Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NCAA Tournament Preview

Here you go, the moment we've all been waiting for. March Madness starts tommorow and I think I know who's going to win. Since I'm a nice guy, I'll tell you what I know (or think I know. I'm an idiot by the way.) . As always 60% of the time, I'm right every time.

Midwest Region

Teams that could go deep
Florida – The Gators cruised this season to a 29-5 record. There isn’t much that I can say that hasn’t been said about them. This is the same team that won last year and they can turn it on at will. They will get a rematch against Kansas, who defeated them 82-80 early in the season, the National Semifinals. The winner of that game will win it all.
Oregon – The Ducks are one of the most exciting teams in college basketball. Aaron Brooks was somebody who was in the running for P.O.Y. early, and he’s regained his swagger. They are a deep team on the perimeter and are too athletic for everyone in this region. Except Florida.
Teams that should fall early
Wisconsin – The Badgers have been struggling lately. This isn’t the same team without Brian Butch. There has been too much pressure on Alando Tucker and Kamron Taylor, who have looked tired lately. Don’t be surprised if they lose to the UNLV/Georgia Tech winner.
Butler – The Butler Bulldogs have been exposed. Yes, they are a good team, but no, they are not a Top 25 team. They have been eating off their Preseason NIT win, when it comes to respect and national recognition. If ODU doesn’t get them, Davidson will.
Mid-Major Report
Butler – They can shoot the three and they play hard, but the magic is gone. ODU should handle them.
Old Dominion – Before they slipped in the CAA Semifinals, Old Dominion had won 12 games in a row. They have great balance offensively, they play good defense, and they are the best coached team in the CAA hands down. Sweet 16 is a possibility.
Davidson – Davidson only lost four games this season; on the road against Michigan, Missouri, and Duke, and at home to Appalachian State. They can play with the big boys, and freshman Stephen Curry is the truth. However, they are a young team and will make a little noise this year before blowing up next year.
Winthrop – Winthrop is the better version of Davidson. They have more experience and more quality wins, and they even took Wisconsin to overtime in Wisconsin. If it wasn’t for Oregon in their way, they’d have a good chance at an Elite Eight run.
UNLV­ – I don’t know much about this team, but they do have a very high RPI despite a lack of big wins against major conference teams. It’s a crap shoot between them and Georgia Tech.

West Region

Teams that could go deep
Kansas – Kansas has the horses to get the job done and they seem to be putting it together at the right time. They do everything well and in my opinion; they are right behind Florida for the team that has the best chance of winning it all.
UCLA – While the Bruins have decent big men, they will only go as far as their guards. Their defense is a great one to lean on, but Aaron Afflalo, Josh Shipp, and Darren Collison are they keys to victory. They could very well win it all as well.
Teams that should fall early
Duke – This is the worst Duke team I’ve ever seen. They can’t do much right and they’re the easiest upset pick in the entire bracket.
Pitt – Pittsburgh has always seemed overrated to me. They do play good defense and have a lot of talent, but they’ve been struggling as of late. They just don’t seem to have it all together, at a time where that’s most important.
Mid-Major Report
Southern Illinois – Southern Illinois is a very good mid-major team. They’re probably not as good as advertised, but they definitely have a Sweet 16 run in them. They’ve already defeated their potential second round opponent Virginia Tech during the regular season.
VCU­ – VCU was the class of the CAA all season. They have one of the best guard trios and they can fill it up. If they are making their shots, they have a Sweet 16/Elite 8 run in them for sure.
Gonzaga – I’m not sure how I feel about the ‘Zags. They’ve struggled all year, with and without Josh Heytvelt. They shouldn’t get past the second round at the farthest.

East Region

Teams that could go deep
N. Carolina – Carolina is the most talented team in America, top to bottom. The only thing that will stop them is their lack of experience. If they bring most of these guys back next year, you can pencil them in as champs.
Texas – Kevin Durant. He is the embodiment of Adidas slogan “Impossible is Nothing.”
Washington St. – Defensive teams do better against teams who are not familiar with their style of play than others, at least in my book. Therefore, playing hard defense on a neutral four, Washington St. is a potential Final Four sleeper.
Georgetown – They are clicking at the right time. They have excellent size and decent guard play. They are the most efficient team in the country, according to Ken Pomeroy’s statistics. They have an excellent chance to win it all.
Teams that should fall early
Not many upset prospects here.
Mid-Major Report
No mid-major teams of significance here.

South Region

Teams that could go deep
Ohio State – Winners of 17 in a row, they definitely have the guns to get the job done. It’s solely a matter of experience and poise.
Texas A&M – Acie Law replaced Aaron Brooks as my favorite college player a long time ago. Basically, he’s a smarter, taller, tougher Damon Stoudemire. He’s also ambidextrous. The rest of the Aggies can play defense and shoot the three too. I like them to do big things this year.
Teams that should fall early
Tennessee – I’m a big Chris Lofton fan, but I haven’t been a fan of their play this year. They just look lethargic and uninspired, which is a no-no for tournament victories.
Memphis – Their conference will be the death of them, again. After playing the best of the best non-conference, the Tigers played the worst of the worst in conference. They’ll go home very early.
Mid-Major Report
BYU – I don’t know much about them, and I’m still trying to figure out how their RPI is so high. If they win, they’ll lose to Ohio State anyway.
Xavier – Xavier is always a scrappy team, but that’s not enough. If they win, they’ll lose to Ohio State anyway.
Long Beach State – I know nothing about these guys, but I’m picking them to upset Tennessee. Go figure.
Nevada – Nevada might be an Elite 8 in any bracket except this one. They definitely have a major-caliber team.
Creighton – The Jays are a good team and should give Nevada fits. I have too much confidence in Nick Fazekas to ever pick against him, at least this early.

Final Four
Florida vs. Kansas
North Carolina vs. Texas A&M

Championship Game
Florida vs. Texas A&M

Florida – The Gators will reign again as National Champions, their “Big Four” will head to the NBA Draft, and Billy Donovan will reload.

Top 10 Teams with best chance to win it all
Florida – One of the most talented teams.
Kansas – On fire lately.
Texas A&M – Acie Law IV.
North Carolina – Deepest team hands down.
Georgetown – Best offense in America.
Ohio State – Thad Five can really play, they’re most just Greg Oden.
UCLA – Made the same run last year, this year its revenge.
Texas – Kevin Durant
Washington St. – Defense wins championships.
Virginia – Reynolds and Singletary

Now lets see how wrong I was about this.

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