Basketball at its best

Fat Guy’s Corner

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

My two eyes have turned from the color of blue to the color orange! How much basketball can one guy watch in four days? I can tell you this, it was awesome and worth watching every bounce of the basketball. March madness has delivered drama and upsets just as it has in previous years. Can you say VCU? How about Richmond? Let’s not omit Florida State! Yes, these teams are tournament party crashers.

How about the No. 10, 11, and 12 seeds all advancing? They’re all from the same bracket to boot! Speaking of brackets, mine are a mess as usual, so no big surprise there. I hope all you out there have some brackets alive and doing good. I want to break down the brackets, but first let’s look back at the three schools who participated in the NCAA tournament this past weekend.

Michigan State bowed out on opening night to the UCLA Bruins. It was absolutely an embarrassment of a basketball game. The Spartans were down 18 points at the half and looked terrible beyond terrible. It was the same old thing, turnovers and horrible shooting. Kalin Lucas was just downright brutal. Durrell Summers, who had a rotten season, actually kept MSU in the game in the first half. Down 23 points at the eight-minute mark of the second half, MSU made a run and made the game close in the end. I don’t know how much of that was the fact UCLA took their foot off the gas pedal thinking the game was over. The bottom line is a season of tremendous expectations burned out like the numbers on my scale. MSU loses Kalin Lucas and Summers to graduation. I feel that is a good thing. The locker room had turmoil and dissension all season long and new faces need to be mixed into that locker room. MSU won’t have as much "talent" next year, but will be a better basketball club. Trust me on that one.

Oakland also bowed out in game one to the Texas Longhorns. I thought Texas was a bad draw for Oakland, and it was. I picked Oakland to win, but mostly because Texas is a choker come tournament time. They did choke in their very next game, by the way. Oakland University is a program on the rise and we should see them in the tournament for years to come. I really want to see Keith Benson in the NBA and see how he does.

The Michigan Wolverines actually won a game by whipping the Tennessee Volunteers by an astounding 30 points.

That victory then brought on the Duke Blue Devils. The Wolverines lost, 73-71, to Duke, but the Wolverines gave Duke all it wanted and then some. Darius Morris missed a game-tying shot which would have forced overtime. I personally would have went for a game-winning three ball instead of the tie. Oh well! Michigan’s hoop team has promise for next season and the expectations will be high for them. There were no seniors on this team and Zack Novak and Stu Douglass will be seniors next year. Tim Hardaway Jr., Evan Smotrycz, and Darius Morris will be improved. Michigan hoops looks like it is back!

Crystal cheese ball

It’s prediction time for this weekend’s NCAA games. The East Region features Ohio State against Kentucky and Marquette against North Carolina. Ohio State is too tough for all these other teams. OSU will defeat Marquette and move on to the Final Four. Somebody will have to tell coach Tressel. He doesn’t even know the Buckeyes are in the NCAA Tournament.

In the West Region, it’s Duke vs Arizona and U-Conn vs SDSU. I am sticking with my original choice, the red hot U-Conn Huskies. Arizona upsets Duke, though.

The Southwest Region is all Kansas! Come on, a number-one seed and then the 10-12 seeds? Kansas to the Final Four. I do like FSU over VCU, though. I give VCU credit because they are taking care of business. Shame on Purdue, by the way.

The Southeaast Region has Butler vs Wisconsin and BYU vs Florida. It’s a tough one to call, but give me Wisconsin and BYU and then give me Wisky to the Final Four.

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