Monday, March 17, 2008

March Madness

Today in the USA was "Selection Sunday". This is where a committee of people decide who gets to play off for the college basketball national title. There are Aussies everywhere to be found and you can catch them on ESPN in the coming weeks.

The 65 team tourney will run over the next three weeks (Friday thru Monday our time), and ends in San Antonio when the final four teams standing get the chance to be crowned champions.

Now for the Aussies that you may get a chance to see play over the coming weeks.

AJ Ogilvy: He plays for Vanderbilt which plays in the tough SEC. AJ and his team have played well all year. They have had a recent win over former #1 Tennessee. Freshman Ogilvy has been projected as a possible first round NBA draft pick, so a strong showing here will really solidify the hype. While an early exit may see him coming back to school next year.

Aron Baynes: Baynes has come on nicely for the Washington State Cougars over his first three years. He is a low post presences (and defensive anchor) with his 6'10, 270 lbs body. The Cougars season got off to a blistering start, but slowed during the tough Pac-10 play. Watch out for this team to bore teams to death with their defense and slow down offense. They are coached by former Sydney King Tony Bennett. You can see how him and Shane Heal may have had a difference of opinion with style of play.

Pat Mills: He is now on the national stage for the whole country to see him. A great opportunity to really make a name for himself. If the St Mary's Gaels can win a few games, Mills will become a household name in the USA, while he will walk the streets of his home country as a virtual unknown.

Carlin Hughes: Mills' backup at St Mary's. This kid has down well for himself since going to the US. Had some quality years at the DII level in Montana before transferring to the Gaels. If his play is quality during the tournament he will catch the eye of some NBL coaches.

Lucas Walker: A solid role playing big man for the Gaels also, who sees limited minutes. He comes in and runs the floor and flies around on the defensive end.

Daniel Dillon: Plays for the Arizona Wildcats in a back role at the guard position. Always hits the floor, but his PT is determined by what he is giving his team on the night. The Wildcats make their 23 consecutive appearance at the tourney, second only to North Carolina.

Aaron Bruce: His stock has dropped over the past two seasons, but it is the first time his Baylor Bears have made an appearance at the tourney this decade. Bruce has been coming of the bench the last part of the season, but he could be a game breaker during the tourney. Most of the games are close, so if Bruce was to come in and knock down a few threes he could really open the game up.
Sorry if I have missed anyone. Let me know and I will add them to the list.

I have set up a Tourney Pickem Bracket if anyone is interested in joining in on the fun. You have three days left to enter the $5 million competition. The group name is aussie puntas and there is no password for this public group. Feel free to invite your friends along as well.

Now changing speeds. Fellow blogger DJ Leon Smith has blogged about how he feels the NBL is travelling and relives some of his days as editor of PBT. Do you all remember that fantastic publication! It is well worth a read and if you are into Hip Hop and live in Sydney, Leon is the MAN for you.

Is anyone else with me on this one. Reminds me of Christian Laettner Vs the Kentucky Wildcats during the NCAA tournament in 1992 (I think).


DJ Rod said...

I like Memphis for this year! Hopefully one of the Aussie players can get on a roll and make it to the Final 4 or Elite 8.

Did Luke Nevill or Alecs Maric make it?

I still remember the Fab5 days at Michigan!!! 5 freshmen, baggy shorts, black socks, Nike Air Huarache's and plenty of flair... they were the days.

John Rillie said...

No Nevill or Maric. Look for Maric to be in the NIT (Not Invited Tournament).

Fab 5...Those were the best days to be in college. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

The Zags need some talented Aussies, John! Any ideas about any kids Gonzaga should be stalking ... er ... scouting? Got any talented '09 big men roaming around who'd like a call from Mark Few?

DJ Rod said...

Were you over there in those days?

Anonymous said...

i like Vandy this year,SEC's Player of the Year Shan Foster and aj Ogilvy get on a roll i think they will be hard 2 stop.

Saint Mary's should win its first game then loss 2 texas.

Washington State should be pretty easy 2 Elite 8

DJ Leon Smith said...

Clemson #1!

Anonymous said...

DJ Rod said...

"Were you over there in those days?"

Don't know for sure which days you're talking aout DJ Rod, but I just started a thread over on the Gonzaga fan message board about the Zags' first NCAA Tourney appearance, in 1995, which we owed in large part to John Rillie!

John Rillie said...

It is good to see that everyone is getting ready for March Madness.

DJ Rod, I was over there during those times, rockin it for the Zags in their first appearance.

I guess we will have to see how it pans out over this first weekend. Should be some interesting games.

Mount St Mary's just won, so they get to play Carolina first up.

Clemson for DJ Leon, you must have been a Dale Davis fan.

And for Anonymous who is worried about the Zags getting Aussies, we will see what happens in the near future.

DJ Rod said...

Dale Davis??? Maybe a Ricky Jones fan!!!

John Rillie said...

Ed Scott too!

DJ Leon Smith said...

Horace Grant actually :)