Monday, March 29, 2010

03/29 Quickie: Butler, Izzo, Duke, WVU

There's plenty of time this week for Butler bandwagoneering -- by Saturday, you may hate them. You will certainly come to hate the Butler-"Hoosiers" references, which are already cliched.

For today's SN column, I needed to take an opportunity to praise Tom Izzo: My argument is that Izzo's Final Four success is the defining achievement of the last decade in college hoops. If you're willing to accept a liberal definition of "decade" stretching from 1999 to 2010, Izzo has 6 FF's in 12 years. No coach has had more success, using the currency that college hoops values most.

We are living in the Izzo Dynasty.

Of course, the column also talks about Butler. And rips Kentucky for its failure. (And, yes, the season was a failure.) And -- ugh -- praises Duke for breaking back into the Final Four.

I have convinced myself of four different national champions in the last 12 hours -- I'm rooting for Butler (and against Duke), obviously. But you can make very strong arguments for Michigan State (Izzo factor) and WVU (already shown it can beat Duke in the Tournament).

But let's get to the fun stuff: The Bracket comps.

My bracket is in the 40th percentile nationally. While this seems horrible, you have to remember that I finished in the 18th percentile last year -- so, for now, a big improvement. Relatively.

In the Daily Quickie Readers group of more than 400 entries, you will see a "Shanoff" name near the top -- that's Mrs. Quickie, currently tied for 15th and in the 97th percentile nationally.

(Obama's bracket is in the tank: He's in the 56th percentile -- missing Kansas State and Kentucky crushed his bracket. If you followed the National Bracket, you'd be in the 70th percentile -- certainly respectable, given the crazy results of this tournament.)

My lesson is that I can't win -- in the years where I go unconventional, the result is conventional; in the years where I go conventional, the result is unconventional.

The constant is that my Achilles' heel continues to be putting way too much stock in what happened last year -- or previous years. Ironic for someone so devoted to "instant history."

Of course, hindsight is a killer in bracket-picking. We can all look at this Final Four and rationalize why we should have taken them. It's a futile exercise.

Complete SN column here
. More later -- I may not be able to go through the day without putting some pressure on Sam Bradford. Someone needs to.

-- D.S.

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