Jim Nantz

NCAA Pool’s done; go Spartans!

A hearty congratulations to “Meatballs,” winner of the first annual BASG NCAA Madness tourney pool. After UConn lost to a solid yet completely annonymous Michigan State squad it became official, as Meatballs has the Tar Heels winning the title and nobody picked the Spartans. Her lead is safe, along with a selection of delicious meatballs from SGL. And yes, I’ll be sampling somewhere between 2 and 20 of said meatballs before they get to the winner. Sorry, dem’s da rules.

So with the BASG Pool decided, all that’s left is the meaningless much-anticipated National Title game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Memphis Grizzlies North Carolina Tar Heels. I’m sorry, for all the talent that UNC supposedly has, the only guy who looks to have any NBA future is freshman Ed Davis. Tyler Hansbrough is just a younger Nick Collison who can’t close his mouth. Ty Lawson is LISTED at 5’11” and is about as fast as Monta Ellis immediately after crashing his moped. Wayne Ellington is a decent shooter and not much else.

The Tar Heels are deep because they’re old (relatively speaking). They aren’t particularly fun to watch, they just wear teams down with a steady wave of upperclassmanship followed by a bunch of aw-shucks, gee-whillikers quotes from Roy Williams. Barf.

I think it’s ridiculous to think the Spartans winning the Title would really boost the spirits of Michigan and Detroit; it’ll take a lot more than Tom Izzo getting his second National Championship to make people forget they live in a state with 12% unemployment. Still, Ford Field should be rocking tonight in support of the local kids, as the (sort of) hometown Spartans are the only team that could have brought more fans to the National Title Game than UNC, the favorite team of all bandwagon jumpers, Cowboy fans, Air Jordan collectors and hoops followers who never went to school after their 5-year on-again/off-again relationship with Junior College.

Moving on, here are five things to look for while rooting for Michigan State to defeat the boring mighty Tar Heels:

1. Can Durrell Summers possibly match his performance against UConn, which featured the best dunk of the NCAA Tournament?

2. Who will get more facetime, Izzo’s wife or Williams’? Currently Vegas has Izzo’s wife favored by -2.5 closeups.

3. Will Clark Kellogg say anything that isn’t completely obvious to all but the most inexperienced/moronic basketball observers? Yes Clark, the Tar Heels will look to establish Hansbrough inside. Thanks for the insight. You know what else? If Michigan State can cause turnovers, they’ll have a good shot at upsetting the boys in Carolina Blue.

I know Billy Packer was as annoying as all hell, but Kellogg is possibly the most uninteresting basketball color analyst on the planet. What do you mean, that’s racist?

4. At the end of the game, with the Nantz-a-Tron up full blast, will Nantz use the phrase “motor city is going to paint the town green tonight” if Michigan State wins, or will CBS show Earvin Johnson celebrating in his size XXXXL MSU warmup while Nantz reads, “On the 30th anniversary of their first Title, Michigan State is magical once again”?

5. Will Hansbrough ever close his mouth? Dude looks like a permanently perplexed Peja Stojakovic.

Sure to be wrong prediction made completely based on my own rooting interests: Michigan State’s defense is too much for North Carolina, and they dominate in transition the same way the Spartans did against the Huskies on Saturday. North Carolina comes out flat, Hansbrough airballs a free-throw and starts crying on the floor (with his mouth open, leading to a pool of drool causing Ty Lawson to slip and turn his ankle). It’s all downhill from there for the boys in baby blue: Michigan State 72, North Carolina 64

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