Saturday, March 18, 2006

Marching On

ACC flexes its muscle yesterday and is now 4-0 in the Tournament with all of its team advancing to the second round. The SEC is doing quite well also at 5-1. The lone loss was Arkansas to Bucknell. Meanwhile, the mighty Big 10 is 3-3 and the Big East is 5-3.

Was not a good day for predictions....1-3. NC State looks like they may be getting healthy and be able to make a run like last year. Kentucky has now won 8 straight first round games and will face UConn (who struggled against Albany).

#1 Duke vs #8 George Washington Greensboro, NC
GW needed an 18 point comeback to get past UNC-Wilmington in OT. Duke will have fresher legs even though they played starters well into the second half. Duke in Greensboro is almost unbeatable (ACC opponents know this). Duke rolls
Prediction: Duke

#5 LSU vs #12 Texas A&M Jacksonville, FL
The Aggies dominated the Big East champion Orange on Thursday, so they will not be intimidated at all being in SEC country against the regular season champs. LSU really turned it on in the second half against Iona. LSU has one of the better inside/outside combos in the nation with Darrel Mitchell and "Big Baby" (Glen Davis). I like LSU, but it will be a dog fight.
Prediction: LSU

#2 Tennessee vs #7 Wichita State Greensboro, NC
Are teams starting to figure out Tennessee? They really struggled down the stretch and needed a buzzer beater to avoid overtime vs #15 Winthrop. Wichita should not be taken lightly as they demolished Seton Hall on Thursday. Bruce Pearl is tournament tested by taking his old team UW-Milwaukee to the Sweet 16 last year. However, I think Tennessee has to shoot well to win this game. I like Wichita in the upset because the Vols have been too erratic as of late.
Prediction: Wichita State

#4 Boston College vs #12 Montana Salt Lake City, UT
BC needed 2OT to beat Pacific on Thursday and will probably still be getting used to the high altitude at this point. The Grizzlies are already used to it and want to see if that glass slipper fits still. BC is strong on the inside with Craig Smith and will create match up problems for Montana. An early scare may have been good for the Eagles. I think they put Montana away late.
Prediction: Boston College

#3 Florida vs #11 UW-Millwaukee Jacksonville, FL
Bruce Pearl just will not leave the Gators alone! Florida matches up with their new SEC nemisis' old team. Milwaukee looks every bit the Cindarella (like last year), but will have to win in what is essentially a road game. The Gators will try not to get bit by the conference tourney bug champion, which has bitten Syracuse, Kansas, and Iowa already. The Gators strike me as a team who started off the season hot and then struggled a little bit during conference play, but turned it on again at the end of the year (ala Georgia Tech 2004). I like the Gators, but only because the Jacksonville crowd will lift them to victory.
Prediction: Florida

#2 UCLA vs #10 Alabama San Diego, CA
The Bruins are playing some of the best ball in the country right now and will be very close to home in San Diego (though it will take Bruins fans 4 hours on a Saturday to make a 100 mile trip because of traffic). Alabama made it to the Elite 8 two years ago as a #8 seed, but did it by beating a weak #1 seed in Stanford. UCLA has too much inside prescense for 'Bama in this one.
Prediction: UCLA

Tourney Record: 6-4

Prediction Confidence:
1. Duke
3. BC
4. LSU
5. Florida
6. Wichita St

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