Above is pictured the first-edition cover of a fantastic book, Walter Miller, Jr.’s “A Canticle For Liebowitz.” Be warned, even I found it a tad dark (and square on the nose social commentary, which made it all the more chilling). But one will also feel like a Jesuit-by-osmosis afterwards, which is the tie-in for tonight’s commenting. For ’tis Easter Eve, and celebrants or no, we are faithfully hoping for an all-Jesuit final of Loyola-Chi**** v. Villanova. Because fuck Michigan, and especially fuck Kansas (though thanks for beating Duke). I’m sure Jesus Himself would agree, and consider it a fine early Resurrection Day present.
#11(S) Loyola-Chi**** (+5.5, +230) v. #3(W) Michigan (6:09, TBS)
Both of these teams play solid defense, but the Ramblers’ is a touch above that. In the tourney especially, it’s been nothing short of fantastic. Should they continue to have flawless offensive motion like they did in the Flacco Eight, then Loyola is the value play here, not just the sentimental one. Michigan still relies too much on the 3, and chucker teams can always go cold. The one issue to watch is whether the Wolverines can successfully leverage their size advantage into a rebounding mismatch. That would likely turn the tide in their favour, and set Hippo a-drinkin. But surely we can get Sister Jean to the finals, at least!
#1(E) Villanova v. #1(MW) Kansas (+5, +180) (8:49, TBS)
Let’s appreciate for a moment the difference between this and the ladies’ dance, where all #1 seeds advanced. A fun tournament has to have a mixture of power and entropy (ok, I’d be fine with ALL entropy), and so far the Goliath factor has come from Villanova. They’re really good, y’all. Have been all season. Kansas…is more up and down, even during games. They almost pissed away a huge lead against both Seton Hall and Clemson, and needed a certain tripping enthusiast to choke in the Flacco Eight. It’s a sign of great respect for both Loyola and ‘Nova that the Jayhawks are a half-point away from as big an underdog as the Ramblers in this round despite the 1 seed and the pedigree. And I don’t have any cash on this moneyline (and did nae when they were +200 and +195, respectively).