Photo Credit: NBA Draft Room
The other day ESPN showed a graphic of Dicky V’s Elite Eight that showed he once again picked all one and two seeds, and that can only mean one thing: March Madness is back. I love March. It’s the only time of year anyone turns on Tru TV, and the only time of year I get to hear the beautiful tune of “One Shining Moment”. And because it’s March, it’s time to spice up the takes. Here are four hot takes to get everyone’s blood boiling a bit before their veins fully explode after their champion pick loses to a bunch of three-star recruits from a school that no one could even come close to pointing out on a map.
1) The East Region is so bad that there are five different teams from the Midwest Region alone that are better than every team in the East except Duke:
North Carolina, Kentucky, Houston, Auburn, and Iowa State are all better teams than everyone in the East except Duke. This includes the likes of Michigan State, LSU, and Virginia Tech. Sorry Sparty, your hopes of making it to Minneapolis were lost the day Josh Langford’s ankles stopped working. I’m not going to sit here and claim that the committee has a pro-Duke bias, but I will say I think the FBI should check up on the Venmo accounts of Coach K and the NCAA. Regardless, it is a damn shame that Duke has an incredibly easy road to the Final Four, but I’m still hopeful R.J. Barrett’s ego or Zion’s crappily made Nike shoes will find a way to screw it up.
2) The Big 10 is not a top three conference in this tournament:
I really hope Dan Dakich isn’t a Redshirt Review reader because this one might send him over the edge, and I actually enjoy Dakich. The ACC is clearly the best conference, and I think many would agree that the SEC is better than the Big 10 this year, but I’ll even go as far as to say that the Big 12 is better this year. I’ll take Texas Tech, Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor, and Oklahoma over Michigan State, Michigan, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio State. And despite the fact that the Big 10 has two more teams in the tournament than the Big 12 this year, I’m willing to bet that when the Elite Eight round arrives, there will be more Big 12 teams than Big 10 teams left standing.
3) The four seeds are better than the two seeds this year:
Breaking it down region by region, I think the four seed is better than the two seed in two regions, equal in one region, and worse in one region. In the East I would take Virginia Tech (with the return of Justin Robinson) over Michigan State, in the West I’d take Florida State over Michigan, in the South I think Kansas State and Tennessee are just about equal, and in the Midwest, I think Kentucky is better than Kansas. All-in-all, I give a 2-1-1 record for the four seeds against their respective two seed.
4) RJ Barrett is not a top 10 player in this tournament:
RJ Barrett is extremely talented, but he has shown time and time again that he still has tons of room for growth. His decision making isn’t quite there, especially in late game situations, and he always tries to do too much. If I was a coach trying to assemble a tournament team, there are at least 10 players I would take before RJ Barrett. I would take Zion, Rui Hachimura, Markus Howard, Ja Morant, Jarrett Culver, Carsen Edwards, Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield, and Cameron Johnson before Barrett. I could maybe even include the likes of Barry Brown, Corey Davis Jr., Kyle Guy, and Coby White. RJ is a great player don’t get me wrong, but there is a very solid chance he ends up being Duke’s downfall, just like he was in the championship of the Maui Invitational back in November.