Ohio State proves to be cream of crop

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 14, 2000

By now most of you have filled out your office pools or randomly drawn the team you expect to make it to the Final Four. Sorry I couldn’t help you up to this point. But maybe I can give you some reassurance from what you’ve picked.

I must admit I filled out this year’s bracket faster than Dick Vitale can make a fool out of himself, but I’m still confident of my picks.

We’ll start with the West.

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Goodbye Jackson State, Winthrop, Gonzaga and Northern Arizona right off the bat.

Thanks for playing, but you’re here with the big dogs now. It could be worse. You could play in the SEC and suffer this type of humiliation once a week.

The semifinals of the West will find Arizona against LSU and St. John’s against Purdue (just because I like to watch Gene Keady scowl).

Arizona will get revenge against an LSU team not playing as well as they were when they embarrassed the Wildcats and St. John’s will be their opponent. Arizona lives up to its top seed.

In the Midwest, Valparaiso, Samford, Creighton and Central Connecticut State had best get their post cards off quickly, like the first 10 minutes of their contests.

Michigan State meets Kentucky in one dandy semifinal, while UCLA faces Iowa State.

Michigan State keeps nostalgia to a minimum, preventing a Kentucky-UCLA&160;matchup.

The Spartans have not been the most consistent team all year, but they start finding their game in Cleveland, especially against UCLA.

Michigan State advances out of the Midwest.

Now to the East, starring none other than the Duke Blue Devils, who are even more dangerous when they are on a mission.

The Blue Devils defeat Illinois to advance to the East finals.

Meanwhile, Indiana head coach Bobby Knight has to be feeling good about his team’s bracket.

Temple will advance for lack of competition before meeting Indiana in what could turn out to be one of the tournament’s best games.

The Hoosiers edge the Owls, and then surprises Duke to advance to Indianapolis. Knight hands out lollipops to the media following the game to unveil the new Knight.

Now to the South, while Bob Huggins is still steaming, and rightly so.

Selection committees have made some major mistakes in the past, but judging a team on how they think it will do without its best player stinks.

How many times have you seen other players on the team step up after its star player went down and the team becomes even more formidable?

Anyway, Missouri shows right off what a joke it was for North Carolina to receive an invite before falling to Stanford.

Tennessee advances for the right to meet the Cardinal, but its Stanford which advances to the South final against Ohio State, a one-point winner over Cincinnati.

The Buckeyes make it two Big Ten schools in the Final Four and CBS analysts have their chests poking way out because the Big Ten is all they talk about all year anyway.

So now we have Indiana against Ohio State and Michigan State against Arizona for the right to play for the national championship.

Ohio State beats Indiana and Knight is reprimanded for hitting a reporter over the head with a lollilop (it does only take one lick to get to the center).

Michigan State also wins and all of a sudden Earvin &uot;Magic&uot;&160;Johnson shows up everywhere on your television set.

In the end, Ohio State wins the national championship and Jim O’Brien is named head coach of the Buckeye football team.

I do have one lifeline left, but I’m not calling Vitale.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at joey.martin@natchezdemocrat.com.