9 - Nik Stauskas, Michigan
10 - Joe Harris, Virginia

BONUS!  List 11 -- 10 Reasons Virginia Could be Headed to the Final Four
1 - Joe Harris, going absolutely supernova in his last few games in the orange and blue.  (I'm not hoping, I'm expecting.)
2 - London Perrantes, suddenly willing to shoot, and knocking down treys at a very pleasing clip.
3 - Defense.  As in, the best in the country.  Offense comes and goes, but D is constant.  It travels.  It wins championships (or so they say).
4 - Anthony Gill's late-season boom.
5 - Rebounding.  Led by Akil Mitchell and bolstered by the positioning the Pack-Line puts us in, we are a very good rebounding team.  One of the best in the country.


6 - The Justin Anderson x-factor coming off the bench.
7 - The chance that Mike Tobey re-discovers his scoring ability.  He's a matchup nightmare for opponents, when he's on.
8 - Malcolm Brogdon, a total Swiss Army Knife of a player, one of the most well-rounded talents in this Tournament.
9 - Depth.  We go a legit 9-deep, and that's a really big deal in the postseason grind.
10 - ACC Coach of the Year Tony Bennett (and his masterful halftime adjustments).



4 comments:

  1. Great stuff man. Totally agree with you on Delaware. Watched them in the CAA tourney and that would be a landmine of a 14/3 match up for us. Hope we avoid it.

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  2. de facto NCAA player pool cheat sheet

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  3. I also have a strong feeling that the lack of media respect you mentioned in your last post will have us under-seeded in the big dance. We got a royal screw job back in 2001 with that bullroar 5/12 game against Gonzaga. Won't surprise me if something like that happens again. Of course, we can squash that particular likelihood if we win the ACC Tourney.

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