On Friday, I described the Saturday's first game of the 2011 NCAA Tournament Final Four between the No. 8-seeded Butler Bulldogs and No. 11 VCU Rams as amaculous. The word was created by mashing the words, "amazing" and "miraculous", which may not be an accurate description of how Butler (27-9) and VCU (28-11) got to Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX. The unpredicted pairing, which is set to tip off at 6:06 p.m. on CBS, forces me to choose between what great story will move on to play either No. 3 Connecticut Huskies or No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats (8:49 p.m. on CBS), and which one will conclude.
Really, this is the first prediction piece I've written for the this year's NCAA Tournament that the result will be a win-win for me because: a) I am not specifically rooting for a certain team just a good game (which a predict will happen); b) Even if I get the prediction wrong (which WILL happen) I will be happy with the result. Either way, I am like Charlie Sheen (#winning) because the Bulldogs or Rams will get their shot at college basketball's championship.
(Quick note: This is also why I am not angry that both Cinderellas are playing each other in the semifinals, because I want to see this entertaining match-up -- not just hope that it happens. And, I also want to see the underdog play a big-name program for the title -- which will happen in this case.)
Which bring me to this piece's public services announcement: DON'T BET ON THIS GAME.
Unless you're a Butler basketball fan or a VCU basketball fan, you want this game to be just pure enjoyment. If one team is trailing, you want the other team to rally. If the game comes down to the final possession, hope the trailing team hits a game-tying shot to send the game into overtime. Try not to root against, but enjoy the Bulldogs well-oiled and fluid offense and defense. Try not to root against, but enjoy the Rams fast-paced offense and pressing defense. This is a once in a lifetime sporting event that features two great storylines that are almost impossible to root against. And, if you bet on the game then all of this will go away. Why would you want that to happen?
Prediction: However, if you don't want to listen to my PSA then take Butler because the Bulldogs have been here before and they have the better players, which is always the key in big games like this. Final score: Butler 58, VCU 54.
Va. Commonwealth Rams
@ Butler Bulldogs
Saturday, Apr 2, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT
Reliant Stadium - Houston, Texas