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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Madness Is Here!!!!

So it's that time of year again...where everyone goes a little crazy.  Some might say that it will drive people mad.  Mad enough to even call off work, like more than a few people at my job are prepared to do tomorrow(not including myself)...but I digress.  Without further ado, I would like to welcome everyone to J-Rod Sportszone's March Madness Preview!

The first four games of this year's tournament have proved to be... what 's the word for it?  Oh yeah, that's right, they are boring (big yawn). Even as I write this entry Virginia Commonwealth is playing USC, but I don't know who is winning.  Wait, let me check and I'll get back  to you. Or maybe I won't.  I think the most exciting play from these four games has to be UNC Asheville's three pointer to send the game into overtime versus the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, but you would hardly know it based on fan reaction (or lack thereof.)  It was a valiant effort by the NCAA to add a new wrinkle, I would just say keep trying.

So, picking this year's winner should be a piece of cake, no? It's Ohio State all the way, right? Well, maybe.  I like their chances as much as anyone in the 2011 field.  There is no doubting this year's version of the Buckeyes are more talented than the 2009-2010 squad.  Gone is player of the year Evan Turnover, I mean Turner. Jared Sullinger is a forced to be recokned with inside, so much so that he was genuinely shocked he won Big Ten Freshman of the Year.  Or could it be that he was shocked that Big Ten Player of the Year went to JaJuan Johnson of Purdue instead of himself?  And David Lighty, Jon Diebler, and William Buford have all stepped up their respective games this season, no longer waiting for someone else to take charge first.  You definitely get the feeling this could be Thad Matta's best team yet.

Nonetheless, there are a few things that have given reasons to doubt the Buckeyes will be cutting down the nets when it is all said and done in Houston in a couple of weeks. First and foremost is daunting bracket that includes perennial powers Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse.  Not to mention that if they get by those three they might have Puke (I mean Duke) awaiting them in the final four.  And I know I wrote a couple of weeks ago that I don't believe in superstitions in sports, but the fact that Sports Illustrated picked the Bucks to win it all has me worried.  The biggest question mark surrounding Ohio State has to be their lack of depth.  If Sullinger gets into foul trouble it will be interesting to see if Deshaun Thomas or Dallas Lauderdale can provide the necessary production so the team doesn't miss a beat.

The biggest change to this year's tournament, however, is not that the field expanded from 65 teams to 68, but that I have decided to join the argobright family tourney pool.  The trash talk has already begun, and, even though I have yet to make my picks, I feel confident that I have just as good a shot of winning it all as Ohio State does in the actual tournament.  Plus I am waiting until almost the absolute last moment, so that's gotta help me, right?  I am worried about my nephew, though.  He shows no fear and probably won't second guess many picks, both of which work to his advantage.  We shall see though.

So let the mayhem Randy Moss would say, 'it's gonna be a fun ride.' Number 84 jerseys not necessary, however.

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