Quick hit reactions on the bracket here on Monday morning in China:
- The committee must have some kind of sadistic streak to pair us with Vermont. Not that I fear a repeat performance from 2005, but the amount of flashback highlights we’re going to have to endure is not something I look forward to. And there’s no payoff in this, because I don’t care that much about getting revenge when we’re talking about a team like Vermont.
- All things considered, being a number 1 seed is pretty sweet. I was 95% sure we had it locked up, but there was still some hidden nerves. It’s nice that it’s official.
- I’m not offended about being the “4th” ranked #1 seed, because there’s no difference whatsoever between playing in Salt Lake City vs. playing in Houston. Who cares that Duke got that corner? It makes no difference.
- Speaking of Duke, I don’t envy them potentially having to play Louisville in the 2nd round.
- Speaking of Louisville, the committee clearly broke some of its old rules by putting 3 Big East teams in the South bracket (the result is that Georgetown is the only BE team in the Midwest). This is supposed to be a no-no, but it provides the intriguing notion of Louisville, Notre Dame, and Villanova filling 3 of the 4 South spots in the Sweet 16. And you better believe it’s a possibility, the way Notre Dame has turned things around.
- I’m not happy that the Big East team sharing our bracket is Pittsburgh. They’re a long way off, and knowing Pitt they’ll choke long before the Elite Eight, but in the off chance we meet them I won’t be confident at all. I’m also not thrilled to possibly face Gonzaga in the 2nd round, one of the few teams that knows how to attack a zone. Go Florida State!
- None of this matters if AO can’t come back, right? Without him we’re not getting out of the Sweet 16 no matter who we play. It’s so painful to think about the possibility that his injury will derail the entire season that I’ve been mentally avoiding this reality. I just can’t accept that the whole season may turn into an empty tease. But lets face facts: with only 6 men the obstacles are too great.
OK folks, do nothing but pray to the Gods of the Quads this week. If Arinze can’t get healthy then this coming weekend is nothing but a prelude to disappointment.