Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kinda Looking Ahead

OK no disrespect to Morehead State, as if they would ever read this but despite being laughed at by my fellow Card fans I am slightly worried with a whoever the Cards are to meet in the second round, Ohio State or Siena. I might be over thinking myself and I hope I am completely wrong but here are a few reasons why these teams make me worried.

Lets start with the Buckeyes. I am a fan of head coach Thad Matta, yes he had three first rounds picks on his team when he coached Ohio State to the finals but the fact remains he got there. And lets not forget Matta is 1-0 against Louisville and Pitino in the NCAA Tournament, beating the Cards in the first round of the 2004 tourney, Matta then of course was with Xavier but the Cards did blow a 14 point lead in that game. While Romain Sato and Lional Chambers combined for 51 points for Xavier. Ohio State is a solid team but young. They have beaten Michigan State (yes I know the Spartans are overrated but still a good team), Notre Dame, and Butler this season and Sophomore swing man Evan Turner can play. Not the best outside shooter, Turner is a pure slasher. He is averaging 17.1 points, 7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. He (Turner) had a good Big Ten Tournament run before OSU lost to Purdue in the finals. The third thing that worries me about Ohio State is Freshman center B.J. Mullins. OK, I know he (Mullins) is putting up just 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds a game. But this 7 footer is most likely heading to the NBA Draft and has shown flashes this season of why he is doing so. He put up 16 points and grabbed 6 rebounds against Michigan State. He is soft and isn't a very good rebounder. He doesn't start and is averaging only 20 minutes a game. So why does this he scare me? He has a great 17 foot jump shot and can out the ball on the floor as well. His abilities, if he plays like he can, are very dangerous against a 2-3 zone. On the flip side though, Ohio State's guards are very turnover happy and should struggle against Louisville's pressure. Against the Buckeyes the Cards must control the tempo or they could get a scare.

That takes me to Siena. What about this game wouldn't scare any team's fans? This is a talented team that brought back all 5 starters from last years team that manhandled Vanderbilt and then gave Villanova all they wanted. None of those starters more impotent then MAAC POY Kenny Hasbrouck. He is one of 4 starters averaging double figures, putting up 14.8 points a game. He is also the Saints only real 3 point threat. Siena loves to play up and down which would definitely play into Louisville's favor. I don't think they (Saints) have the horses to run with Louisville especially after playing that style a day before against Ohio State. That was what hurt them (Siena) last season against Villanova in the second round, ran out of gas.

I would rather have the Cards get a match-up with Siena in the second round, again no hard feelings Morehead, because of there style. If this were a first round game I would be a lot more willing to avoid Siena but let them run all over the Buckeyes and then the Cards will just do alittle Rope-a-Dope before putting them away on their path to the sweet sixteen.

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