I'll be taking a trip to Vegas for the second weekend of March Madness and my inner gambler needs to get a public consensus on who the number 1 seeds are going to be. Give me your rationale as well as your pound of flesh guarantee of not only who is going to be granted the golden ticket, but who actually is a lock to make it to the second weekend. If you're wrong you will be mocked by Close To Jumping at your place of employment, replete with CTJ's clownish war paint, clown car, and size 15's. Get 4 number 1 seeds right, and you'll receive a Barking Carnival muscle shirt with the naked Oklahoma carny on the front. Makes a good stocking stuffer.
Hansbrough is a JAG.
Here are my number 1 seeds:
Memphis. God protects old folks, fools, and teams that allow Mario Chalmers to drop National Championship implicating 3's on them. Enter Memphis who may be the best defensive team in the land. They have the added benefit of being old, foolish, and unlucky with Mario Chalmers heroics. Tyreke Evans is a street tough baller and he's surrounded by neck tats and bitch kickers. The Tigers are a tough, tough out that have the length to make Jay Bilas emerge sheepishly out of the closet.
UNC. As Tyler Hansbrough is marginalized so go the Tar Heels. When the focal point is Ty Lawson distributing to Mickey D's caliber finishers, the Heels are the best team in the land. When UNC is forced to placate the Vitalish Politburo lusting to see the working man's pivot mule go double double game in and game out, the Heels can be beat. Make Hansbrough beat you and you have a fighting chance. If Tyler is a role player, he's special, in a non-HenryJames sort of way.
UCONN. I can't stand their program but the elite size is undeniable. It's game changing. It's so...so...Big East basketball circa 1984. So, in reality, I kind of like it. Stanley Robinson is the key to replacing the injured Jerome Dyson. If Robinson can continue punishing opponents with his dynamic inside/out game, the Huskies won't miss a beat. Hasheem Thabeet isn't even the best offensive player on the team, but he's certainly the best defensive player in the nation. Scary.
Pitt. This ain't your daddy's no shooting Charles Smith, Sean Miller, Jerome Lane grind and dunk squad. The Panthers have scorers at all 3 levels. Fields is an elite point guard, Sam Young is one of the best true small forwards, and Dejuan Blair is an ox inside. Tyrell Biggs, Brad Wanamaker, and Jermaine Dixon give the Panthers 3 legit shooting threats outside of Fields that open up the floor for the other studs. It's a component that Pitt has been lacking since inception. The Panthers still guard and rebound like their jock straps were inundated with fire ants.
Run Scipio, run.
Put these 4 in a hat and shake them up. It wouldn't surprise me if any of these teams were cutting down the nets in April. Just as I wouldn't be surprised to see Scipio grab a wayward double down bet and try to outrun linebacking Italians with ear-pieces to the doors of the Palms Hotel and Casino. Dude was a linebacker in AISD afterall. And the air in Vegas is significantly thinner.