Friday, March 23, 2007

Previewing the NCAA Tournament:
Tonight: Sweet 16 Day 2

Let's get right to tonight's games:

(A.M. Quickie below or click here.)

(1) Florida vs. (5) Butler.
A year ago, Florida's toughest game of their run to the title was at this stage – the Sweet 16 – against a vastly underrated 7-seed Georgetown. Butler is no Georgetown, but they do enough systemic things – pesky defense and lots of 3s – that I'm very nervous about the game. I think Butler may have trouble with Florida's perimeter defense. (The Gators' loss to 3-happy Tennessee earlier this season could be a template, but Butler doesn't play nearly the frantic style the Vols did, which was at least as critical to UT's win over UF as the shooting.)
Bracket/Gut Pick: Florida.

(2) Georgetown vs. (6) Vanderbilt. (East)
In the second game of the season, the Hoyas beat Vandy at Vandy. This isn't the same Vandy team, but it isn't the same Georgetown team, either. I'll be interested to see what Vandy star Derrick Byars can do against that Georgetown defense. This won't be a blowout: Having already thumped Florida earlier this season, it's not like Vanderbilt will be scared by Georgetown's size and speed.
Bracket/Gut pick: Georgetown.

(3) Oregon vs. (7) UNLV. (Midwest)
The most trendy analysis of the week is that Oregon is this year's Florida. The second-most trendy analysis of the week is that UNLV is last year's Georgetown. Keep in mind that in last year's Sweet 16 game, last year's Florida was a last-gasp basket away from losing to last year's Georgetown. Confused yet? Good.

Bracket pick: UNLV*
Gut pick: Oregon.

(* - I had Georgia Tech winning in this spot on my bracket, so I feel like the right thing to do is maintain the limited remaining integrity of my bracket and pick the team slotted to play Oregon in Georgia Tech's place.)

(1) UNC vs. (5) USC. (East)
What does it say when USC's top storyline this week is that its top recruit for next season is a huge douchebag? As with every team who has played UNC so far, the Trojans will have a hell of a time with UNC's (a) size, (b) depth and (c) speed.
Bracket/gut pick: UNC.

Sneak peek at the Regional Finals:

West: (2) UCLA over (1) Kansas. I'm still waiting for Bill Self's inevitable Tournament collapse. Seeing the trouble that KU had with SIU's defense, I think the Bruins handle the Jayhawks, similar to the way they handled a KU-like Memphis team in the Elite Eight last year.

South: (1) Ohio State over (2) Memphis. I still can't buy Memphis in the Final Four. And after watching OSU over the last two thrilling games, I think they're destined to make the Final Four.

So: Who are YOUR picks and why?

-- D.S.

23 comments:

CMFost said...

My Picks:
Tonight:
Florida
Georgetown
UNC
Oregon

Saturday:
Kansas
Ohio State

Sunday:
Oregon
UNC

The reason for my picks, this is what I need to happen to win the cash!!

kway34 said...

My Picks:
Tonight:
Florida
Georgetown
UNC
Oregon

Saturday:
UCLA
Ohio State

Sunday:
Florida
Georgetown

Same reason as cm, that's what I need to happen to win the $$$.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

My picks:

UF over Butler: As much as Dan's homerism for them they are going to be to tough for Butler.

G'Town over Vandy: Similar to Dan's reasoning neither team is the same from earlier in the year and I think Georgetown can defend the 3 which will hurt Vandy.

Oregon over UNLV: I think Oregon is more explosive than Wisconsin and will not get behind the way Wisconsin did.

UNC over USC: As much as I hate to do it I will take UNC. USC is going against a talented team with a great coach, unlike Texas who was a talented team with a mediocre coach. UNC will blow USC off the floor will probably be the worst game of the night.

Regional finals:
OSU over Memphis: I think that OSU needs to run more and not try to get into a half court game were they dump it down to Oden and tries to score or kicks it out. They are much better when Conley is allowed to run up and down the court.

KU over UCLA: I am riding KU all the way they were the team I picked in the Quickie challenge and even with a scare from SIU I think they will be able to handle UCLA's pressure and make it to the Final Four.

pv845 said...

Dan is it possible that you have a bias against the Jayhawks? I mean are you seriously picking the UCLA Bruins to beat the Hawks? I know it is in California, but come on man? KU wins by at least 15. UCLA does not play with anywhere near the intensity of So.Ill. UCLA has about the same level of offense. KU is vastly superior on both ends of the floor. Come on though. No you are picking against them just to spite them for beatin So Ill and screwing up your bracket.

Spartacus said...

Dan, will it take Memphis making the championship game (or possibly winning the whole thing) for you to stop doubting them? You've steadfastly refused to give them an inkling of respect all season. What exactly is it that drives your dislike of them?

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

I am Spartacus. Dan never gives reasons for his dislike of certain teams. We all know that he likes Florida because his wife likes Florida even though neither of them went to school there.

Brian in Oxford said...

Nothing worse when your only shot at cash (which I've spent, as the poolmaster...I'll have to hit an ATM to pay the winner) has you conflicted between who you want (GTown) and who you picked (UNC).

I still don't trust Georgetown. At some point they're going to lose....but when?! Maybe tonight. I'm still 75-25 thinking they'll win, but eesh.

UNC should have no problem....and if we think UCLA has it made playing in Cali, then USC's going to be screwed up playing in the Meadowlands.

UCLA's gameplan is to make you look bad, and usually they're not even worse. Kansas should make them look worse, though.

Too bad Billy D. *knows* about Butler...if anything else, it should remind him to keep the foot on their throat.

Unless he's got his mind on Lexington, Dan!

jhawkjjm said...

UCLA plays good, but I don't think its nearly as physical as SIU's is. Kansas will be fine offensively having played a tough SIU team. The question is can UCLA score on KU's D?

Jennifer said...

I guess I should thank Dan for continually picking against the Jayhawks...You Memphis fans should too. It is as close as you can get to a Final Four ticket...Preach on, Shanoff!

jen said...

brian~ HAHA That's why I can't be the poolmaster...I always spend that cash in hand.

rafael said...

Chalk for tonight

EE picks:

Ohio State
UCLA

Oregon
UNC

chipp said...

Florida
Oregon
UNC
WSU

UCLA
OSU

Florida
WSU

Wait, Wazzu isn't in the tournament anymore?!?! Well, put Vandy in there instead. Actually, I just found out that all I need is UCLA in the Final Four and Florida to win it all to win my pool. Go Bruins!!

Actually, I think Kansas will be surprised (as will KU fans) by UCLA's athleticism. They're going to be tough for Florida (hopefully) as well.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

I need UNC to lose b/c since I drank the Kevin Durant kool-aid, I had them elite 8. I only see 1 person in my pool that has USC elite 8.

Oregon, Gtown, Kansas, OSU for me to win big moneys.

starkweather said...

Dan, I am confused by your hatred for Memphis. They're a good team in a crappy conference. They're win totals are a little inflated but not that much. Futurelegendvinceyoung: Georgetown's biggest weakness is guarding the three. If they could defend the three they'd be on a winning streak almost as long as Memphis.

Cycledan said...

Well I have 3 of my final 4 teams still alive (I picked Pitt) but I am right at the bottom of the pool right now. Great thing that there was no money on my lame ESPN predictions.

I was discussing with some friends how Kobe's recent performance ranks in individual streaks in major modern North American sports. His streak is up there in the top 10 and if he scores 50 in his 4 straight game then that might put him over the edge.

What would the equivalent be in MLB, NHL of the NFL? I would say scoring 5 TDs for 3 consecutive games in the NFL, hitting 3 home runs in a game for 3 consecutive games, or scoring 5 goals for 3 consecutive games.

There are entire seasons where nobody in the NBA scored 50 points. Kobe did it in 3 straight games. Nobody has ever scored more points in 3 straight games. That is a serious streak.

Ryan said...

Tonight:
Florida
Georgetown
Oregon (close)
Upset special: USC

Saturday:
Kansas
Ohio State

Sunday:
Florida
Georgetown

Ryan said...

Check that...I forgot USC was playing against an East Coast team in New Jersey. North Carolina will destroy the Trojans.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

cycle-Kobe's streak is impressive but critics will argue that all he has done the last 3 games is shoot the ball and become the selfish Kobe again. Even though Phillip finally realized that he needs Kobe to average 40-45 a game for the Lakers to have a shot of winning. Critics will also say that he has done it against 3 of the weaker teams and since it did not come against, Dallas, Phoenix or San Antonio that it is not that impressive.

Personally I am impressed when anyone scores over 45 let alone 50.

Matt T said...

I would love for UNLV to win, its huge chance to pick up some much needed points in the office pool.

cwhager527 said...

So tonight I have Florida, G'Town, UNC, and Oregon. I actually picked Oregon to the elite 8 originally, so I'm standing by that one. I think Floriday-Butler will be a better game than most people thing, and AJ Graves is going to turn even more heads. I'd like to see USC beat UNC, but that's just because I'm a hater there. Course, after reading about the OJ Mayo recruitment, I can't say USC is my favorite team either.

As for moving on from there, I like UCLA, Ohio State, Florida, Georgetown. Hibbert and Green are just better than what UNC can throw at them. And I think Oden finally shows up against Memphis, but that matchup with Dorsey will be fun to watch!

jp / john paul / paul said...

me:

gators- final four team

hoyas- final four team and my pick for the title

carolina - no texas? i'll take tyler (who's much better than mcroberts) i had texas here

unlv - i had ga tech here... never was that convinced of the ducks.

as for the elite 8:

UCLA: final 4 team... maybe they can stop a talented team like the jayhwaks

ohio state: i picked acie law... and karma dictates payback against memphis. besides, there will be a lot of angry aggies in san antonio.

OnlyInboards.com said...

let me get this straight, OSU has two lucky a** wins and it's "destiny" they make the final four. KU has one close win against a gritty SIU team (a 4 team nonetheless) and we are destined for a collapse?

Not making too much sense Dan. Why are you such a KU hater? Because we beat you this year?

Ferocious Bluebird said...

I really think we are going to see all 1 seeds in this final four. It would just make so much sense this year and it looks as if the refs want to make it happen.

Okay, I say this as someone who has lived in NC and actually is a Duke fan that does not hate UNC. I like them second to Duke, so i was going for them tonight. Before that one kid was called for the illegal pick I was worried. But I liked that feeling, just as I was worried when Tennesse lost last night. I am pissed that a ref took that feeling away and gave the game to UNC when I feel they could have won it on their guts and determination. it was such a shitty call and it affirms my beleif that the refs are truly sucking the higher seeds off in this tournament. But I truly couldn't imagine a more exciting Final Four than all the one seeds. lets be honest, they truly are the best teams and the selection committee got it right. But liking Tennesse schools I still would kind of like Memphis to get there, but fuck Vandy, little rich bitches. :)

I still wish Tennesse had won though. But since it didn't happen I am hoping for all one seeds to get to the Final Four. I think the basketball would be so ridiculously entertaining if that happened.