Like Bill Simmons on the NBA, Mark Bradley is firmly within his wheelhouse when discussing college basketball (as one would expect from a Kentucky grad.) I wish that Bradley would have come of age during the blog era or would embrace the concept more, because his college hoops thoughts would be a lot more interesting if they weren't confined to the 900-word format that newspaper columns require. There's nothing to really disagree with in there, although I think he overrates Louisville a little (their best win is over Miami; what does that say?) and thereby overrates the Big East. I also get the sense that Duke is going to win the national title this year, but I always fear that my least favorite teams are going to win titles. (Look for the Yankees to win in baseball, Notre Dame in college football, and France in the World Cup. Also, look for King Kong to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. [I am NOT a Peter Jackson fan. He is in desperate need of an editor to cut down on his repetitive action sequences. Where was I, anyway?])
I fully agree on J.J. Redick (his offensive game has really matured) and Shelden Williams (Duke big men invariably have many of the characteristics of female genitalia.) I also agree on the SEC being down again. Florida is good, but not as good as their record. LSU and Tennessee are intriguing. Kentucky will play better at some stage this year, mainly because of my indefatigable faith in Tubby. The rest of the league vacillates between average and crappy.
I'm in agreement on his Final Four picks of Duke and UConn, but that doesn't exactly put me out on a limb. I'll take Villanova and Indiana as my other two, but picking a Final Four before the brackets is a less than useless endeavor.
And since I mentioned Bill Simmons earlier, I should mention that I almost linked to his ESPN the Magazine article that ran on Tuesday to say how pleasantly surprised I was that he was admitting that the Patriots played poorly and deserved to be knocked out of the playoffs, but my initial expectations that he would whine and complain like a typical Boston fan and externalize all of his team's maladies onto external forces were borne out in Wednesday's column, in which he devoted 1,171 words to bitching about two calls that went against New England. Bill, you can't spend one quarter of your column kvetching about bad calls against New England (while barely saying anything else about the New England-Denver game) and then say that you aren't blaming the loss on the officials.