OTC: Some Say NCAA Tourney Seeds Breaking Bad For Wichita State / K-State Gets Shot At Kentucky

“Hey, everybody can be had. … There’s not that much difference at all.”
Bill Self, on the parity within the tournament, 810 AM
GH: And with those words of wisdom, we launch what looks to many to be the most unpredictable NCAA basketball tourney in maybe forever. Is undefeated Wichita State a poser from the one-bid Mo Valley? Is the Big 12 and Big Ten really the land’s best basketball conferences or do those teams on both coasts have legit gripes about their many slights? The next three weeks will play out with more drama and surprises than Season 8 of Breaking Bad. I can’t wait to see what teams play the role of giant-killer Heisenberg and what teams masquerade as Gustavo Fring – the overrated chicken mogul. Here are some thoughts on casting NCAA tourney teams as Breaking Bad characters; 

Walter White as Wichita State: The not-very-attractive team from the wrong side of the tracks – even within their own state! Shockers pretty much overlooked by all the experts, including the FBI. 

Skyler White played by Duke: Is there a more hated character/team that still retains its sex appeal than these two whiny and in-much-need-of-a-head slap millionaires? 

Jesse Pinkman played by Nebraska: The Cornhuskers look about as comfortable in the NCAA Tourney as Jesse did back in Mr. White’s chemistry class. Who doesn’t expect NU to be holed up in their San Antonio hotel rooms gorging on stale pizza, sharing a smoke with Badger (UW-Milwaukee) and Skinny Pete (Albany) while staring at the walls wondering what the hell they are doing there? 

Hank Schrader played by Syracuse: What head coach looks like he’s been sitting on the toilet for six months more than Jim Boeheim? The Orange strutted about like they were king shit early this season before we came to discover that they were clueless about this very ruthless but respected Virginia (Mike Ehrmantraut) squad who took their first ACC title since Ralph Sampson.

 Saul Goodman played by Baylor: Saul would love to don one of those Baylor neon-green outfits to wear to the office. Scott Drew’s fading hairline even resembles the Better Call Saul barrister. The Bears are also similar to Saul in that they’re flashy, loud and often times distracted by shiny objects

“We’re not supposed to beat Kentucky. It’s already been on all the TVs and everything.”
Bruce Weber, 610 AM
GH: I was stunned at how little respect K-State received during the selection show on CBS. It was just assumed by most that Kentucky would move on to play Wichita State. Maybe. But I like the Wildcats a lot in this one. KSU is not going to be intimidated by a storied team dressed in blue with a great fan following. They kind of know that nightmare well. 

“I think Kansas State beats Kentucky. Yep.”
Jake Gutierrez, 810 AM

“I think Kentucky (beats K-State). Kentucky has the most talent of any team in the country. They were the number-one team in the preseason.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“In 1951 Kentucky beat Ernie Barrett and K-State in the national title game. Barrett has already reminded Bruce Weber it’s time for revenge.”
Kellis Robinett, @KellisRobinett, Twitter

“UK has a lot of talent, but they’re young. If we guard as a team, do the little things, we can compete with anyone.”
Bruce Weber, 610 AM
GH: Weber is not one of the talking heads giving his Wildcats no chance against the flashier and more gifted Kentucky Wildcats. This is one matchup that every K-State fan should be relishing. KSU is in an absolute no-lose situation. And the upside of a win over a mere eight seed would be wildly memorable for KSU and Weber’s resume.  

“I think Kansas State has a tremendous chance to win. I don’t think (K-State) is getting out of this weekend.  I think they’ve got a 50-50 chance of beating Kentucky.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman made all of these comments within a few seconds of each other. I am still not sure what he thinks of K-State’s chances against Kentucky. I think that’s how he planned it. When you don’t pick a team, it’s difficult to be wrong. 

“Personally, I don’t think (Kansa) can beat New Mexico with Embiid. I thought (NM) got a bad deal being a seven seed. I would give the edge to New Mexico.”
Dick Vitale, ESPN
GH: Did I hear Vitale correctly? KU has already beaten New Mexico with Embiid by 19. Granted, it was at Sprint Center in December but I think the Jayhawks will be fine in their second game, with or without their freshman center.  

“They’re good enough to get to the second weekend without (Joel Embiid).”
Jay Bilas, ESPN

“I like New Mexico over Kansas.”
Seth Davis, in the two team’s second game, CBS

“Kansas will likely be without (Embiid) for at least this first weekend. Eastern Kentucky is not going to be a shoe-in or easy win. Eastern Kentucky is a team that shoots even more threes than Iowa State.”
Dave Armstrong, 810 AM
GH: If Eastern Kentucky beats KU – even if Embiid is in Cameroon – Bill Self is going to have some explaining to do. I don’t think he or Jayhawk Nation has anything to worry about. Shoot a lot of threes against Kansas is one thing. Making a lot of threes is another.  

“It’s a stacked bracket but we didn’t anticipate any easy task. It’s never easy to make that happen and get to the Final Four and win the whole thing.”
Greg Marshall, 810 AM

“So the committee has rewarded Wichita with UK in the second round and Louisville in the Sweet 16? Who’s the No. 2 seed? The Miami Heat? Pretty sure Wichita State would gladly take a No. 2 seed in any region over its No. 1.”
Jeff Eisenberg, @JeffEisenberg, of YahooSports.com, Twitter

“Kentucky gets Kansas State, a brutally physical team with an outstanding backcourt. (Wichita State) is either going to get a Sunflower State showdown that never happens in the regular season or Kentucky, the preseason number one in many people’s polls.”
Doug Gottlieb, CBS

“That will be one of the hottest tickets ever for the first two rounds. K-State, Kentucky, Wichita State and us. Hopefully, our state will pull for each other and our league will pull for each other.”
Bill Self, on the number of teams heading to St. Louis with large fan bases close enough to drive to the Regional, 810 AM
GH: Congrats to the NCAA committee for putting this St. Louis Regional together. Magnificent. For those lucky enough to be a part of this madness in STL this weekend, enjoy it. That drive across I-70 for KU, KSU and WSU fans should be fun. I wonder how many will honk as they fly past Columbia?

“I will say that AMAZINGLY…St.Louis and NCAA might have wished they were using Dome rather than Scottrade for this weekend.”
Danny Clinkscale, @dcwhb, Twitter

“There is nothing likable about this (Missouri) basketball team.”
Carrington Harrison, after MU received a two-seed in the NIT and then it was announced that two MU basketball players and two MU football players arrested Saturday for possession of marijuana, 610 AM

“Missouri basketball players Wes Clark and Shane Rector and football players Aarion Penton and Shaun Rupert were arrested Saturday night on suspicion of possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana during a traffic stop in Columbia. … Officers detected an odor of marijuana in the car and found a package of Swisher Sweets cigarillos containing what a field test determined to be marijuana.”
Dave Matter, STLtoday.com
GH: Foiled – despite the Swisher Sweets cigarillos shot fake.  

“Odd dynamic: Many of the #Mizzou fans who spent weeks telling me Tigers didn’t deserve a bid now mad about teams that got in before them. And as far as #SEC disrespect, maybe so, but that’s exactly what the league earned this year IMO.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter

“Gotta be honest, NIT will be all about motivation for #Mizzou. Because there’s not a team with near as much talent in their bracket IMO.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: Frank Haith’s team the last couple of weeks has looked about as motivated as the humanity of stoned souls heaped atop one another the day after a Jesse Pinkman party. How many fans show up at Mizzou Arena Tuesday night for their NIT opener? More than these Tigers deserve.  

“That’s a pretty unfair advantage (for the Denver Broncos). I think a lot of NFL players like to smoke weed.”
Nate Bukaty, on the sale of pot being legal in Colorado, 810 AM
GH: Interesting that smoking weed in Missouri will get your players arrested but in Colorado it could be used to lure players to town. I think we need to figure out this weed thing once and for all and move on. I have never been attacked by somebody high on weed. I have seen a lot of damage done by those who have purchased and imbibed legal liquor. Just a guess, but if every player in the NCAA tourney who smoke weed this season was not allowed to play, there wouldn’t be enough players left over to play a pick-up game in each Regional.  

[email protected] and Twitter @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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31 Responses to OTC: Some Say NCAA Tourney Seeds Breaking Bad For Wichita State / K-State Gets Shot At Kentucky

  1. Brummy says:

    Did Greg call NE out as meth heads?

    I was thinking along the same lines about the recruiting advantage Colorado teams must have with legalization. Maybe another 20 years it’ll be legal here.

  2. Grammar Police says:

    Bill Self, on the parody within the tournament, 810 AM

    parity

  3. mike t. says:

    “Bill Self, on the parody within the tournament, 810 AM”

    I suppose he COULD have meant parody, but think he meant “parity.”

  4. Arte says:

    Louisville fans are complaining about being a number 4. But if you look at that bracket closely, they are the real number one. The committee had to list WSU as the one. But it’s only an honorary distinction.

  5. Gavin says:

    I am way, WAY nervous about KU playing any team of chuckers, which is what we’ve got in the first round. Maybe I have PTSD from Iowa State shooting lights out the other night and maybe I’m doing the standard KU poor-mouthing, but I hate this matchup.

    And I dislike seeing New Mexico again, this time without Embiid, even more. I almost feel better about the following week (assuming we get there) with Embiid (assuming we have him) despite the fact that the teams are about a million times better than the ones we’ll see this weekend. The Jayhawks have just been too inconsistent this year for me to have any comfort level at all, even in a 15-2 game.

    • mike t. says:

      with you gavin, but I think we’re fine against E.Kentucky. we got beat up by Iowa State in the tourney and I think that should light a fire under Self and the players too about their defense. NM, um, well, maybe Embiid will be back by then.

      I have KU winning the first two and bowing out to ‘Cuse.

    • Mike says:

      Gavin, I hear you. Listening to The Program this morning, and it’s clear TJ Carpenter still needs a KU education for tournament opponents that can chuck three’s. History is not kind to these early round games. And with KU’s defensive metrics comparing more closely to Roy’s years instead of Bill’s, it will lead to some trepidation. I think KU should remain fine in the EKU matchup, but this year, nothing is a given.

    • Gavin says:

      I don’t know any of the players for Eastern Kentucky, but why do I have this niggling feeling that one of them has a name like “Ali Farrokhmanesh” or “Cuttino Mobley” or some other name that will get seared into my brain that will haunt me in my nightmares?

  6. D says:

    Self is exactly right. The Big 12 is a parody of a conference.

  7. JP says:

    GH: I was stunned at how little respect K-State received during the selection show on CBS. It was just assumed by most that Kentucky would move on to play Wichita State. Maybe. But I like the Wildcats a lot in this one.”

    I think we all agree that the Wildcats will win the game between Ky and K State. I think you meant the purple version, not the Big Blue nation. I think K State has more than a punchers chance to knock off Kentucky, I don’t see either KY or K State beating Wichita State in the second game.

    Second, I do agree on KU. Everyone is panicking about the 2d game with New Mexico, when it’s not a given they will see New Mexico. I like KU playing as the underdog for once (in theory). Embrace it, and play hard and the Sweet 16 will be next. Finally, what did KU do to piss off Vitale? He never has anything good to say about the Hawks, and I knew he would pick them to go out. Vitale loves Duke, the ACC, Kentucky, Michigan and UCLA. The rest don’t matter to him. It’s called retirement Dicky V, Try it!!

  8. Mike says:

    St Louis used the Dome in ’02 for 1st and 2nd rounds (part of their dress rehearsal for the 05 FF, I guess), and I thought it was great. Sight lines for the half-dome setup weren’t bad at all, and KU and UK were the featured teams. Stanford, WKU, Holy Cross (yes, them), Marquette, Valpo, and Tulsa. And even though, outside of KU and UK, there wasn’t a lot of glamour teams, the Dome still packed in crowds. The upper deck was sparse in the corners, but the one set of end-zone (sideline) seats were filled fairly well.
    With this group for StL? Utilizing Scotttrade was a misstep. They could pack the dome, and then some, this week. The environment down on Laclede’s landing, if it was at the dome, would have been electric. I’m sure it will still be a cool scene, but imagine if you were able to add 20,000 ADDITIONAL ticket-holding fans to the mix.

    • jjskck says:

      They had the same setup for the regional final in 2012, and both the dome and the surroundings were great. That regional featured KU and UNC and was completely sold out; I’m sure this lineup would do the same.

  9. AaronB4Mizzou says:

    “GH: Interesting that smoking weed in Missouri will get your players arrested but in Colorado it could be used to lure players to town. I think we need to figure out this weed thing once and for all and move on. I have never been attacked by somebody high on weed. I have seen a lot of damage done by those who have purchased and imbibed legal liquor. Just a guess, but if every player in the NCAA tourney who smoke weed this season was not allowed to play, there wouldn’t be enough players left over to play a pick-up game in each Regional. ”

    Got a friend who is an alcoholic. He’s had three DUI’s and easily could have had many more. He actually told me that he viewed drinking and driving as a game, when he was drunk. He liked to see how much he could drink and still control the car. When he was sober, he realized how bad this was and attempted to figure out ways, such as playing various driving games on XBox while drunk, to avoid his kick out of drinking & driving.

    He got to the point where he stopped drinking, but was heavily smoking weed. He told me he smoked the weed because he could still get intoxicated, but he didn’t have the urge to drive…he just mellowed out and stayed home.

    Or so he thought. He called me up one day in an absolute panic, he’d gotten high one night, say Tuesday. The day he called me was Friday. He literally couldn’t remember a thing he’d done since Tuesday, which is way he was in full on panic mode. He didn’t know if he’d been in his house the whole time or if he had left and gone out, he just didn’t know. He had me flush all his weed and get rid of any evidence for him.

    After some more battles, he eventually got fully sober. He hasn’t had a drink or anything else in five or six years, but I know it would just take one beer for him. He’s got a highly addictive personality, but I think he’s come to terms with that now.

    I’m not sure where I’m going with this except to say that there’s danger in about anything we could do. Most seem to think pot is no big deal and that it just be fully legal etc, but I guess I’m just reminding everyone that there are dangers to it as well, and I hate the booze Vs weed argument. When misused, they’re both bad news for you. Let’s stop playing the game of justifying pot use by saying how bad alcohol is for you. They both can be beneficial or enjoyable, or they both can ruin your life.

    Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Sounds like Davidson by about 12 to me.

    • BS says:

      Sounds like that dude has some problems that are only tangentially related to consumption of drugs.

    • Markus Aurelius says:

      thanks for sharing. I agree with the sentiment generally. To put a spin on an old phrase, ‘two vices don’t make a virtue.’

      I may be wrong, but right now it seems unlikely to me that legalizing marijuana is going to somehow be a net gain for society. However, we will see over time what impact, if any (positively or negatively) it has on communities in Oregon and Colorado.

      I completely disagree with Greg that we need to get this whole thing figured out now. Does it create confusion and disparity? Sure, but the advantage outweighs these costs, IMO. One of the beauties of this country is the idea of states’ rights and the ability to have states serve as cultural petri dishes for legal and cultural changes. I am dumbfounded by the notion that we need legal and cultural consistency across all 50 states. Freedom of movement is imbedded into our founding documents – if you don’t like a certain part of the US, you are free to go somewhere else that suits your own values, goals, and desires better. Let’s see how it plays out and let’s allow the people in other states to choose their own values.

      The trend since the early 90’s to “nationalize” our perspective on everything, while perhaps easy for enforcement of laws, is not healthy in the long run.

      • Jim says:

        Just playing Devil’s advocate here, Marcus. Wouldn’t it make more sense if the Fed’s treated it MORE like alcohol? Case in point: The federal government says alcohol is legal. However, individual counties and municipalities in all states can choose to be “dry” or “wet”. It’s the exact opposite with weed. Fed says it’s a Class 1 narcotic and illegal in all 50 states, yet certain states are running completely against federal law. Just seems to be a really stupid way to approach the whole issue.

      • Brummy says:

        It seems to me, based on polls I’ve seen, many favor legalization because of the cost of being arrested v. its impact on society – impact being equal to or less than other legal activities (drinking). Sure there are the arguments of financial benefits (taxes, reduced impact on legal system…) but most moderate thinking sees the law(s) as a product hippy-backlash more than logic.

        Markus, I agree with many of your points (states rights) but the problem with that argument is the conflicting issue of state v. federal law. States rights only go so far; slavery wasn’t officially abolished in Mississippi until 2013.

        I’ve known many people who smoke but have never heard of anyone going days of lost memory. I would be VERY surprised if that guy wasn’t doing something else.

  10. Greg, if you’ve never been attacked by somebody high on weed, then you need to some freakier friends.

  11. Juan Pablo says:

    GH: KSU is in an absolute no-lose situation. And the upside of a win over a mere eight seed would be wildly memorable for KSU and Weber’s resume.

    Weber needs KSU to keep it a close or win it. last year Weber choked against a 13 seed La Salle in KC. Weber has won one NCAA tournament game in his last 5 trips to the dance. Another bad showing by Weber and his seat starts to get warm. Weber’s resume looks like a disaster.

    FYI there are still tickets for sale for St. Louis. not sold out yet.
    Few KSU fans travel for Basketball. There were not that many KSU fans in KC for teh Big 12 tournament.

    • Kyle says:

      Agreed Mr. Bachelor. KSU is not in a no lose situation. If they lose, they end the season with 4 straight losses and a 2nd straight first round exit. If that’s good enough for the AD, then I feel bad for KSU basketball fans

  12. Kyle says:

    I guess Nate could be right about weed being an advantage for Denver, but don’t NFL players get drug-tested regularly and isn’t weed still on a banned substances list? The NFL’s rules supersede Colorado state law for players, I would think?

    I don’t have a clue what to expect out of KU. I’ve picked them to lose to New Mexico in brackets and I’ve picked them to go to the Final Four. I’m a bit worried about any team that hits a lot of 3’s because that’s the great equalizer in the Tournament.

    Gun to my head, my Final Four is Florida, Michigan State, Arizona and Louisville. Florida wins the title.

    • Kyle says:

      Kyle you need to put your last name back on there. Don’t make those morons make you change.

    • mike t. says:

      same as mine but I foolishly, I think, picked Duke over Mich St.

    • carelessdonkey says:

      From what I’ve heard the testing for recreational drugs in the NFL is a joke and players know well ahead of time when they have to take it. So even if the NFL has its own rules, players would have far more freedom to use marijuana in Colorado without having to worry about any legal repercussions. So I think it is definitely a major advantage.

  13. Smith says:

    Range Rovers

  14. Your Friend & Mine says:

    If Missouri makes it to the NIT Semi-Final game, will they be allowed/ashamed to hang their first Final Four Banner?

  15. BlackJack says:

    By virtue of being the first (and only) state to legalize it, I think in the next 5 years we will come to realize Colorado (and Washington state) will have reaped the rewards of 1) more tax revenue, 2) higher tourism rates (no pun intended), more people moving to Colorado, and 3) law enforcement being freed up to fight actual real crime.

    By all accounts, and all studies, moderate usage of weed is less harmful than moderate alcohol consumption, and does have some tangible medical benefits. Once a few years’ time passes and Colorado serves as the ‘case study’, it is inevitable that the rest of the states will have to jump on board as well. States like Missouri and Kansas can hold out all they want, but they risk becoming even less attractive as a potential residence for young people, progressives and liberals – if that is even possible.

  16. Roger Goodell says:

    Swisher Sweets? Let’s hope they were the wood-tipped ones and not the crap plastic cigarillos.

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