Elite 8 Mascots Set for Battle

100px-ul_cardinal_head_logoThere were two upsets last night.  The Cardinals of Louisville waylaid the unsuspecting Arizona Wildcats in a game reminiscent of the bird attacks in Hitchcock’s classic, The Birds.   And The Gonzaga Bulldogs must have got stuck in a tar pit as they struggled to take a bite out of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

In the other two games, the results were as expected.  The resourceful Sooners prevailed over the timid Orange.   The Orange looked more like the Kool-Aid man than the Orangemen.  And the military stratagem employed by the Spartans downed the Jayhawks, who squawked a great deal but could not walk the walk, turning the ball over 19 times.

And for the next two days, the Elite 8 will battle it out and by Sunday, the Final 4 will emerge.  Will there be 3 Big East teams; will the Big 12 have two representatives?  Here are my predictions based on mascot power.  The power ratings 1-16 precede the team:

Saturday’s Matchups

1 Missouri vs 4 UConn.  This should be a good game.  The mascots are somewhat evenly matched.  The Tigers have the edge, but a pack of Huskies should not be taken lightly.

3 Pitt Panthers vs 7 Villanova Wildcats.   If the Arizona Wildcats couldn’t handle a bird, it’s doubtful a Wildcat from Philly can handle a Panther.

Sunday’s Matchups

5 Michigan State Spartans vs 15 Louisville Cardinals.  The Birds are well fed after their Wildcat feast and may have trouble getting off the ground.  The Spartans won’t  need a trebuchet – a couple of spears should do.

13 Oklahoma Sooners vs 14 UNC Tar Heels.  The Boomer Sooners should smoke the Tar Heels.

Final Four:  Sooners, Panthers, Tigers and Spartans.

Who do you favor?

Sweet 16 Reseeded – Duke favored

Now that the grueling second round NCAA tournament games are over and we have a Sweet 16, I thought it would be interesting to reseed the teams based on measures other than basketball talent.  So I picked up the 2007 edition of the The Princeton Review of The Best 361 Colleges and ranked the teams based on academic reputation, selectivity and diversity.  To my surprise, Duke scored highest in all three categories.  I also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Duke had the largest endowment of any of the teams left in the tournament.   Louisville, Memphis and Missouri were not listed in the guide, perhaps undeservedly so, and are seeded 14, 15 and 16 respectively, in alphabetical order.

Based on the new seedings, assuming the highest seed always wins, Duke, North  Carolina, Arizona and Connecticut will make the Final Four.  Duke will defeat UCONN to become the national champion.

Here are the Sweet 16 reseedings:

  1. Duke
  2. Villanova
  3. North Carolina
  4. Syracuse
  5. Gonzaga
  6. Connecticut
  7. Pittsburg
  8. Arizona
  9. Xavier
  10. Kansas
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Michigan State
  13. Purdue
  14. Louisville
  15. Memphis
  16. Missouri