Pitino's Motown Monopoly

Paul McGuillicuddyAnalyst IMarch 17, 2009

Congratulations Coach Pitino!

Your accomplishments this season have been impressive.

And the NCAA tournament selection committee has certainly taken notice: No. 1 Overall! You deserve it.

After all, winning the Big East regular season title is no small task.  Don’t worry we won’t mention anything about how you only had to play Pittsburgh and UConn each once.

We’ll keep that one a secret.

Hey!  You can only play the hand you’re dealt.  Right?  And you played it well.

Yeah - we’ll forget about that little debacle in Syracuse too.  It was colder than a witch’s you-know-what that day.  Sounds like a good excuse.  We know the Carrier Dome has heat and all, but that winter weather had to affect your thoroughbreds somehow.

And the Big East Tournament?  Dang!  Great stuff!  Years from now no one will remember that the Orange essentially played one more game than your Cards.

A win is a win.  Right?

Your guys got it done in Da Garden.  If you can make it there, you can make it any where!  Right?

No need to look back now.

When one scans the rest of the regions, it is hard to ignore that the committee has set you up pretty well. 

They might have even given you a free pass to play when you want.  Something like a Go to Detroit!  Go straight to Detroit.  Don’t bother passing Go.  Don’t bother with the $200.  Your reward awaits on the hardwood.

You might want to start the celebration now.

Break out the linen suit!

You might want to think about donning specs and growing facial hair.  Start referring to yourself as Harlan.  Think of it as a way to repay the committee.  Maybe KFC will take kindly to the Col. Sanders impersonation and throw some sponsorship coin at the NCAA. It’d be a nice gesture on your part.

You’ll only need one suit this weekend.  If Huggins can wear the same suit back-to-back nights, you can too.  

Besides there won’t be any wardrobe malfunctions this weekend.  You’ll barely break a sweat.

The play-in game?  Don’t let anyone try and tell you those ponies can hang with your stallions.  Alabama State?  Morehead State?  They’re just happy to have the whole country watching while tippin’ a Guinness or two to celebrate St. Pat’s removal of snakes from Ireland.

Ohio State and Siena in the next round?  

Don’t worry about the Buckeyes.  Yeah I know, they have some pretty good defensive stats.  But which team doesn’t in the Big Ten?  The only thing scarcer than a high scoring game in the Big Ten is an AIG board member with a conscience.

Kenny Hasbrouck, Edwin Ubiles, Alex Franklin, and Ryan Rossiter, yeah, they make it happen for the Saints, but let’s put it this way.  No team in the Metro Atlantic can press like your boys.  

For Siena it’ll be like they are sittin’ on Marvin Gardens, and you got hotels set up on Pacific, North Carolina, Pennsylavania, Park Place, and Boardwalk.  Heck you might even have the railroads tied up.  Siena will have no margin for error.

Look at the rest of your bracket!

Be thankful you’re not Calhoun and the Huskies.  They have Memphis as a No. 2 seed. Ouch! Like Calipari needs a reason to motivate the Tigers.  I swear that guy can convince someone that chicken poop is chicken soup.

Instead you have Michigan State.  See the comments above about Ohio State.  The same applies to the Spartans.  Izzo and gang might have to be on upset alert when it comes to Robert Morris.

Then you got Kansas at No. 3 and Wake at No. 4.  

Self has done a great job rebuilding the Jayhawks, but come on.  Those pups will collapse with the game on the line.  

And the Demon Deacons?  After looking like a Final Four team about a month ago, they have been in a free fall.  Wake is looking like New York State Governor Patterson and his approval rating.  They won’t make it past Cleveland State in the first round.

Then you got the anti-upset thing working for you.  Arizona and USC are No. 12 and No. 10 seeds respectively.  Yet, they are favored to beat Utah and Boston College.

Don’t know who’s got it wrong—the committee or the bookies—but it can only look good for you.

West Virginia might pose a threat.  Just don’t let them get you in a half-court game.

Of course the Mountaineers have to get past Dayton.  Everyboady has taken a turn hitting the pinata known as the Atlantic 10.  Beware the Flyers!  They are a sneaky defensive club.

One thing though is this stat that Jimmy Dykes keeps throwin’ around.  He keeps mentioning something about the last 20 national champions have scored at least 57 percent of their points in March from the paint.

Do you think your boy Samuels is up to the task?  

I suppose there are other ways to score in the paint.  You’ll figure it out.

Besides what does Dykes know?

He’s wearing a headset.   And you?  You got that sweet white suit.

Live it up!

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