Home State All-Stars, The Finals

The long awaited day has finally arrived.  Which Cyclone Home State All Star team will emerge victorious in our hypothetical tournament?  With our five panelists the brackets have shaken out a little bit differently, but the overriding theme is New York and Michigan.  Only Klay Edwards has selected a different matchup for the championship game.
Because all five panelists selected brackets independently and as a result there are some variances, for this round we’ll go through the selections made by each panelist. 
The Williams Bracket
The Williams Bracket
In the beginning Chris was the only one brave (if we’re being nice) enough to pick a first round upset by taking Indiana over Illinois.  In the end, though, he ended up with a popular matchup for the title game.
Here’s his pick: 
Too much. New York has too much of everything for any of these teams to hang with. They are my champs.
That’s one vote for New York.
The Blum Bracket
The Blum Bracket
Thus far through the tournament, Blum’s bracket has been awfully chalky.  It’s hard to blame him though when you compare the top four teams to the bottom for and then the top two teams to the next two.  The New York vs Michigan matchup is the battle of the Cyclone titans of yesteryear. 
Here’s how Brent envisions the championship: 
This matchup has me as giddy as Charlie Sheen at an adult actress convention. I’m half tempted to make a mock box score* and everything. But I will withhold you all from that disaster. The Rucker park duo of Tinsley/Stinson is impossible to ignore. How do you pick against those guys? Well, here’s how. They shot a combined 31 percent from long range in their career. And the best outside threat for New York is an inconsistent Rahshon Clark coming off the bench.
Everybody in the Michigan starting lineup can stroke the three-ball. Michigan packs it in on defense, double teaming Don Smith and Bill Cain on all catches and not allowing the Rucker Park duo get into the lane. Michigan is an offensive juggernaut that cannot be slowed down. They hold on and win a thriller.
That’s one vote for Michigan.
*Blum said that he wouldn’t subject you to it, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t.  A matchup of all-time great Cyclone players is not complete without a fictional box score.  Plus, I had some behind the scenes clamoring for it.  For my box score I’ll go with my own score prediction from the game without counting my pick in the “official” tally.  

During my exercise I independently filled out the box score in order to determine which team would win…probably as good as any with such a tight match up.  I came out with a 107-104 victory for New York.

The Edwards Bracket
The Edwards Bracket
The man of dissention, the Morning Sun flat top, Klay Edwards’ bracket shook out differently than everyone
else.  He was the only one of the five to side with the Roland Rocket and vote for The Mayor.  Whether you attribute his pick to a bit of personal bias (he’s the only member of our panel that is also playing in the tournament—although Blum nearly made it) Klay stood strong and picked Iowa in an upset over Michigan in the semifinals.
A familiar foe, New York, awaits them to battle it out for the title.  Here’s how Klay sees it going down: 
Tinsley and Stinson start the game tearing up the Iowa man to man defense and stretch a lead to 15 early on.  Iowa’s heady leaders of Hoiberg and Thompson decide to throw a zone out and go big which leads to New York turning it over and forcing up poor perimeter shots.  Iowa slowly gets back into the game and Hoiberg nails a three at the buzzer to give Iowa the victory.
That’s one vote for Iowa.
The Heft Bracket
The Heft Bracket
Chalk has been a favorite amongst the panelists and that is also true for former Cyclone assist king and current play by play man, Eric Heft.  He also advanced the better of the seeds in every matchup to end up with a Michigan vs New York title game.
Here is Heft’s conclusion of the tournament:
The teams were obviously well-seeded but this one could see an upset. There’s so much talent on both teams. But I have to pick one and I’m going to make one assumption—that this game is played in Hilton. Tinsley never lost there, and that makes NY the pick.
That’s second vote for New York.
The Walters Bracket
The Walters Bracket
The play by play voice of the Cyclones was another that picked the better seed all the way to the finals, but does that continue the whole way through?  Will he pick Michigan so that we end up with the two way tie in our exercise?  Or will the New York native stay firm with his home state team? 
Here’s the pick:
An unbelievable display of athleticism and talent. Michigan led by 14 midway through the first half, on the strength of Barry Stevens’ 17 first-half points. But, New York cut the deficit to three by halftime. Rahshon Clark’s tip-dunk at the buzzer electrified the crowd. “I looked up” claimed Lefty Moore, who was in the paint at the time “and there was this object above me. I kind of ducked because I wasn’t sure what it was. By the time I realized it was Rahshon, it was too late.” New York assistant coach Wayne Morgan said “Rahshon is a great white shark. He has the heart of a lion.” 
The second half was equally entertaining with the lead changing hands 12 times. John Crawford’s layup with 35 seconds left put New York in front, 99-98. But Grayer answered with a running one-hander with nine seconds left to put Michigan back in front. New York called time out, and head coach Larry Eustachy set up a play to get the ball in the hands of Don Smith. Tinsley ignored the call, and found Vince Brewer on a back-door cut for the game winner. “I love Larry” Tinsley said, “but when the game’s on the line, I have to trust my instincts. It was just another play in another gym. No big deal”. New York 101, Michigan 100.
The game brought out an emotional response from New York assistant coach, Matt Abdelmassih, who was seen shedding several tears while walking out of the arena signing “New York, New York!”
There’s a third vote for New York.
The final tally for selected champions is New York 3, Michigan 1, and Iowa 1.  There is absolutely nothing definitive to anything regarding this process, but it was at least entertaining for me and hopefully for you and our panelists as well.
A special thanks to all five of the panelists that took the time to participate in this cockamamie process.
If you have any content suggestions for something similar to this or for anything at all you can track me at kirk.haaland@gmail.com

This entry was posted in Basketball, Brent Blum, Chris Williams, Eric Heft, Home State All Stars, Iowa State Basketball, John Walters. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Home State All-Stars, The Finals

  1. Ryan says:

    I like Blum’s pick. New York is (maybe?) the more athletic team, but it’s not by much and all those guys from Michigan can score from almost anywhere on the floor (with the possible exception of Big Vic). I mean you have two of the top three scoreres of all time on one team! You have Hayes and Moore on the bench! On the bench! I don’t see Michigan losing. Especially if they got up at any point by more than 8 points. Tinsley and Stinson would probably start arguing with each other and jacking up awful shots (anyone remember the NCAA tourney game against UNC in 2005???). I think Michigan takes it.

    As an aside, I didn’t realize that Tinsley never lost in Hilton. That’s crazy.

  2. mookjnsn says:

    Very enjoyable work! Thank you! Go Cyclones!

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