April 3, 2007
So I was right in predicting a Florida-Ohio State national final and a Florida victory. Where’s my prize? This at least proves that I am a better predictor of sporting events than marshmallows.
The CBS coverage was the usual. Billy Packer obsessed over the big guys getting winded the entire game — aren’t these guys barely 20 years old and able to run around for forty minutes? — and Jim Nantz obsessed over everyone’s parents. After the game was over, an uneasy Nantz and Packer stood by while an excitable Joakim Noah made no sense. You know, I think he’s right: Packer and Nantz probably did have no idea what he was talking about (at least he didn’t start dancing this time). Nantz ignored the rant and plowed ahead by asking MOP Corey Brewer about his father.
The game itself was unspectacular as the Gators used their balanced attack to wear down Ohio State for the win. Every time Ohio State looked ready to get close in the second half, Florida would score off a loose ball on some back-breaking play. It must have sucked to watch this for Ohio State fans. Greg Oden put up strong stats (25 points, 12 boards) in defeat, even prompting Packer to suggest he might win MOP honors. It was probably enough to cement his #1 NBA Draft status by showing he could produce in the biggest college game there is. Nantz picked Al Horford (18 points, 12 boards) for MOP honors, and both broadcasters proved wrong as Brewer was chosen.
The result is leading to all sorts of discussion about the back-to-back titles and Florida’s place in history. I’ll leave that one to the experts and simply note that it must be pretty sweet to be a Gator fan these days. It reminds me of the “cup runneth over” feeling I had when the Red Sox and Patriots held championships simultaneously a few years back.
April 1, 2007
Look at that, it’s Florida and Ohio State for the national championship, just as I predicted before the tournament began. Not that it was a surprise pick, by any stretch — lots and lots of people picked these teams, which were the top two seeds in the entire tournament. But it shows I’m not completely clueless, which is nice.
It’s rather strange to have the college football and college basketball championship games be the same matchup of schools three months apart. Of course Florida dominated the football game in January, as well as the regular-season basketball game back in December. So much for the premise that so-called “football schools” can’t be basketball powers.
I foresee Florida cutting down the nets again, as I originally picked, based on superior depth and experience. The Georgetown game last night showed Ohio State’s vulnerability inside if Greg Oden is in foul trouble, as he has been so often in the tournament. Florida has three big guys it rotates inside that can cause problems, and if you clamp down on them defensively Florida will knock down threes, as they showed against UCLA in the other national semifinal. I think the Buckeyes will need a superhuman effort by Oden to control the paint so that they can extend their defense in order to win, and I don’t quite see that happening.
March 11, 2007
I haven’t found video yet of Joakim Noah’s seizure/dance to celebrate Florida’s victory in the SEC basketball championship this afternoon, which seemed to catch poor Verne Lundquist a little off-guard (fortunately the late Al Maguire wasn’t there to join in or things might really have gotten out of hand). Despite the lack of graceful moves, I will stick with the Gators as my pick to repeat as NCAA champions.
I’ll post my full NCAA picks in this space later in the week because I enjoy having my wrongness be a matter of verifiable public record. I had a nice vacation, thanks for asking.
UPDATE: Video here (via Deadspin).