If you had a nickel for every time somebody described Georgia Tech as “talented,” you’d be Arthur Blank. The famous Dick Vitale grabbed me by the arm Sunday in Greensboro — Dick sometimes gets grabby — and said, “They have a lot of talent.” And who was I to disagree?
I mention this because Sporting News Today and ESPN.com trotted the “T” word in their NCAA tournament assessments of Tech. Wrote Mike Decourcy of SNT, who rated the Jackets the 12th-best team in the grid: “The Jackets have more individual talent than just about every team in the field. OK, so they don’t always use it.”
Wrote Ryan Fagan, also of SNT, in rating Tech eighth among 10 double-digit seeds that could make the Sweet Sixteen: “The Yellow Jackets have about as much talent as any team in the country, but they have the toughest draw of any No. 10 seed.”
Wrote Andy Katz of ESPN in his look at the Midwest Regional: “Oklahoma State-Georgia Tech should be the best watch of all the first-round games in the Midwest. There is NBA-level talent with [OSU's James] Anderson and Tech’s Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors. This game has the potential to come down to the closing moments and with neither team having the best decision-makers at lead guard, I have a feeling it could be a wild finish.”
More from Katz: “What’s the best second-round game? If No. 10 Georgia Tech were to play up to its potential and meet No. 2 Ohio State in the second round in Milwaukee that matchup would feature plenty of high-level talent. The Yellow Jackets are better than their seed but didn’t play well enough to earn a higher number.”
And let’s give kudos to Bill Trocchi of SI.com. He lists the Jackets third among double-digit seeds that could wreak bracket havoc, but he manages not to use the words “talent” or “talented.”
As someone who has fought the battle of the T-word all season — I’ve succumbed to the temptation of calling Tech “talented” a trillion times — I can only stand and applaud Mr. Trocchi’s restraint.
Oh, almost forgot: If you haven’t entered Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco, there’s still time. Click here and you’ll be on your way. (Warning: Polls close at noon Thursday.) And if you care to check my picks, they’re here.