In a college basketball season that seems to be lacking a great team and great stars, Jimmer Fredette is the shining light- and the NCAA selection committee was well aware of this when they put together this years bracket. I am usually the last to believe in conspiracy theories but I can’t help but think they set BYU up for its best chance at success. Now let me say that I don’t think BYU will do anything spectacular like they would have had Davies not been suspended for alledgedly having sex with his fiance (what a deviant lol). But, when you take a close look at the brackets it is obvious that the southeast is by far the easiest road to the final four. Pittsburgh is the number 1 seed. I love Pitt, but they have had an uncanny ability in recent years to not live up to their potential. Kansas St. had its hot streak and have cooled off. St. Johns lost D.J. Kennedy which is a major blow. Wisconsin was held to 33 points by Penn St. and are mediocre outside of the cheese state. Florida seems to be their own worst enemy most games racking up bad turnovers and bad shots. They took advantage of a rather weak SEC this year. And UK fans spare me the SEC was great this year- proof? Where’s Alabama and its 12 SEC wins headed? to the N.I.T. UCLA is a year or two away from doing anything worthwhile.
So what does this mean?
The NCAA committee knew all of this about these teams as well. Now thats not to say they anticipate BYU succeeding but they certainly set it up nicely for them. Florida is by far the weakest 2 seed in the field. It is the only 2 seed BYU is capable of beating. Furthermore St. Johns is missing a key playmaker and one of its leaders in Kennedy and to be honest I don’t think they get by Gonzaga.
The tournament is fueled by guys like Fredette. We remember Bryce Drew hitting that miracle shot against Florida St. I remember where I was, what I was wearing, and how I celebrated. I remember two things from the 1999 tourney: Duke lost to UCONN, and Wally Szczerbiak was an absolute beast. I remeber 2001 when Hampton beat Marcus Fizer and Iowa St in the first round…. My point being, whoever wins the championship in the end is the side story. Chris Webber’s time out looms larger in our minds than UNC winning the championship. We remember the 1992 Duke vs Kentucky Elite 8 game, not Duke beating Michigan. This tournament screams for Jimmer Fredette to put on his best Keith Van Horne impersonation. We need it because there are no great teams. We need it because college basketball thrives off these moments. We need it because most of us will see our teams fail and will need someone else to root for. So thank you NCAA selection committee for giving BYU and The Jimmer a better chance to put on a great show for us. I hope that when my Buckeyes blow it (yes, God does hate Ohio), I will have something to look forward too 😀