Okay, I’m a big enough individual to admit that I got my ass handed to me during the final four. I should probably title this post “Turtledog’s can’t miss pick of the day,” but the site won’t let me cross through words on the title, stupid wordpress. I was not even close for my picks, I wasn’t even in the ballpark of close. I’m the first to admit when I was wrong (even though it happens so rarely I don’t really know how to handle it.) But in all seriousness, what the hell happened on Saturday?
Memphis straight owned UCLA from the tip, the Bruins never had a chance. They were completely unable to run with Tigers and completely unwilling (or so it seemed) to get K-Love the ball inside during the second half, even though Memphis’ front court was all saddled with fouls. I was very impressed with Memphis, probably because that is the first game of theirs I actually sat down and watched. Oops. They really looked big, fast, strong and incredibly athletic. Not to mention that every one of their players can finish at the hoop as well as Kirstie Alley finishes Jenny Craig sundaes.
The UNC v. Kansas game just looked like UNC was not ready to play. That game really surprised me, way more than the Memphis crushing of UCLA did. UCLA had been played close by lots of good teams throughout the season and kept coming up with ways to win (official help or not). Memphis was just straight up better than them. UNC came out flat, sloppy, and they almost looked surprised that Kansas came to play. I was shocked that a Roy Williams team looked so disheveled for that entire first half, he is one of the best coaches in the game. Kansas on the other hand, came out on fire, they looked like a team with something to prove and they did. They seemed like they couldn’t miss and anytime UNC tried to make a run, they kept their composure and held their ground. Great performance by Kansas, very sub-par performance by the Heels. Congrats to the Jayhawks and Bill Self for getting over one of those humps and reaching the final.
On that note; in a pool I entered with about 20 of my friends, not a single person picked Memphis v. Kansas in the final and I imagine many people’s brackets look similar. No one thought this would be the final, well no one except every secretary who has never watched basketball in their life that is. I think this will be a fast-paced, athletic, high scoring final. I also think that Derrick Rose is using these last couple of games to let everyone know that just because he played in C-USA, there is no reason he should not be the number one pick in the draft this summer…Dude can straight up ball. So I make this pick simply because even though Kansas held off the Heels and won by 18, they let UNC chip away and cut it to 5 points late in the game. Memphis never looked like they had a hot dog’s chance at Kobayashi’s house on fourth of July, to lose that game. So I’m going to give it to the team that no one, and I mean no one (anyone who tells you they thought Memphis would win the whole thing is a damned liar), picked to win this thing three weeks ago when we had 64 teams. The Pick: Memphis
UPDATE: I totally had this one. Really, you are really going to miss 4 of 5 free throws down the stretch to completely ice this game? Memphis has been asked about their free throws all season, Calipari was convinced that they were fine, throughout four rounds they looked great from the line, but when it really mattered….wow. Kudos to Mario Chalmers, baller way to play that game, especially that trey with 2.1 ticks left. Memphis played how I wanted them to play, especially that second half, they were fast and aggressive…until those free throws. God, they are FREE! I feel that is just an unacceptable way to lose the championship, as much as Kansas did to beat Memphis, in all reality Memphis beat themselves. Oh well, maybe next year…oh wait, no way Memphis makes it back to the championship next year (Kansas either…adios Bill Self). Turtledog, OUT!
Last week when I made my can’t miss picks, I prefaced them with the disclaimer that they would probably miss. However, I forgot one key aspect…I’m a fucking genius. I went 7 for 8 correct picks during the sweet sixteen which translated into many, many cocktails in Las Vegas. I am writing this about 2 and a half hours before the final four tips off so for all 3 of you who care what I say regarding these games, here you go. Unfortunately I will not be making money on these picks today so donations are graciously appreciated. On to my picks bitches….
UCLA Bruins v. Memphis Tigers: Along with a great portion of sports scholars, the Turtle D-O-G, has been extremely skeptical of Memphis all year. I really don’t care that they played good teams in the beginning of the season, because that doesn’t mean shit by the end of the season. I have a difficult time looking past the fact that they play in the Conference USA, the red-headed step child of college basketball divisions. Fuck, my college intramural squad “Team Bacon” could have won at least 15 games in that lousy conference. This was affirmed when they lost at home to Tennessee. I still didn’t think that they were as good as the other number 1 seeds until they beat down Texas last weekend (who I thought was a final four team). Memphis is actually legit; they are big, fast, and strong – not unlike the types of girls that ShepShepard likes to take home on the weekends. Not to mention, they know that everyone thinks they are the worst of the final four teams which means they will be playing with one helluva chip on their shoulder (what does that stupid expression even mean, what kind of chip? Potato, bagel, tortilla? What a delicious sense of spite they play with). Now all of these make for excellent reasons why Memphis COULD win this game. But you heard it here first (or 237th depending on how much time you waste listening to college analysts), UCLA is on some sort of track to destiny. No matter what, they never seem like they are out of a game, and you expect them to win. The way they beat Xavier was awesome (mostly because it won me enough money to pay for my hotel room), but also because they looked great. Plus, I’m finally coming around on K-Love and his stupid skinny beard. UCLA has been too good all year against awesome competition and the Ben Howland express does not stop here. The Pick – UCLA
Kansas Jayhawks v. UNC Tar Heels: Now this is a basketball game for the ages. Everyone who thinks they know shit, says that Kansas is the most complete team, and the best team, and too deep and so yada yada yada. Who really cares? I have never put a lot of faith into Kansas, they have a high seed every single year and never pan out. Plus, I don’t like Bill Self, he never did anything big at Illinois with some great squads and he could be distracted thinking about that 5 million dollar a year contract he could be getting at Oklahoma State, his alma mater. On the other smarter and cooler and more informed hand, UNC has looked unbelievable in every game. They haven’t even been challenged, they are straight dominating teams, plus you gotta love Psycho T, the guy goes after it with the intensity of a toothless hooker during free blow job week. Kansas had trouble putting away Davidson and HOT CURRY (my new favorite player), while UNC is just batting teams away like your girlfriend does to you when you shamelessly beg for her to play with your balls. I could list you a million basketball reasons why this game will be close etc. but the bottom line is this tournament is going down to East v. West, Tradition v. Tradition, Wooden v. Smith, baby blue v. um, baby blue — UNC v. UCLA in the best final ever. The Pick: UNmotherfuckinC
So there you have it kiddies. Stick with me and I’ll make you a star. Or an omelet, I make delicious omelets. Time to go take a huge bong hit and watch my picks come to life. Tootles.
Note: the site is being stubborn and retarded and so for some reason I can’t put links in right now, sorry, they were awesome.
Okay, so last weekend my “can’t miss picks of the day”, ummm, missed. I actually missed by quite a bit. I think my mascot system only gave me two correct picks, which kind of sucks. So needless to say this week I will not be relying on mascots to aid in my decision making. But I guess that is what I get for hiring the Phillie Phanatic to be my personal gambling counsel.
The tournament is in its most exciting stages now, the sweet sixteen and the elite eight are on the horizon. I will be heading to Las Vegas to utilize my knowledge and win lots of money (or plunge myself deep in to debt) by betting on as many events that involve people hitting, throwing, shooting, or even chasing a ball as humanly possible. My picks for the next two days’ games are somewhat more educated, and consequently less entertaining possibly. But, I am confident I will do better this week. I fucking better, my rent payment depends on it.
University of North Carolina vs. Washington State University: UNC has been the most dominant team in the tourney so far, yet they have also played probably the easiest two games. WSU plays very fundamental offense and great defense (translation: boring as hell to watch). WSU will probably be able to keep this game close and relatively lower scoring which favors them in the 9 point spread as well as the over/under, but in the end UNC will pull away and win by double digits. The pick: UNC
Louisville Cardinals vs. Tennessee Volunteers: This is one of the two best match-ups of this weekend. Both of these teams played great all year and Tennessee’s coach Bruce Pearl is clearly down to party. If I was picking this game on coach most likely to have a coed file a sexual assault lawsuit against, it would be Tennessee all the way. But in all reality I think that Louisville is a more complete team who has played a tougher schedule all year. Plus I picked them in my bracket and I like the color red better than orange. The Pick: Louisville, but this will be very close.
Kansas Jayhawks vs. Villanova Wildcats: I totally did not even think that ‘Nova belonged in this tournament and then they pulled off the most ridiculous comeback to beat Clemson in the first round causing me to order 3 shots of whiskey in my disgust. Kansas always has a high seed yet never seems to pan out. Every person on the planet says how good Kansas is and that is probably true. That still doesn’t mean that I like them at all. However, as much as I would fucking looooove ‘Nova to pull this off, I don’t think they have a chance. The Pick: Kansas (but fingers, toes, and everything else crossed for Villanova in the upset)
Wisconsin Badgers v. Davidson Wildcats: I pretty much dislike Wisconsin as a whole, in all sports in all capacities. Plus the only woman I know who went to Wisconsin is a raging whore. So I am going to go with the sentimental favorite led by the tournament’s best player so far, Stephen Curry. The Pick: Davidson
Xavier Musketeers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers: I have a good friend who is from West Virginia so I like to pick against him in every single sport, as well as berate him for coming from such an inbred, backasswards state. Plus you can call the Xavier team something cool like the “X-Men,” and my cousin went there. And as well as WVU has been playing, Xavier is a more complete team. I actually have zero facts to back this up but I’m a genius so therefore I am going to be right. The Pick: Xavier
UCLA Bruins vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers: I don’t like UCLA, I have never liked UCLA, and regardless of how good they are I have never seen one team get so many favorable calls in so many important games so close in time to each other. One favorable call (Stanford) is lucky, two favorable calls (Cal) is a coincidence, the most ridiculous favorable no-call EVER (Texas A&M) is borderline inexcusable. Seriously, do they have their own refs that just travel with the team. I refuse to believe that they can lose this game, but if they are losing you have my guarantee that the refs will bail them out. But I would totally take WKU on the points (+12), if gambling were legal that is. The Pick: UCLA
Stanford Cardinal v. Texas Longhorns: This is the other really good game of the weekend. Stanford got really tested against Marquette and proved that they are an elite team. Texas on the other hand has not played anyone of consequence so far this tournament. With that said, you shut down Brook Lopez for Stanford and you can totally win this game. Plus Texas has been better and played better teams all year. Even though Texas is supremely annoying and have total douchebags like Matthew McConaughey as fans, they are legit. This is the year that they can win despite Rick Barnes’ dumbass being their coach. The Pick: Texas
Memphis Tigers vs. Michigan State Spartans: I will be honest, I could give two shits about this game or either of these teams. But the one time that I saw the movie “300” on IMAX after 8 bong hits, I had a new respect for Spartans. Therefore…The Pick: Michigan State
So with that dear friends, I leave you for the weekend. Vegas awaits, so bet big on Turtledog being hammered. Tootles.
Today the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starts, and that rules because it is probably my favorite thing related to sports all year. However, what does NOT rule is that I have to be at work. I really hate work, mostly because I really hate my job, but I especially hate work because it is keeping me from watching games today.
CBS has done a good job of trying to make work tolerable by streaming live games on their website, which is actually pretty sweet. But it is not even close to the same. I can’t listen to it, some companies even block the website (which is totally evil), I can’t drink while doing it (well without getting fired that is), and I have to always be conscious that someone will find out I am not writing a motion and instead gambling on amateur athletics. All of these things make the CBS online thing an okay alternative, but still a flawed system. If more people would read this then maybe I would not have to go to my job and I could start writing full time. So pretty much this is everyone else’s fault for not reading my blog, damn you all. But since it does not look like I’m getting any ad revenue any time soon, I am going to have to assume that I will be at work next year when the tournament starts as well. So since I fucked up this year and did not plan ahead, I have spent a good amount of time coming up with my fool proof way to ensure that I will have a four day weekend on the couch in approximately 365 days. I will share my infinite brilliance with all of you, and we can drink and watch basketball together next year. This is a relatively involved plan and will require a certain amount of dedication, ready?
This is a four plus day process that you really have to sell or else you will get caught skipping out on work, you need maximum dedication and a little acting panache doesn’t hurt either.
Saturday and Sunday: Ideally you should be drinking, and drinking a lot on both of these days. This serves two purposes: first, drinking is fun and the weekend is generally more enjoyable when you are intoxicated; second, by going on a baby-bender over the weekend you will make yourself look a little tired and run-down when you start work on Monday, this is imperative that you show up looking a little rough so as to aid in planting the proper seeds at the office.
Monday: If you did the weekend properly then you will show up Monday morning with some circles under your eyes and possibly looking a little pale from your hangover. But you can NEVER under any circumstances imply that your more disheveled appearance is the result of booze, or your cover is already blown. Make sure to be drinking water and airborne etc. to show that you may be feeling like a cold is sneaking up on you. When in the presence of co-workers sniff and clear your throat loudly and repeatedly and make sure to make off the cuff statements like “gee, I really hope I am not coming down with something, I have to get that Johnson account finalized.” This will subconsciously provide people with the thought you could maybe be getting sick. It is also vital that you have at least one conversation with your boss where you excuse yourself for coughing numerous times in a row, apologize, and repeat the statement that you better go take more Emergen-C to prevent yourself from getting sick.
Tuesday: Time to take it up a notch. Your coughing and sniffing should be more severe today and you need to ask at least two co-workers if they have any Advil because you feel kind of achy. If you work in an actual office you need to take the extra steps of walking around the floor to show everyone how crappy you are feeling. This is accomplished easier in a cubicle as people all around you will hear your symphony of illness related sounds. Be sure and go into the lunch/break room and prepare some tea or Thera-Flu while informing all present that you hate the way that stuff tastes but you really can’t be sick right now because you have so much work to get finished.
Wednesday: It’s go time baby. You should be blowing your nose constantly by now and have all kinds of cold and sinus medicines on your desk. If you have been persuasive by now then at least a few of the nice secretaries will ask you if you are feeling well enough to be there, or if you think you should go home. If you have given a performance worthy of Denzel your boss will make this same inquiry. At this point the proper response is “I really am starting to feel awful, but I just have all this stuff that I want to get done, I’m trying to help out as much as I can, I’m a team player you know.” Then cough loudly. Everyone will admire that you have been working so hard, but in their interest of not getting sick themselves will want you out of the office, usually saying something like, “oh, if you are sick get away from me, I can’t afford to come down with something right now.” To which you respond, “yeah, me neither, this really sucks.” And try to look unhappy and pathetic.
Thursday: Wake up feeling fantastic, call in and tell your office that the flu you have been battling finally caught up to you and you think that you need a day to get over it but you will try to be in tomorrow. Most likely no one will expect you to be in on Friday, especially if you are sick, so you have now successfully gotten yourself a 4-day weekend without using any personal/vacation days. The reason that you need to sell it and sell it hard all week is that there are sure to be a few people in your office who express doubt as to why you are not at work the day the tournament has started, implying that you are skipping to watch basketball. However, because of your performance all week the majority of your co-workers will have your back and say that you have been really sick the last few days so as to support your story. Congratulations, you rule, now go get drunk. (next year that is)
<— This turns into this—>
Will anyone follow my plan? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean it’s not brilliant. Did I just get paid to think of it and write it out? Damn straight. Enjoy the rest of the tournament everyone, I will be back tomorrow with some weekend picks.