NCAA Tournament Breakdown


Thursday, March 26th 2009, 10:22 am
By: News 9


Good news, bad news. The good news for Crimson Creamers is that true freshman Willie Warren has all-of-an-NCAA Tournament-suddenly reverted back to the terrific play we saw as OU was making it OU's ascent from being respected at the starting gate, to very respected at the halfway mark to a step away from No. 1 at the pre-Texas three-quarter pole.

The bad news-for fans who want to see him another year in Norman--is that likeable and poised 19-year-old pup is, at this minute, projected a lottery pick by several mock drafters, including being the No. 7 overall pick going to the Warriors by Draft Express.

The rest of his tournament could very well determine his fate for where he will play next season-not to mention his income.

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42.2 percent of the voters in ESPN'S poll (256,000 voters when this piece of literary genius went to press) answered the following question with ''Oklahoma'': "Which Big East team in the Sweet 16 is most likely to lose?" Of course come tip-time all this means is that Mister and Missus Didley Squat may have clicked the Oklahoma ESPN.com option, but we'd guess no more than 42.2 percent of the respondents couldn't name three Sooners and three players from OU's Big East foe, Syracuse.

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We thought Can't Miss TV was Will Ferrell live on Broadway impersonating President (never understood why former presidents, instead of President So and So) Bush 43. But even though we have lots of problems with Bob Knight, we're not too proud to admit that when Sir Knight speaks on ESPN, we listen.

We certainly take heed when he says something we've been thinking and have actually said on record with the world acclaimed Sports Animal Radio. Seriously, President Knight and I believe OU has an advantage over most teams who've played Syracuse and some teams who play them in the tournament because they have a few days to prepare for the vaunted 2-3 zone.

North Carolina would not have that luxury, for example, if they win their Sweet 16 game and Syracuse beats OU. They'd have one day of prep. He said OU did a great job of preparing for the zone of Michigan with the one day of practice but that the two zones are different, and we might add the talent level of the two teams in eons apart.

Sir Knight also said something that per norm caught our ear as enlightening. He said that this time of year - he should know because he took 14 teams to the Regional's - the single most important thing is rest. Don't know the philosophy of Jeff Capel, but for what it's worth, I don't believe Kelvin Sampson adhered to that edict. Kelvin was known to put his charges through some strenuous day- before and even game day practices. I witnessed one game day practice before one of his teams played at Arkansas. Didn't bother them much as Hollis Price and Company won anyway.

Curiously, Knight and other ESPN geniuses stated both the 'Cuse and UConn would suffer from their six-overtime marathon...that their legs would be dead for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Well, UConn has been the most impressive team through two rounds and most of those experts believe Syracuse has been mighty impressive as well. The dead leg theory might just be a myth, some say just as the myth that Sir Knight is the greatest of greats in the annuls of sports history.

We hope to blog you again before the OU-Syracuse scrum, but abundant grinding at the pay window at NEWS 9. If we don't meet again until afterward, I leave you with three thoughts: One, Johnny Flynn can play. Two, watch his OU counterpart Willie Warren, who is perhaps the key to OU's chances of advancing. We hope and believe it's not his last game in a Sooner uni, but if he'd go seven, it would only make sense that he leave. And three, we are predicting OU will struggle with that 2-3 zone and drop this one to the long-armed and allegedly dead-legged team from New York City. ''Did you say New York City? Get a rope.'' I know many of you will want that rope to slip over my neck for daring to predict an OU loss. I hope I'm wrong because of the obvious, and because I prefer to stand six feet tall rather than six feet under.

P.S. FYI category....A pair of "shan't misses:" Watch the Golf Channel series on Charles Barkley and his Mel Tillis swing... and buy the latest book by Dan Jenkins....each, funny enough to make lifers at Attica laugh out loud.