Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Basketball thoughts

Missed day one of the NCAA tournament for the first time in decades. Always before had I found a way to skip school or work to watch day one. One year when I was teaching I had the games on all day as I incorporated it into my lesson plans. Kids even got a team for every correct answer.

But with bad weather headed toward Chicago and Milwaukee, we left a half day early to beat the storm. We got to my sisters minutes before the snow started. By Friday there was 18 inches of the white stuff so that was enough to watch as much basketball as I could between episodes of Dora and Little Bear.

My bracket looked good until yesterday. I refuse to ever pick a number one seed that I don't root for. So I took all the three seeds and until the Sweet Sixteen I still had hope. However I am the type of fan that still rooted all game for Davidson even Wisconsin's loss destroyed my bracket. I just can't resist the allure of a underdog. Which is why I think I will root for Memphis against Texas. How can a team with a big name coach that was number one for most of the season be a underdog? Memphis is not from a major conference even if the school itself can't be considered a mid major. But I have to believe that not being a from a BCS football conference that gets to make all the rules is one reason the Tigers got sent to play Texas in Texas. I sort of regret not realizing this before my bracket but if a number one seed gets to win it all this year - I want it to be Memphis.

I am sure I will watch Ohio State play in the NIT Final Four but I have no real interest. I chuckled at the all football jersey wearing fans act all rowdy in the win over Dayton. Woo Hoo, we are beating a in-state school we would never dare to schedule in the regular season to get to the NIT finals. Hooray! Please.

As for the Cavs, I am surprised at how confident I am that this team will make the finals despite no real evidence that they can become more consistent or get healthy enough to fine tune their rotation in time. I stand by this belief. Boston is built to beat any team one time. They are a lot better than I thought they would be -- thanks in large part to the NBA's completely stupid waiver rules that helps the rich get richer. And the Cavs are so inconsistent that anyone can beat them once. But playoff series are seven games - that means four times you have to find a way to survive LeBron James in the fourth quarter. The Pistons barely did that two years ago and they couldn't last year. The Cavs are deeper now. Get me within five with five to play- hell within ten had worked more often than it hasn't- and I will take my chances with LeBron.

I have not checked up much on the Tribe this spring. But come Monday, the ride starts. See you down at the game.