Sports 56 WHBlog Q

March 26, 2008

Tournament Picks and One-Legged Women

Filed under: ncaa tourney — Tags: , , , — Will Askew @ 10:59 am

Reading Eli Savoie’s post has given me a sudden burst of creativity and ambition to write a post (or maybe it was just guilt over having not posted yet). At any rate, the Sweet Sixteen is here, and I need to break down the games.

East Region:

In my mind, this is the toughest region left, simply because all of the chalk has advanced. The fact that UNC, Tennessee, and Louisville are all in this region is kind of ridiculous, because I think these are three Final Four-caliber teams. Washington State is pretty darn good also.

UNC vs. Washington State:
Washington State is a heck of a defensive team, and has really good guard play in Kyle Weaver and Derrick Low (not that one). However, they’ve struggled against teams with NBA talent so far this year, losing to UCLA twice, Arizona twice, and Stanford three times. That doesn’t bode well for Washington State in this game, because Carolina has as much talent as anyone in the country. In order to win, Kyle Weaver needs to lock down Wayne Ellington, and Derrick Low needs to have a huge game offensively. Tyler Hansbrough will get his, Ty Lawson will penetrate, and Carolina just has too many weapons.

Final: UNC 72, Washington St. 63

Louisville vs. Tennessee:
This is a real shame, because these two teams are Final Four caliber. Louisville is easily the best 3 seed in the tournament, and talent-wise, are a top 5 team. If not for injuries, they’re a 2 seed at worst. Tennessee hasn’t been as intense defensively lately, but I think they’ve been getting a bad rap-Butler is a heck of a basketball team. Louisville has crushed two opponents, but Oklahoma was much closer to a 10 seed in my mind than they were to a 6. Don’t know what the committee was thinking on that one. Everyone seems to think Louisville will win this game, but Tennessee has played with a lot of poise this year and has gone through the toughest schedule in the country with only 4 losses. Louisville will force Tennessee to shoot from the outside, and the key to the game is whether or not they hit those shots. This is going to be a sloppy game with tons of turnovers, as both teams like to press.

Final: Tennessee 85, Louisville 82

Midwest Region:

This really couldn’t have worked out any better for Kansas. In my mind, Kansas is the most talented team in the country, with good players at every position starting and really good players in Sasha Kaun (Sa-Sasha Kaun) and Sherron Collins coming off the bench. I love Davidson and Stephen Curry, but let’s be honest here…who in this region matches up with Kansas?

Kansas vs. Villanova:
Villanova showed a lot of heart in their first round win over Clemson, down by double-digits early and fighting back to win. Villanova typically has good guard play, and this year is no different, with Scottie Reynolds, Dante Cunningham, and Corey Fischer…but really, how can you pick against Kansas here? Just too much talent.

Final: Kansas 78, Villanova 62

Davidson vs. Wisconsin:

I love Stephen Curry. Love his ability to shoot, love his ability to create, love the fact that he scores at crucial times, love that he hits almost 90% of his free throws, love his mom. She is hot. But I digress. And Davidson isn’t just Stephen Curry either. Their other guard, Jason Richards, is a pretty darn good player too. But the problem for Davidson here is that they are playing a team that I think is better defensively than Georgetown, and won’t take their foot off Davidson’s throat like Georgetown did. Wisconsin is a heck of a defensive team, and Davidson’s run ends here.

Final: Wisconsin 65, Davidson 58

South Region:

This is the second toughest region, next to the East. Memphis certainly has their work cut out for them, and the fact that it’s basically a home region for Texas isn’t working for them either. That being said…

Memphis vs. Michigan State:
Everyone seems to think Memphis will just waltz through this game into their third straight Elite 8. I don’t see it that way. Memphis is clearly the more athletic team, but Michigan State is a very, very good basketball team. They went through a bad stretch during February during which they struggled on the road, but if you take that out, they’re a top 10 team. But you can’t take that out. Antonio Anderson needs to lock down Drew Neitzel, and the Tigers (Dorsey, Dozier, and Taggart especially) need to figure out some way to hit their free throws, because Michigan State is very physical. However, I think that Raymar Morgan presents a bit of a matchup problem. All that being said, I think the Tigers are the better team.

Final: Memphis 73, Michigan State 68

Texas vs. Stanford:

This is a very interesting game, as Texas has terrific guards and Stanford has great big men. Stanford should win the rebounding battle, but if you actually look at the numbers, Texas is a pretty darn good rebounding team too. Damion James is a freak, DJ Augustin is awesome, AJ Abrams may be the best pure shooter in the country, and Connor Atchley is underrated. Brook and Robin Lopez have great games, but in the NCAA tournament, it’s all about guard play.

Final: Texas 74, Stanford 67

West Region:

I know UCLA has struggled in this region, but really. Give me one reason they won’t win. There’s not a team close to them left.

UCLA vs. Western Kentucky:

UCLA lost one game out of conference, and it was to Texas by 2 points. Western Kentucky has looked pretty good in the first two rounds, but UCLA makes you look bad. UCLA is just a better team…if anything stops them, it will be their health. Josh Shipp has strep throat, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has a sprained ankle.

Final: UCLA 76, WKU 60

Xavier vs. West Virginia

Xavier’s a nice team. I like Josh Duncan, and I like Drew Lavender. But it’s not like they’ve played the roughest schedule in the tourney up to this point…Georgia is a four-win SEC team, and Purdue is one of the worst 6 seeds I’ve ever seen. West Virginia has a legit NBA prospect in Joe Alexander, and even though he struggled to hit shots against Duke, they still won, getting a great effort from Joe Mazzula, who’s really not that good. West Virginia was very hot going into the tourney, and I don’t think that Xavier has anyone to matchup with Alexander.

Final: West Virginia 70, Xavier 67

So there you go. I’ll make my Elite Eight picks Saturday. One other thing I had to get off my chest. Some of you may have noticed that Heather Mills, Paul McCartney’s former wife, won $48.5 million in a divorce settlement last week. Since then, she claims to have incriminating tapes of McCartney saying God knows what, and is now seeking to prove that McCartney is worth double what he said he was in the divorce proceedings, and that she can’t raise their four year old daughter Beatrice on the meager $70,000 dollars she receives a year from the divorce. Maybe I’m just biased because I love the Beatles, but hey Heather…go the f%^$@ away. You may have won $48.5 mil, but that can’t buy you another leg. Sucks for you. Until 3:00, my friends.

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4 Comments »

  1. “Until 3:00, my friends”? Who are you, John McCain?

    Comment by Peter — March 27, 2008 @ 10:44 am

  2. No. I don’t have the mumps.

    Comment by williamaskew — March 27, 2008 @ 10:54 am

  3. Everyone seems to think Memphis will just waltz through this game into their third straight Elite 8. I don’t see it that way.”

    haha.

    Comment by andrew — March 29, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

  4. wow. i was wrong. shocking that someone could be wrong on a prediction.

    Comment by williamaskew — March 29, 2008 @ 4:16 pm


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