Sunday, March 11, 2012

stomping grounds

It doesn't seem likely the baseball team will make Omaha this year.  It's a rebuilding reloading year.  So we're sending our basketball team in their place.  Another postseason, another SEC opponent that borrowed our colors.**  So it goes.

Yes, UVA drew the Florida Gators in the first round.  If you expect the S-curve to hold true to form (it doesn't, because of the other bracket principles like never having conference opponents playing until the Elite 8) we are the best 10 seed and Florida is the worst 7 seed.  This is because Kentucky is the nation's #1 seed, and that team is always on the same side of the bracket as the worst #1 seed.  That makes Mizzou - the likely opponent if we beat Florida - the best #2 seed.

The 30-second book on Florida is that they "can score like crazy, but they can't defend."  KenPom backs that up: Florida is the #3 offensive team in the country but, of the 68 teams in the field, they are 54th on defense, sandwiched between 16A-seeded Vermont (they're going to Dayton on Tuesday) and 15-seeded Loyola (MD).  Florida is one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, a tough match-up for the pack-line.  But they're also a small team, the kind against whom UVA has found room to work.

Good news as far as I'm concerned: the game is Friday.  I always like to play Friday.  You're in the tournament longer.  And every day that Joe Harris's hand goes between basketball games is a good day.  On a personal note, this is a fun tourney: it's the first since I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first-year that U-M and UVA are in at the same time, and as a special bonus my grad school is also up in this thing.  I will have your game preview Thursday, because Virginia, Michigan, and Detroit are all playing on Friday, plus also screw you it's the tournament I ain't doing shit on Friday.  Tomorrow, I'll catch myself up on all that I missed in the past nine or so days.  Also, on a final programming note, get used to Sunday posts for a while because I'll be firing up my lacrosse bracketology series again next week.  This may, some weeks, mean no Friday posts.

And yes, this means I'm back from Peru.  It was a really fun trip, but at the same time it's nice to be able to turn on a faucet and receive drinkable water.  Peru is a don't-drink-the-water country.  But I found the silver lining: it becomes advisable, sensible, and correct to order beer at every meal.  (No, not breakfast, you degenerate.)  As a little prize this week, each post will include one or two of the best pictures from the trip.

**I read somewhere, and I can't find it anymore but I distinctly remember reading it, that Florida's colors are blue and orange because some representative of the school of some kind was visiting Charlottesville and had been asked to bring back athletic gear for the football team, and naturally what they bought was in blue and orange.  Hence their colors.  That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it even if I can no longer find a shred of evidence.


Sandmeistr said...

Anonymous said...

Tough match-up, but glad to see UVA in the tournament. The positive is that the Gators don't have that much size. That said, Patric Young is a physical, albeit raw, specimen, and Erik Murphy at least gives them height. Still, it gives some comfort to know that this isn't a team that's simply going to dominate the low-post against us, and that Atkins/Mitchell/Scott should give us a chance in the post.

Problem is all their guards and wings. We're basically down to 3.5 guys (no knock on Jesperson, but he's not handling more than ... 10-12 minutes unless they are in trouble). We simply can't have any foul trouble. Size wise, we matchup alright, as it's not like Florida has a lot of big guards.

Looking at some of the 7-10 seeds, this was probably as good a match-up as we could've hoped for, but it's going to be tough sledding. Still, excited to see them in the tournament.

I'm not sure if I've been this intrigued with UVA basketball since the Harold Deane era.

The Ole Philosopher said...

Almost any match up would be tough for the Hoos at this point with all the injuries and defections. It is time for Sammy Z to redeem his disappointing season. Otherwise, it's one and done for the Cavs.

Anonymous said...

Very glad to have you back, FOV. Until you left I didn't realize how reliant I'd become on FOV for in-depth UVa coverage. Seriously, the other blogs and media sources are lightweights in comparison.

Also: I'd rather have NC State's draw. But if we get to the Sweet 16 now, we'll be legitimate giant-killers.

Anonymous said...

very interested in seeing your bracket, brendan