While it's incredibly obvious to everyone in America that Kansas has a "Rock Chalk Cakewalk" to the Final Four, we thought it wise to pause for just a few moments to look at the seasons of the toe jam currently left in the Southwest bracket, if only to pretend like they possess the dignity for us to cast our eyes upon their lowly, fallen states. We plotted the efficiency margins of each the four remaining teams in the Southwest bracket to get a sense of where each team was headed. Let's look at the tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum matchup from the late game first.
FSU was dominating even crappier teams than they earlier in the season, but once they got to the ACC, they became Dr Jekyl or Mr Hyde, while keeping their five game rolling average (the black line) pretty consistent. Remarkably, without Chris Singleton, they're arguably playing their most consistent ball of the year. They are on an unusual uptick. Math would suggest that they'll regress to the mean a bit, which would suggest more potential for a loss on Friday, but let's look at their pathetic opponent before making any judgments.
These losers, like FSU, have shown a dualistic personality throughout the year, but their execrable season looks more like a sine wave. None of their players probably know what a sine wave is, because they are too crappy of people to merit the Jayhawks' attention, but you can see that at different phases of the season (or perhaps the moon), they've smoothly transitioned from bad, to slightly less worse, to really bad and now to almost ordinary. While we would normally say that FSU is due a fall, VCU is demonstrating play right now that is unprecedentedly good. Can they keep it up? In all seriousness, probably not.
Boring. Predictable. Richmond, peppered with seniors who will spend a majority of their lives wearing special order dockers from Levi's Big and Tall, their eyes blurred from staring at someone else's spreadsheet, is the most consistent bunch of chumps left in the Southwest. Never too hot, or too cold, they are just their remarkably ordinary selves. This is basically the narrative of their season: "Why yes these are iron-free, stain resistant cotton pants. My wife bought them for me. I have twelve pairs of them. If I lose one of them on Friday, I still have eleven other pairs that I can wear until life in a crappy office chair necessitates that I get twelve new pairs with slightly larger waistlines." No one is reading this sentence, because everyone has been put to sleep by Richmond's season.
We lost three players to the NBA draft. To infer only from fan comments on public message boards our starting five is made up of a couple of white kids who aren't athletic enough for big time basketball. The other guys are knuckleheads who should be kicked off the team. A semantic analysis of fan tone would tell one that this season has been a disappointment. And yet this team has won 34 of 36 games. Put an asterisk on one of those losses too, because UT would not have beat KU if not for the loss of Thomas Robinson's mother. And yet, this is the worst 34-2 team in history. Believe what you read people, despite the fact that we are playing against three animate turds, we will lose, because we're just not that good. We don't have enough focus to beat teams, except for the 34 we've already beaten.
Our Prediction: Kansas emerges from the region only because the other teams don't deserve to be in the NCAA tournament, feeling, appropriately, like the worst 36 win team in college basketball history, prepared to lose in the Final Four to a Wisconsin team that plays so slow they couldn't make 100 baskets in an hour on an empty court on six rims.