Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Four Days until the Final Four

Ironically, one day after I compared Big Ten Wonk to the sixth year senior (with two medical redshirts) playing for the love of the game, Big Ten Wonk discussed his pending graduation, err… retirement. But wait, John Gasaway isn’t going anywhere. He’s simply assuming a new blog pseudonym and expanding his repertoire.

Conference Breakdown

9-4 SEC (1 Left)
10-5 Pac 10 (1 Left)
8-5 Big 10 (1 Left)
6-4 Big 12
7-5 Big East (1 Left)
7-7 ACC

Has the ACC ever finished in last place among the BCS leagues? This is a pretty amazing year. Plus, Bill Simmons can eat a little crow about the Big 12 too. Let’s see if he admits it here? Argghh. This is when writing a blog is frustrating. I already knew Bill Simmons was a way better writer than me, but he even shows good insight about the Final Four. Go read the article anyway.

Awkward Moments Ahead Tuesday Night

Tennessee vs Mississippi
North Carolina vs Purdue

Ashley Awkward hopes to lead her Mississippi team past women’s juggernaut Tennessee. I have no insights, I just wanted to say that her name is cool. Plus Purdue faces North Carolina. Purdue is a perennial Big Ten winner, but can’t quite break through to the next level in the women’s NCAA tournament. But wait, the Purdue coach left because of NCAA violations, and the team seems to be playing better in this year’s tournament. Could this be the year they make the Final Four before the NCAA puts the hammer down? Uh, no. North Carolina is too good. OK, so if both women’s games look to be one-sided, what about the NIT?!

West Virginia vs Mississippi St.
Clemson vs Air Force

Clemson tries to become the 3rd straight team from South Carolina to win the NIT championship. West Virginia and Air Force have two of the most unique styles in college basketball. Mississippi St. was one of the unluckiest teams according to Ken Pomeroy. Yeah, I’m still not going to watch. Maybe I’ll look for Final Four tickets.

Final Four Tickets – Buyers’ Guide

The hardest part is scoring tickets to Saturday’s games. The problem is that on Saturday you have six sets of fans. You have a large group of college basketball junkies, some local fans, plus the fans for the four Final Four teams. By Monday, two of the teams are gone. Plus Monday’s game is really late which reduces the local fan demand. That makes Monday’s tickets much easier to get. If you see ticket packages that include Monday’s games for only 100 dollars more, that is probably the right margin.

In the rare event you get tickets to Saturday’s games, but not Monday, the Monday tickets are still pretty easy to get. All you need to do is wait until the end of the semi-final that does not include your team and then stand by the losing teams’ section. Fans are much more comfortable selling tickets in the stadium. Just hold up two fingers and you should be able to get two tickets to Monday’s championship for a pretty reasonable price from the losing teams’ fans. This will be an ideal strategy for the Ohio St. or Georgetown fans who can comfortably worry about tickets knowing their team is in the championship game. (Warning: Buy tickets from the fans of the team you just beat at your own risk. I highly recommend the other semifinal loser instead.)

Mission Statement Redux

24 hours later, I feel like I should admit that the quotes from last night’s column were from memory and not transcribed. I also regret calling Bill Self a tremendous coach. But otherwise that recap holds up pretty well.