Rock M Roundtable!

1 - We're going with picks first this time.  We'll pretend we're having a tourney pool...

First Round
Tech vs OSU
Baylor vs Colorado
Mizzou vs Nebraska
Texas A&M vs Iowa State

Quarters
Texas vs TT/OSU
Oklahoma vs BU/CU
Kansas vs MU/NU
Kansas State vs ATM/ISU

Semis, finals, etc.  Okay, no et cetera, just semis and finals.

2 - I know what The Beef's answer to this will be, but...Big 12 Tourney aside, what other conference tourney do you always find yourself drawn to when Championship Week rolls around?

3 - Everybody loves the underdog, I realize, but in general, who do you feel is more deserving of an NCAA tourney bid--a mid-major team that went 24-7 but lost in the conference tourney, or a major conference team that went 8-8 in conference and about 18-12 overall?

4 - Leaving the consensus favorites (UNC, Kansas, Memphis, UCLA, Tennessee, and I guess Duke) out of this, what team do you feel is capable of making a deep tourney run this year?

5 - Finally, word association time.  I say "NCAA Tourney".  What's the first image/highlight to pop into your head?

Click ‘Full Story’ for answers regarding basketball, prostitutes, and South Park.

The Beef: 1 - First Round – OSU, Baylor, Mizzou, aTm in a close one
Quarters – Texas, Baylor, kU, aTm (don’t ask)
Semis – Texas and kU
Finals – kU over Texas

2 – Sorry...have to go with the Big East tournament.  Part of it is the facility...there is nothing finer than Madison Square Garden.  I loved the old Big XII Tourney at Kemper with the fan fest outside and the drinking, but for sheer excitement a building can create, MSG did have it over Kemper.  Of course, the ACC tourney is one I also watch because, well, ESPN jams it down your throat pretty good.  I will also keep an eye on the Pac 10 this year to see what happens with UCLA being that I hate them right now.

3 - I would go with the mid-major at this point, and that has probably changed for me over time.  I do so because it is my assumption that the mid-major has gone out on the road and beat someone (or two) of note because they will go anywhere and play anyone as permitted by the bigger schools ballsy enough to sign a game deal with them.

4 - I think UCONN is built for a good run, but I don’t like how they have been playing of late.  G’Town could be the same, though I don’t like their guard play as much.  L’ville is another one...and yes...those are three Big East teams, but since the above list was devoid of one and the conference is likely to get 7 in I guess, my point is that I feel these teams are road tested.  I have not seen enough of Stanford to know how their guard play is.  And Texas is not on there either.

5 - As strange as this is because I did not see it live, it is the NCSt. Highlight just because it has been the lead-in for...well...ever.  Valvano running around is pretty much what I see.

Michael Atchison: I’m on my way out the door and will be tied up for much of the day.  I’ll try to squeeze in a response some time.

The Beef: Clearly Atch is into some Governor Spitzer-type stuff there...getting "tied up" for much of the day...well done sir.

I think you can get a lot more for the money in KC than you can in NYC.

1 - Unfortunately I had the exact same picks as Beefy.  So simply to be different, I'll pick OU > Baylor.  I do think Mizzou wins round one unless they lay a big egg...which is exactly what they did last year.  But luckily I was in Vegas for last year's egg-laying, so I didn't really care.

(Honestly I'm not sure how much I care this year either.)

2 - The Big East is fun simply because of the intensity that usually emerges from the semis/finals and MSG.  This year should be no different because the high seeds don't seem to be playing very well (Louisville aside), and the lower seeds aren't that much worse.  The Big 10 tournament is almost always wretched.  I purposely try to ignore the ACC because it's being crammed down my throat (and because the games usually don't matter--UNC and Duke are always about 90% likely to meet in the finals, it seems).  But I NEVER ignore two games: the Patriot League finals and the America East finals.  So that's my answer.  Yeah, baby.

3 - I've always been a "Go underdogs!" person, so I've always rooted for the mid-major teams to get in over the Marylands and Syracuses of the world, but now I agree with Beef--I think they're more qualified too.  Tony Kornheiser tried to make the argument the other day that, while the mid-majors have probably done more to qualify for the tourney, the Marylands of the world have a chance to win it all (because they won at UNC).  No they don't.  This year's George Mason (cough cough, Davidson, cough) has a better chance of making the Final Four than a 7th-place team from a major conference.

4 - I don't like how UConn is playing, and I don't like that Georgetown isn't utilizing Hibbert enough, so they're out.  Texas is out simply because we beat them (great logic!).  I thought Xavier had a nice chance, but Lavender's hobbling, and they don't have a prayer without him 100%.  I just don't trust Stanford for some reason.  Honestly, Louisville's probably set up pretty nicely for a run, and uhh...yeah, that's about it.  This year's set up nicely for a major underdog run, as the dropoff from that top tier to the second tier seems pretty large, and one top tier upset could open up chaos in that team's region.

5 - I guess word association doesn't really work well for me--I say "NCAA tournament" and 13 different images come to my head simultaneously.  I see Tyus Edney, I see Anderson Hunt's breakaway dunk from UNLV's thrashing of Duke, I see that photo of Gage and Gilbert celebrating on their way down the court...

...I see Valvano, I see Villanova, I see Laettner (gag)...yeah, I just butchered my own question.

ZouDave: 1 - First Round
OSU over Tech
Baylor over Colorado
Mizzou over Nebraska
Texas A&M over Iowa State

Quarters
Texas over OSU
Baylor over Oklahoma
kansas over Missouri
K-State over aTm

Semis
kansas over KSU
Texas over Baylor

Finals
kansas over Texas

2 - Honestly, none really.  I'll kinda watch whatever is on if I'm around, but I really don't find myself watching the other conferences on purpose that much.  If I had to pick one, though, I'd probably be stupid not to watch the ACC Tournament.  At least that's what ESPN leads me to believe.

3 - I guess it's going to depends on who those 2 teams beat.  If the mid-major doesn't have more than 1 or 2 wins against teams in the Top 25 then they didn't really do much to prove they belong in the field.  That 8-8 major conference team probably would have had at least as good a record as the smaller team given the same schedule, but at the same time I'm not always a fan of "the rich get richer".  Tough call.  It really comes down to which schools are in question.  More often than not, though, I'd probably end up siding with a major conference school.

4 - Ummm...boy here's all the evidence you need to know that I just didn't pay attention to NCAA Basketball this year.  I just don't know, really.  I will say that KSU and Texas are NOT going to make deep tourney runs, and I may even write a big article expounding on my theory as to why so I won't get into it here.  But I'm not sure I have a remotely intelligent response to this question.  Let's go with...not Wisconsin, not Stanford.....I'll say Georgetown.  And I'll say that while I can't name a single player from that team.

5 - Valpo and Bryce Drew.

Doug: 1 - First Round - OSU, Baylor, Nebraska, ISU (as my upset special, since A&M is going to have approximately 5 fans in the Sprint Center)

Quarter Finals -  Texas. Baylor, Kansas, K-State

Etc : I'll pick Baylor and Kansas in the semis, and Kansas for the championship.

2 - Hmmm... I like watching a lot of the small conference tournament championship games, since it's probably the first time most of those schools have been on national TV and are all playing with balls-to-wall effort to get into the Tournament.

3 - I'll go with the mid-major, like Beef said, they've most likely gone on the road and beaten someone, and it is possible for a team to rack up an 8 and 8 conference record by beating some bad, lower-level squads.

4 - If Baylor's shot is falling, then they can score with and out-score anyone in the country.  The only problem for them is a lack of post-players, but the three pointer is the great equalizer, and that they've got in spades.

5 - Yeah, I think I'll go with this.

Someone needs to explain to me why Gus Johnson typically disappears after the first weekend of games.

Michael Atchison: First meeting got cancelled.  I’ll give it a go.

1 - First Round - OSU, Baylor, Mizzou, A&M
Quarters - Texas, Baylor, Kansas, KSU
Kansas beats Texas in the final.  A lot of chalk there, I know.

2  - Easy.  The ACC.  It’s not just a tournament, it’s a cultural event.  It has so much more history than the others.  It has the best crowds.  And it has so many good matchups, especially on the last two days.  I think the teams in that league also put more of a premium on winning the event than the teams in the other big conferences do.  If you win the Big 12 regular season title, you can be a little blasé about winning the tournament.  In the ACC, they play for blood.

3 - You have given me an incomplete set of data, Mr. Boy.  I want to know if either of these teams has beaten anybody.  The NCAA Tournament is like a NASCAR race.  There are a few teams who can win.  Everyone else is there to create spectacular crashes.  Neither of the teams that you listed is going to win the tournament or even get to the final four.  They are there to create havoc on the first weekend.  And I’d rather have an inconsistent team there – one who has beaten some good teams and lost to some bad teams – than one that consistently wins the games it should win and loses the rest.  I want someone who has a puncher’s chance to take out Carolina or UCLA.  All that said, the 18-12 (8-8) team better have some really, really good wins on its resume.  If you can’t do better than .500 in your league, you have no good argument for why you should be allowed to play for a national title.

4 - Louisville is on a big roll right now, and they have been since David Padgett got healthy.  And there’s no doubting their coach.  The Cardinals would be the first team I’d look at.  If you want a crazy-ass sleeper to wreck some brackets in the first few days, I’ll toss out Mississippi State.  They have three guys who can shoot the three, they have one ridiculous shot-blocker (Jarvis Varnado) who can protect the rim, and they have one sublime talent (Jamont Gordon) who can completely dominate a game.

5 - Sadly, the first is Tyus Edney.  After that, it’s this collage of great games that I remember watching as a kid (and I may be the only one here who really remembers):  Bird vs. Magic, Jordan’s shot, Valvano looking for someone to hug.  It’s the best drama in sports.

The Beef: Oooh...I have to say...well done on the Miss St. pick...

Michael Atchison: I saw the speculation that I might be out pulling a Spitzer this morning.  That’s precisely the reason my wife controls the finances.  I presume that the forty bucks in my pocket would be insufficient for an Emperor’s Club membership.

Doug: However, I think you could get a membership to the Scuzzy Guy's Club with $40.

Michael Atchison: In the words of Groucho Marx, I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me as a member.

ZouDave:

The Beef: Sheesh...she is only three diamonds....Spitzer’s girl is seven I think

The Boy: Wow...soft beauty AND well-traveled...

rptgwb: Can $40 even get you a one-diamond girl? Hell, how about a one-cubic zirconia girl?

1 - First Round
OSU over Tech
Baylor over Colorado
Mizzou over Nebraska
Texas A&M over Iowa State

Quarters
Texas over OSU
Baylor over Oklahoma

Kansas over Mizzou
Kansas State over Texas A&M

Semis
Texas over Baylor
Kansas over Kansas State

Final
Kansas over Texas

2 - Oddly enough, I don't really have any personal connections to any other tournaments or any logical rooting interests when championship week rolls around. However, I usually end up watching significant portions of the Big East championship (something about Madison Square Garden sucks me in) and a good bit of the ACC tournament. No rhyme or reason here - that's just how it happens.

3 - I wish I had a cookie cutter answer and a black-and-white formula here, but I really think it's subject to interpretation. You need to take into account strength of schedule, individual talent, home v. road records, key wins and losses, etc. The NCAA tournament isn't bowl eligibility - there shouldn't be a record for each conference that you hit that qualifies you to be "eligible." Forget the conferences. Look at two teams and, if they aren't a conference champion, ask, "Are they one of the 34 best at-large teams in America?"

4 - I don't know if we'd count Georgetown as a favorite, but they're always a sleeper of mine come tournament time. As for legit, under the radar sleepers, give me Kansas State, Vanderbilt, and/or USC.

5 - The first image that pops in my head is my high school teachers turning on games during class. Then pops in images of me sneaking peeks at my phone to check scores. Then pops in images of opening and quickly minimizing March Madness on Demand in class. As for a highlight? Probably parts of the 1999 championship between Duke and UConn, the first tournament I really followed in depth (I was a big fan of that Trajon Langdon, Corey Maggette Duke team).

ZouDave:

The Boy: This is what the Roundtable has been missing the last couple weeks.

ZouDave: what's even better is I did a search for "The Shady Lady" which is/was this really low-end strip club somewhere in KC, and that's one of the first images that came up.  That's much funnier than where I was going with this.

Doug: See, now I would have associated that image with the Million Dollar Fantasy Ranch.

rptgwb: Do I have to pay for the train/cargo container the goat takes into town, too? Or was that just a Spitzer thing?

ZouDave: I figured it would ride with you, like in a sidecar on a motorcycle or
something.

Michael Atchison: On the bright side, I'm not aware of any laws prohibiting the transport of barnyard animals across state lines for immoral purposes.

Doug: If anyone knows... it's a bunch of MU fans!

Hi-oh!

I'll be here all week folks.  Try the veal.

ZouDave: that works out well for the KSU fans coming to Sprint Center this weekend.

The Beef:

ZouDave:

rptgwb: God Bless America.

The Boy: This is certainly setting a record for the number of pics I have to upload to make a damn roundtable post...

ZouDave:

The Beef:

The Boy: I was going to be disappointed if there WASN'T a response like this.

And forgive me...I'm just bitter that my boy Mark Atkins is getting drubbed...

ZouDave: Glad we could come through for you, unlike Mark Atkins.

The Boy:

Michael Atchison: Not only is Atinks losing, he’s losing to a guy from a non-revenue sport.

Oh, and thanks for putting my guy up against Devin Freaking West in the first round.

rptgwb: South Park AND prostitutes? This Roundtable has everything!

And so does this video.

("James Taylor? What the hell are you doing in here singing to the children 'bout prostitutes?")

The Boy: My only goal is that somebody reaches our site by Googling "Emperor's Club".

rptgwb: Rock M Nation. Redefining the term "blog whoring."

Gov. Eliot Spitzer approved this message.

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