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).


  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.

  2. de facto NCAA player pool cheat sheet

  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.