I have been tired of motivational posters and quotes that claim to motivate the average uninspired soul. Believe me, it's gonna take more than a soaring eagle or a Norman Vincent Peale sentence that will get a malcontent off the sofa and away from the Joe Brown marathon.
But desire can't be discounted. From a strategic standpoint Kentucky had no reason to give their best effort. They locked up a 1-seed this week in the Big Dance regardless of the outcome today. From a competitive standpoint Kentucky had every reason to win. Thanks to a fortunate rebound and a point guard who has the Kobe/MJ/Lebron desire to never lose the Wildcats nabbed their first SEC tournament title since 2004.
Mississippi State likely had to win to get in. At least that's what all the pundits say. True, they lost to Rider, have a 55 RPI and barely finished above .500 in a watered-down SEC. But they also didn't discount desire. They just needed to execute at the charity stripe and they would've sealed the deal.
Guess what? As far as this pundit says, they got in.
Enjoy the last bracket. We'll see you this week.
1 DUKE(ACC) v. 16 ETSU(Atlantic Sun)
2 Baylor(Big 12) v. 15 MORGAN STATE(MEAC)
3 New Mexico(Mountain West) v. 14 SAM HOUSTON STATE(Southland)
4 Villanova(Big East) v. 13 OAKLAND(Summit)
5 Vanderbilt(SEC) v. 12 CORNELL(Ivy)
6 Michigan State(Big 10) v. 11 Wake Forest(ACC)
7 Xavier(Atlantic 10) v. 10 Louisville(Big East)
8 Oklahoma State(Big 12) v. 9 Texas El-Paso(Conference USA)
1 KENTUCKY(SEC) v. 16 Play-In Game
2 Syracuse(Big East) v. 15 OHIO(MAC)
3 Texas A&M(Big 12) v. 14 VERMONT(America East)
4 Purdue(Big 10) v. 13 MURRAY STATE(OVC)
5 Pittsburgh(Big East) v. 12 Rhode Island(Atlantic 10)*
6 Brigham Young(Mountain West) v. 11 SIENA(MAAC)
7 Florida State(ACC) v. 10 Utah State(WAC)
8 ST. MARY’S(WCC) v. 9 Clemson(ACC)
Midwest Region(St. Louis)
1 KANSAS(Big 12) v. 16 LEHIGH(Patriot)
2 Ohio State(Big 10) v. 15 NORTH TEXAS(Sun Belt)
3 Georgetown(Big East) v. 14 MONTANA(Big Sky)
4 Richmond(Atlantic-10) v. 13 WOFFORD(Southern)
5 BUTLER(Horizon) v. 12 Mississippi State(SEC)
6 Gonzaga(WCC) v. 11 Nevada Las-Vegas(Mountain West)
7 Texas(Big 12) v. 10 California(Pac-10)
8 Marquette(Big East) v. 9 Georgia Tech(ACC)
West Region(Salt Lake City)
1 WEST VIRGINIA(Big East) v. 16 ROBERT MORRIS(Northeast)
2 Kansas State(Big 12) v. 15 UCSB(Big West)
3 TEMPLE(Atlantic-10) v. 14 HOUSTON(Conference USA)
4 Tennessee(SEC) v. 13 NEW MEXICO STATE(WAC)
5 Maryland(ACC) v. 12 WASHINGTON(Pac-10)
6 Wisconsin(Big 10) v. 11 OLD DOMINION(CAA)
7 NORTHERN IOWA(Missouri Valley) v. 10 Notre Dame(Big East)
8 SAN DIEGO STATE(Mountain West) v. 9 Missouri(Big 12)
Play-In Game: ARKANSAS PINE-BLUFF(SWAC) v. WINTHROP(Big South)
* - If Minnesota wins their game against Ohio State then Rhode Island is out. Minnesota will get the 11 seed in the South Region and Siena moves down to 12.