The Brackets are Coming, the Brackets are Coming: Part III

Before we walk a step further, it is imperative that we revisit what is Rule #1 in March.

Which is, all together now class, “You only play who you play.”

Period. End of lesson. Truth be told, all other rules pale in comparison.

This was underscored yesterday when Coach Chris Mack met the media in advance of the ACC tournament. Asked what he thought about the tourney bracket, he advised he’d only considered Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, one of whom the Cards will battle Wednesday evening, and North Carolina, whom U of L would play if the Cardinals win their opener.

Of considering other possible foes, he asked, “What’s the point?”

Do not project, kids, it’s one game at a time. Cliché? Of course. Still: The Truth.

So, here’s my mea culpa, about my moment of not heeding my own admonition. I’ve researched whom the Cards might meet in the Dance, should they land on the projected 7,8, or 9 line. For which transgression, I am sheepishly wearing a hair shirt as I write.

I’ll reveal those names if and when Louisville’s next game is in the NCAA tournament.

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Arguably the wackiest statistical shift of the weekend.

After losing to Virginia, the University of Louisville Cardinals jumped several spots in both the NCAA NET rankings and Ken Pomeroy’s computer rankings.

The Cards are now #22 in the former; #20 in the latter.

U of L is the highest ranked team with double digit Ls.

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Have you been paying attention to Championship Week?

Shame on ya, if the answer is no.

Here are but a few of the scintillating moments you have missed.

Northern Kentucky’s Drew McDonald draining a trey with a second to play to advance the Norse past Oakland into Monday night’s Horizon League title tilt against Wright State.

Peoria’s own Bradley Braves, down a digit late, getting a six point possession, going from one down to five up, which pushed them toward their first Missouri Conference title since 1988. A flagrant call against Northern Iowa was the turning point.

Murray State’s Ja Morant going for 36 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists to lead the Racers over Belmont into the tournament. (Yo, Ja, cut out the showboating histrionics. Trying to pass to yourself with a throw off the backboard at the buzzer with the game won and your ticket punched is not a good thing. Seriously bad look.)

Liberty Flame Scottie James getting to sing “We are the Champions,” as well as showcasing an acting  performance that made Rami Malek’s Oscar winning take on Freddy Mercury pale in comparison. Lipscomb’s Rob Marberry’s elbow nicked James chin as they were running up court — more than likely it was intentional — at which moment, James threw himself in the air and flopped backward to the hardwood.

Somewhere Vlade Divac was smiling.

The refs didn’t buy it. “Contact embellished,” they said. And Liberty and thespian James have ducats to the Dance, while Lipscomb, its future hanging perilously in the balance, sits on pins and needles until Sunday evening.

The Duke of Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb, beat Campbell and Radford on their home courts in consecutive games to earn a first trip to the NCAA tournament as Big South champs.

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Then there was the idiocy of the LSU fan base, who booed the school’s AD before, during, and after the Bayou Bengals regular season finale against Vandy.

Joe Alleva’s transgression?

He had the audacity to suspend coach Will Wade, who has been heard on tape, talking about his monetary offer to secure the services during recruitment of current freshman Javonte Smart, also suspended.

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It is a generally accepted axiom that the only legit NCAA title contenders are the schools with Top 20 metrics in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

As of 3/12, those teams number eight. UVa, Gonzaga, Duke, Michigan State, Michigan, North Carolina, Kentucky and Houston.

Subject to change upon my abject whim, Seedy K’s current Dark Horse to make it to the Final Four: Texas Tech.

— Seedy K