RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Thursday, March 17

S14: NCAA Tournament Top Returning Scorers - Second Round Thursday

So I have done this a couple years in a row, as it's interesting to see each day of the NCAA tournament, what players playing on that particular day have scored the most points in previous NCAA tournaments. Usually during this time of year, it is veteran teams who end up getting through the six games in three weekends format to win the National Championship. Other than Carmelo Anthony, most super freshmen have a decent run maybe, but usually fall short of winning the championship. So we shall see this time of year as the more veteran teams, even if you've never heard of them, from some small conference, who have a convergence of a few great Seniors, who maybe had a couple blowout appearances in previous tourneys, who make the big upsets in the early rounds. It never fails.
So on this opening day, which is no longer really the opening day, let us look through the top fourteen returning scorers. Actually before that, let's address this new tournament of 68 teams, with a First Four round, and then today being the Second Round. That does not bother me. What bothers me is how they've divvied up the games between CBS and three cable networks, so that instead of having the overload on CBS where you are switching back and forth between games ending at a staggered pace, seeing every end of the most exciting stories, shit is busted up onto four stations. I don't have cable or satellite, because I am not going to pay $80 a month to brainwash myself into a dullard. But I do have a rooftop antenna with a booster box that picks up the CBS station from Charlottesville and Richmond. Previous years would mean I'd get the ACC games from C-ville and Virginia-based games from Richmond, which often overlapped, but often did not. This year? Probably boring ass fucking Duke, all day every day. It sucks. They will say, "Well, you get every game in its entirety now." But not having satellite, I do not get every game. And is having every game on four different channels actually better than having one homebase where you pop in on the crazy shit taking place when it's taking place? I know the world is more cybertronned out and I should probably just be watching it all at once on my TV (main game), wife's Ipad (second game), and flip between the other two games on my "smart" phone. But what the fuck man? Do I need that much shit swirling at me all at once? I enjoy the smorgasbord of basketball, but am not trying to overdose myself and kill my brain all at once.
Anyways, fuck it man, I've got to go to the doctor tomorrow anyways, so I'll just be sitting there watching the fucking game on my cell phone, sitting around for two hours, waiting for them to put some sort of vacuum device onto my bullet hole and make this thing stop leaking all over my fresh ass white t-shirts. Here are the top scorers balling it up today...
#1: DURRELL SUMMERS (Michigan State Senior guard; 163 previous points in the NCAA tournament) - When the Spartans take the court tonight against UCLA, it will be Summers' 16th NCAA tournament game. This team made the Final Four the past two years, losing to UNC in the championship two years ago. And even though they're only a #10 seed, you have to assume Tom Izzo is gonna have these dudes balling it the fuck up. This will be Durrell Summers last run (along with the next dude on the list), so expect them to play big. If you are thinking of penciling a double digit seed into your Sweet 16, this should be your first choice.
#2: KALIN LUCAS (Michigan State Senior guard; 153 previous points in NCAA tourney) - Lucas is the grizzled warrior on this team, having had Achilles tendon problems last year, fucking up his ankle in the past week in the Big Ten tourney, and still pushing. This is it for a guy that was Big Ten player of the year a couple years back. And honestly, I do not care much for Big Ten basketball in general, but shit man, with Summers and Lucas, the Spartans will be a tough out, regardless of who they play.
#3: SHELVIN MACK (Butler Junior guard; 110 previous points in NCAA tourney) - Last year when Gordon Heyward and Butler had their magical run to the championship game, Shelvin Mack was the black guy on the team. He is still there, and only a Junior. But Butler is not nearly the team they were when smiley ass white fucker Heyward was in the house. Had he stayed for this year, Butler would probably be a #2 seed and slotted to make a deep run. As it stands, they are in a heated #8/#9 game against Old Dominion, setting up a battle with a top seed on Saturday. Top seeds tend to always make it through the first weekend (I think it's only not happened once before), but if there was a #1 seed I'd say was vulnerable, especially considering the quality of the potential opposition, I would say it would be Pitt, especially if Old Dominion beats Butler, and has essentially a home game against Pitt on Saturday.
#4: JACOB PULLEN (Kansas State Senior guard; 106 previous points in NCAA tourney) - And usually in the tourney, there's a team led by a player who just won't stop who goes further than their seed would suggest. Jacob Pullen is most likely to be that guy this year. The Wildcats are usually lost in the shadow of the Kansas Jayhawks (like this year), but could upset some teams along the way, if Pullen gets fired the fuck up.
#5: DRAYMOND GREEN (Michigan State Junior forward; 95 previous points in NCAA tourney) - A third Spartan who has seen a ton of action in tourneys considering the previous two Final Four runs, Green is called "The Dancing Bear", which is all I really need to know about him.
#6: JIMMER FREDETTE (Butler Senior guard; 86 previous points in NCAA tourney) - The college basketball sports media goes nuts for balling ass whiteboys (see Gordon Heyward last year), and Jimmer Fredette is their love story of the tournament, without a doubt. Luckily, BYU suspended their black guy for having sex with his girlfriend, so there's no darkies to get in the way of the Jimmer Fredette 24/7 hypejob. And as good as he may do, there was something far more awesome about him last year, when it was this 3-point shooting white dude and that black guy with the weird mohawk who was the other guard. That dude graduated, which is sad, because I was super intrigued by a mohawked little black guy at Brigham Young University. I bet he was soaking in all the bitches.
#7: MATT HOWARD (Butler Senior forward; 83 previous points in NCAA tourney) - Howard was the other white guy for Butler last year. This year he becomes The White Guy, but he's not as good as Gordon Heyward, so Butler is fucked.
#8: GILBERT BROWN (Pittsburgh Senior forward; 75 previous points in NCAA tourney) - I don't even know who the fuck Gilbert Brown is. I thought he played defensive tackle for the Packers before they drafted B.J. Raji. I guess he went back to college.
#9: KEVIN JONES (West Virginia Junior forward; 68 previous points in NCAA tourney) - West Virginia went to the Final Four last year, and Kevin Jones is the team leader trying to make it happen again. I am intrigued by the potential rematch against Kentucky in the third round on Saturday though, even though it'd be nothing like last year. That game between them in last year's tourney was a fucking exciting ass game, and made me fall in love with how good John Wall really was. I usually write off John Calipari players as ignorant streetball douchebags, but really between Wall and Derrick Rose, I guess he's not so bad. Of course, all those guys only play for one year for Calipari. Bob Huggins, coach of West Virginia, and notorious drunken driver and crazy man (which means he fits well with West Virginia psychologically), gets four years out of motherfuckers who are probably grimier and more thugged out than even Calipari's worst recruiting mistakes. But that's what makes Huggy Bear so awesome.
#10: STEVEN GRAY (Gonzaga Senior guard; 66 previous points in NCAA tourney) - Gray is the latest in a long line of Gonzaga superstars who have made the mid-major a consistent presence on the national stage come March. But frankly, the Gonzaga story has gotten tired, especially since they never took it to that next level. Back when Adam Morrison was sporting the metalhead molester mustache and headbutting the basketball between free throw shots, they were easy to love. At this point, it's like watching Hoosiers on TNT for the 412th time.
#11: KIM ENGLISH (Missouri Junior guard; 66 previous points in NCAA tourney) - Sometimes there are little coincidences that create match-up issues in the NCAA tournament. Kim English is a perfect example. Missouri is a #11 seed, facing a much higher #6 seeded Cincinnati team, in Washington, D.C. English, who is the perimeter gunning star of the Tigers, grew up in Baltimore, and this will be the closest his collegiate career has carried him to home. So he will be fired the fuck up. Dude is already talking up going to Mo's seafood restaurant back in Baltimore, and probably playing in a game for Avon Barksdale on their off day on Friday. I would expect him to be on your late night Sportscenter highlight reel this evening.
#12: CURTIS KELLY (Kansas State Senior forward; 60 previous points in NCAA tourney) - Kelly is the complementary force to Jacob Pullen's star power.
#13: JOE MAZZULLA (West Virginia Senior guard; 58 previous points in NCAA tourney) - A lot of people put down on the questionable academic prowess of big-time college basketball players, and there's a lot of truth to that. But at the same time, through basketball, a lot of dudes who would've been swallowed up by the criminal underbelly of our American civilization get a chance to see an outside world, maybe cop a degree (whether they earned it the same way as others at the school or not, we'll overlook), and cash a ticket into a different life than they would've otherwise had. Mazzulla is that dude, with a thuggish past that caused him some time in the doghouse at West Virginia, not to mention crushing his shoulder a couple years back, almost ending his career. But last year, after injuries to others, he stepped the fuck up for Huggins, and bulldogged this team into the Final Four. He's an ugly, nasty ass player, but gets shit done... again perfect for West Virginia psychologically, and matches well with Coach Huggins. And he's not talking about playing in the NBA D-League or overseas chasing basketball dreams at this point. He's talking about being a coach himself. That's the beauty of college basketball. Fucking Joe Mazzulla is my favorite player today.
#14: KEMBA WALKER (Connecticut Junior guard; 51 previous points in NCAA tourney) - On the other side of the coin, you have the superstar player who hits the last second shots, is hyped to the moon, and will almost definitely come out for the NBA draft after the season is over to go cash a few million dollar checks. That's Kemba Walker. Fuck UConn. They are like Duke, but for black people.

1 comment:

UpHere said...

sort of vacuum device onto my bullet hole and make this thing "stop leaking all over my fresh ass

white t-shirts."..

Holy shit that was an unfortunate line break. Terrifying