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.

Saturday, March 26

S14: NCAA Tournament Top Returning Scorers - Elite 8 Saturday

Thursday's games were not as hyped up as Friday's, although the two early games last night were probably the worst pair of this Sweet 16 round. I still cannot complain enough about the lack of switching games on the main CBS feed, because it just ain't the same flipping channels (or, as in my case, listening on the radio to one game while the other is on TV with the sound muted). Still though, two games tonight that could go far in helping set up one of the most intriguing Final Fours in a long time. Butler vs. Florida is a great underdog mid-major team against a power conference power team, even if Butler did this exact same thing last year, and Florida, even with a pair of National Championships a few years ago, is not exactly a historically powerful basketball elite school And Arizona vs. UConn is a pair of major conference programs who have been the best at times. But somehow both of them have a certain underdog feel to them. That's gonna be a great game if they both come with the adrenaline. Nonetheless, here are your top 14 players on the hardwood today who have scored the most points in NCAA tournament games over the course of their student-athlete charade...
#1: SHELVIN MACK (Butler Junior guard; 168 total previous NCAA tournament points, 58 this year) - It is an overplayed sports talking meme to say this is a solid team, and far more than the result of one great player in Gordon Heyward last year. They are a collection of players, and their big dog here in Shelvin Mack isn't even a Senior, which is usually a pre-requisite for teams like this making a deep and shocking run. Mack and Matt Howard give Butler a fairly good inside-outside combo, even when usually at this point, mid-major teams look undersized against the power teams. This is a scrappy little fucking team, and as I always love when teams get to where their tourney seeding is higher than the amount of teams left still playing, I am very much wishing for them to knock off Florida this afternoon.
#2: KEMBA WALKER (Connecticut Junior guard; 138 previous tourney points, 87 this year) - Walker is probably the best player left in the tourney. Sometimes you have guys who are hyped to the moon and they don't live up to that hype, or at the college level they don't deliver on that promise, and then they go pro, and they make millions but don't really deliver dagger baskets at that level either, and they are just very talented basketball players who use their talents like a dude going to work every day - nothing spectacular, nothing terrible, just existing. But then you have some guys like Kemba Walker who can't just be straight workers like that. They have to win. They have to be the best, right now, not next year, or content with how good they are even if they don't get declared the best by the scoreboard at the end of the night. Walker is the fucking man, and even if Arizona gets adrenalinized tonight, Walker is the type of dude who just squelches such adrenalin bursts. He has somehow made me not even hate Jim Calhoun specifically, or Connecticut in general. No one else has ever done that, except for that Khalid El-Amin kid, who was so pudgy and street-tastic it was impossible to not love.
#3: MATT HOWARD (Butler Senior forward; 134 previous tourney points, 51 this year) - Howard played a big role in knocking off Wisconsin, and is a scrappy old school board-crasher. Really, if Butler with it's built-in real life Hoosiers of the 21st Century story, and VCU as the little pesky mid-major that could somehow end up meeting in the Final Four... fuck, it would have greasy old sportswriters nationwide drooling over themselves about the chaotic beautiful perfection of the March Madnesses.
#4: DERRICK WILLIAMS (Arizona Sophomore forward; 71 previous tourney points, all of it this year) - One of the great things about the NCAA tournament is how, as it gets into the second week, there are moments where stars are born, right before your eyes. That was Derrick Williams on Thursday night, leading the beatdown of Duke. Sure, he most likely would've plugged along at Arizona regardless of this year's tournament, and got himself drafted into the NBA, and been successful. But he transcended that and made himself known now. There will be no need for heavy scouting and tape analysis to get the attention of NBA GMs. He made himself fucking known.
#5: KENNY BOYNTON (Florida Sophomore guard; 69 previous tourney points, 42 this year) - I just don't like Florida much. Their back-to-back title runs, they had a full starting line-up of solid collegiate level superstars, who could ebb and flow with each other, confident that somebody would step up and take over every night, just maybe not the same person, or even the same two. That's kind of exactly what Billy Donovan has going on now with this team, just the superstar line-up is like two levels lower than his version of the Fab Five a couple years back. Boynton is the beyond-the-3-point-line threat on this team, and only a sophomore, which means he'll be gunning it in boring NCAA tournament games that I wish would hurry up and get out of the way of the next game for another couple years probably.
#6: ERVING WALKER (Florida Junior guard; 67 previous tourney points, 55 this year) - Erving Walker makes me think of Magic Johnson, which makes me think of how weird he looks in that Dove commercial, which flashes back to him when he was younger and still playing, which makes me think about him getting the HIV from a stripper he fucked or something. I wonder how his wife feels watching that commercial, being in her head like, "After that picture, Erving was cheating on me and got HIV and nearly ruined our lives," and then get all mad and Magic Johnson comes into the room and is like, "Hey, you wanna go out to that new Thai restaurant tonight? I'd love some good dim sum tonight." And then she's like, "Fuck you Erving. I bet you would like some dim sum, you fucking piece of shit. Do whatever the fuck you want. I'm going to Rhonda's house."
#7: JEREMY LAMB (Connecticut Freshman guard/forward; 54 previous tourney points, all of it this year) - Jeremy Lamb is also the name of the main character in a graphic novel about a sort of gothy sad fat kid in high school who goes off to an art school in North Carolina from his suburban Pennsylvania home, loses a bunch of weight by hiking mountain trails all the time, and is mentored by a acid casualty little gnome of a crazy guy living outside of Asheville, who eventually convinces Jeremy Lamb that he has to make up for what the old dude didn't do, which was not murdering and destroying the earth, too hung up on the peaceful vibes of the '60s, but that did no good because the world is a more terrible place now than ever before.
#8: CHANDLER PARSONS (Florida Senior forward; 53 previous tourney points, 33 this year) - Chandler is not so much a good name for a dude.
#9: RONALD NORED (Butler Junior guard; 50 previous tourney points, 5 this year) - Nored's not having much of a role in the tourney thus far, relegated to a bench role this season, and becoming almost another bench coach in the process. He also is already coaching AAU basketball, and has a big forehead.
#10: SHAWN VANZANT (Butler Senior guard; 47 previous tourney points, 25 this year) - Not related to Ronnie, so far as I know. I didn't actually look that up or anything, but I'm assuming a college basketball player is not the dead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd's kinfolk.
#11: VERNON MACKLIN (Florida Senior center; 45 previous tourney points, 29 this year) - Vernon Macklin sounds like the fake full name a Bay Area rapper would give themselves, so that you'd have Bay Area Thizztape 23: Corner Whippets, by Mistah F.A.B. aka the Fabulous Percywinkle featuring V-Mudd aka Vernon Macklin.
#12: ALEX TYUS (Florida Senior forward; 41 previous tourney points, 35 this year) - Tyus is the Gators Senior presence, and he took the paint over against BYU, eliminating those offensive rebound kickbacks to stupid fucking Jimmer Fredette that result in a massive 3-point barrage. Thank fucking god Jimmermania is dead.
#13: SOLOMON HILL (Arizona Sophomore forward; 36 previous tourney points, 16 this year) - There were a few dudes in that Arizona game that had some massive plays in the 2nd half, and some posterizing dunks on hapless Dukie whiteboys. It was glorious, and will make me feel warm feelings towards Arizona for as long as they wear the dark jerseys of the lower seed, which most likely will be the rest of the tourney, for as far as they go.
#14: JAMELLE HORNE (Arizona Senior forward, 36 previous tourney points, 16 this year) - Just see above for this dude too, because I don't know who is who. It's not a West Coast bias. In fact, I think with the Japanese radiation, West Coast basketball will probably be better than ever, now that people will have undetectable mutant powers multiplying their natural athleticism.

1 comment:

MissouriDragon said...

As a graduate of the University of Kansas, I honestly feel bad about how this weekend is going to end for you, and as such, I'd like to apologize in advance. Lots of people like to dis Kansas, but those people don't get to see their team win 30 games in the regular season and then choke like Jenna Jameson in the second round year after year. Nothing personal, but I hope your boys are straight cannon fodder tomorrow, my boys are fucking due.