Sunday, February 1, 2009

Obligatory Super Bowl Pick, and Did Wisconsin Give Up?

1. If Hines Ward was completely healthy I would feel more comfortable picking the Steelers. I still think that the Steelers will win, but it's easy to imagine them struggling on offense. Their stellar defense should be enough to get the job done, after all, they can surely handle a one-dimensional team like the Cardinals, but then again, maybe not.

I've read many articles this week that note the fact that Ben Roethlisberger "has a Super Bowl under his belt" or some such nonsense. Roethlisberger played terribly in that game, and actually managed to put up the worst QB rating of any quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Anyway, this Steeler team can't really run the ball at all (just like the Cardinals. And by the way, too many reporters still think that the Steelers are a "run-first team." They are most definitely a pass-first team.), and it's easy to imagine a turnover-fest breaking out, which could go either way.

So I'm picking the Steelers, but I don't have much confidence in that pick. They're clearly the better team, but that has been true of every opponent the Cardinals have faced to this point.

2. Seriously, did Wisconsin give up? Losing to Minnesota, Illinois, and even Iowa is excusable. Losing to Northwestern? Really? I know they knocked off Michigan State the other day, but Wisconsin also beat this same team by 29 points earlier this year. Well, hopefully they can still get into the NIT.

3. Marquette is continuing to prove that they're really, really good. This time Georgetown was the victim of Jerel McNeal and company, as McNeal put up an unreal 26 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks in a 94-82 win. Marquette has now shown a superior ability to out-duel opponents with big front courts. It is hard to see anyone slowing this team down on offense, and they should be a major force come tournament time.

4. The Bucks have a two game winning streak? Sweet. And they even beat a pretty good team.


DannyNoonan said...

I'll be on a plane for the game. This blows.

Chris said...

In my best Nelson voice


TD said...

In fairness to Wisconsin, Northwestern is a much better team now than they were a month ago. I think they are 5-1 since Wisconsin beat them back in January. Also, they are a tough team to beat in Evanston any year.

Having said that, the problem with Badgers is that they aren't very good defensively this year. Northwestern shot almost 60% from the field, which is unheard of against Wisconsin under Bo Ryan. Wisconsin, with the exception of a bad stretch midway through the first half, played pretty well offensively, and I thought did a good job of handling the 1-3-1 trap, shot well, and did a good job of knocking down their FT's. They do need SOMEONE to step up and be the go to guy down the stretch. I'm done waiting for Landry or Hughes to be those guys. Bohanon is what he is ... a 3 Point specialist who needs too much time to square up and get the look he needs to be a consistent deep scorer.

This team, unless it finds itself defensively in a BIG way, is not an NCAA Tournament team this year.

I do think this is 1 year anomoly. I think Luer, Taylor, Wilson and Nankovil will be very good all-around players before they leave Wisconsin.