Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mad Marchness Keeps Going

Well Louisville for the second time in as many games will be the last game to start. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts about today's up coming games....

- Cleveland State beating Wake Forest didn't completely shock me. I had picked them to win. The Vikings had to contend with three possible 1st round picks( Teague, Johnson, and Aminu) in their impressive win and did a pretty good job. Holding a team that came into the game averaging 81 points a game to just 69 points (third lowest this season). So why wouldn't it be a reasonable thought that Cleveland State couldn't takeout Arizona as well today. The Wildcats offer three possible 1st rounders as well in Hill, Wise, and Budinger. This game isn't as good of a match up though, Arizona is a much better shooting team and while Wake Forest's star trio are two Sophomores and a Freshman. Arizona's trio are all Juniors in their third straight tournament. None of Wake Forest's players had been in an NCAA tournament before this one and done season. I picked Cleveland State in my bracket to go to the sweet 16 (losing to Louisville) but I am slightly worried.

- Chris "Top Flight" Wright single handily beat West Virginia, scoring a career high 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Wright was a big time recruit three years ago and shunned the "big boys" to stay at home with Dayton but he has had injury problems. He looked plenty healthy on Friday night to me. Dayton's win and Wrights dominating performance should have come to no shock to any Cards fans that were witness to the Flyer's beating of Louisville last season, 70-65. Kansas's guards , most notably Sharron Collins should control this game. The Flyer's may need another monster game from Wright but they will need more then just him if they are going to knock off the Jayhawks.

- Who doesn't know that Southern Cal is on fire? Tim Floyd is a good coach and he has an abundance of weapons on this Trojan team. Are they on a roll or are they finally living up to the potential many people thought they had coming into this season. Yes they lost their top two scorers from last season (Mayo and Jefferson) but they are still stacked. Junior Taj Gibson is playing his best basketball right now (scary cause he is pretty good) to go along with the coming to life of heralded Freshman DeMar DeRozan. The Trojans must win the turnover battle if they want to upset Michigan State. Even though I don't really consider it a huge upset regardless of each teams "seeding". USC turns the ball over 14 times a game compared to just 12 assists a game.

- History tells us that number 1 seeds that struggle in the first round don't hang around much longer. Pittsburgh might be getting nervous. They needed the monster know as DeJuan Blair to basically save them against ETSU but that isn't going to fly from here on out. I have been a huge fan of Senior point guard Levance Fields this season, so it came as a shock to me to see him play so awful (by his standards) in the Panthers opening game. Oklahoma State has won 9 of their last 11 games. They (OSU) can put up points (81 a game). This should be an interesting game since the Cowboys are a much smaller team, their top five scorers are guards and while they average 35 rebounds as a team, their top individual rebounder is 6'5 guard Obi Muonelo at 7.3 a game. If Oklahoma State can spread the floor and not allow Blair to dominate the way he can, then they just might pull off the upset. I wonder if OSU and Head Coach Travis Ford can knock off #1 Pitt on their way to the sweet 16 and UK loses in the second round of the NIT, how long before the Big Blue faithful start wanting the former Cats point guard as coach?

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