Friday, March 31, 2006

Final 4 SEC Style

Down to the final weekend of college basketball – Tuesday will be a said day for the diehards.  The SEC, usually known for their football, is making a big splash in Indianapolis with two teams who are expected to meet each other in the Championship Game.  Let's take a look at how each team got here.

 

LSU – Atlanta Regional Champion

1st Round – Trailed Iona in the first half and was generally outplayed, but came out in the second half and put the Gaels away easily.

2nd Round – Without a three pointer by Darrel Mitchell with 3 secs to go, you would not even see the Tigers here.  

Sweet 16 – Upset of Duke led by outstanding defense inside and out.

Elite 8 – Back and forth game with Texas that went into overtime.  In the end, Tyrus Thomas and Glen Davis wore down Texas.

Player that got them here: Tyrus Thomas, F

Close Call: Texas A&M, 2nd round

What is to like about them: Play the best defense of any team left and have the most athleticism.  Very tough to score inside on with Davis eating space up and Thomas swatting shots away. 

What will be their downfall: Foul trouble inside.  If teams can get Davis and Thomas off the floor for extended time, they should be able to take advantage of LSU's lack of quality depth of the bench

 

UCLA – Oakland Regional Champion

1st Round – Easy win over Belmont

2nd Round – Let most of the way, but had to survive an Alabama come back at the very end

Sweet 16 – Miracle come back win over Gonzaga.  Bruins were down by 18 in the first half and left for dead, but slowly chipped into the lead and made the plays at the end of the game

Elite 8 – Led Memphis the whole way and won despite scoring only making 6 field goals in the second half

Player that got them here: Ryan Hollins, C

Close Call: Gonzaga, Sweet 16

What is to like about them: Probably most balanced team in the Final 4.  Can score and play defense inside and outside.   Plus, nobody is mentioned them – all the talk is about LSU's bigs, how well Florida is playing, and George Mason's Cinderella run.

What will be their downfall: A team who can muscle them off the boards.  Hollins is their only effective big man.

 

George Mason – Washington DC Regional Champion

1st Round – Upset of Tournament favorite Michigan State

2nd Round – Come from behind win over North Carolina

Sweet 16 – Led Wichita St the whole way en route to victory

Elite 8 – Monumental upset of perennial favorite UConn.  Down by 9 at halftime, but had taken lead at end of game with UConn needing a length of the court play to tie.   In overtime, George Mason jumped out ahead and held on

Player that got them here: Jai Lewis, F

Close Call: UConn, Elite 8

What is to like about them: They have been underdogs every game and they have not lost yet.  Also, they have great inside/outside play.

What will be their downfall: Foul trouble.  Mason does not have the depth of these other teams and cannot last with starters on the bench

 

Florida – Minneapolis Regional Champion

1st Round – Cruised past South Alabama

2nd Round – Took Wisc-Milwaukee's best shot, but moved on with relative ease

Sweet 16 – Took out Georgetown with the excellent play of Johkim Noah

Elite 8 – Led Villanova the whole way and won surprisingly easily considering 'Nova was a number one seed. Once again, Noah is the star.

Player that got them here: Johkim Noah, F

Close Call: Georgetown, Sweet 16

What is to like about them: They have the best player left in the Tournament in Johkim Noah.  Also, they pretty much went through their Region unchallenged.

What will be their downfall: A team that presses and gets in their face (Tennessee who swept them this year).

 

Who I think has the best chance of winning it all.....

Florida: 40%

LSU: 30%

UCLA: 25%

George Mason: 5%

 

Semifinals:

#3 Florida vs #11 George Mason 6:00 CBS

Once again, nobody is giving George Mason a chance in this game.  But I am sure they are fine with that because they are 4-0 in this Tournament as underdogs.   Florida has size inside, but so did UConn.  The difference here is that Florida's bigs can drive and shoot from the outside.   I think this game ends in one of two situations: Florida blows George Mason out (like Kansas did to Marquette in 2003) or it is a very close game.  Either way, Florida is playing the best out of anyone right now and I expect that to carry over to Indy.

Prediction: Florida

 

#2 UCLA vs #4 LSU 8:30 CBS

Nobody is giving UCLA much of a chance in this game despite them being the higher seed.  If LSU continues to play as they did in Atlanta, they will move on because UCLA just does not have the size to play with them.  For UCLA to win this game, they will need to get Thomas and Davis in foul trouble.   I think LSU's other downfall could be their lack of ball handlers, while UCLA has an experienced PG in Jordan Farmar.  Still, LSU looks like a team on a mission right now.   LSU will win in a slugfest.

Prediction: LSU

 

 

Sunday, March 26, 2006

SEC Tries to Make Indy a Two-Trick Pony

LSU marks the 20th Anniversary of thier last Final 4 appearance with another trip to the Final Four. Oddly enough, the last two times LSU has been to the Final 4 they went through Atlanta to get there. Once again, Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas proved to be the difference with their play on offense and defense. Texas' LaMarcus Aldridge appeared worn down by the end of the game by the LSU frontcourt (this looked like a message to me that Aldridge needs another year in college). The inside players are getting a lot of the credit, but the defense on the perimeter cannot be overlooked either.

Florida will try to make it two SEC teams in the Final Four for the first time since 1995. They face a Villanova team with the best set of guards in the nation and a underrated frontcourt. 'Nova leads the Tournament in offensive rebounds; a surprsing stat because of all the talk of how small they are.

Minneapolis Region
#1 Villanova vs #3 Florida 4:50 ET CBS
These teams bring oppostite strengths to this game, but also underrated and overlooked facets of the team as well. Villanova is known for their penetrating guards in Randy Foye and Allen Ray, while Florida's frontcourt of Noah and Al Horford get the pub. The Wildcats are a strong rebounding team despite their lack of size and the Gators hustling backcourt provide both teams balance. Each team has won close games in this tournament and this game will also go down to the wire. Both Noah and Foye must have great games for thier teams to win. I think the winner of this game will have an unsung hero have to step up. For Villanova, it could be Kyle Lowry, Drew Nardi, or Will Sheridan. For Florida, watch the play of PG Taurean Green or possiby Corey Brewer. In the end, I think Villanova has more playmakers than Florida and will make the plays at the end. Like most games this weekend, this one will be low scoring, physical, and come right down to the wire.
Prediction: Villanova

Tournament: 16-7

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Great Football Matchup in the Dome

Another set of games last night that did not disappoint. Florida showed they can bang with the big boys in their grueling victory over Georgetown. Noah again played a vital role in helping his team advance. Right now, he is their catalyst and as long as he keeps playing the way he has been Florida has a shot to beat anyone.

BC, much like Gonzaga, got up big early as an underdog, but faltered at the end in their one point defeat in a matchup between former Big East rivals. Villanova was down by as much as 16 in the first half, but clawed their way back thanks to the stellar play of Randy Foye. It was as if everyone knew what Foye was going to do, but they still couldn't stop him. BC's loss leaves no ACC teams in the Elite 8.

UConn vs Washington wasn't bad either.

Atlanta Regional
#2 Texas vs #4 LSU 4:40 ET CBS
I think this game is going to be the most physical in the tournament so far. Both teams have big guys inside that love to roam the paint. Glen Davis was a little bit off his game on Thursday, but defensive star Tyrus Thomas made up for it by returning to sender 5 Duke shots. The Longhorns will have an advantage on the perimeter in guard play and will need to take advantage of LSU's lack of ballhandlers. The Tigers beat Duke with their defense. I think Texas needs to push the ball and force LSU to keep up with them offensively. For LSU to win this game, they will need the same kind of effort defensively and have someone step up on offense outside of Davis or Darrell Mitchell. I think Texas is too balanced and will have a better night shooting than Duke did.
Prediction: Texas

Tournament: 16-6

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Friday Night Lights

I knew it would be a close game, but I thought Duke would be too much in then end with their free throw shooting. One problem though... Duke did not get to the FT line. The officials let them play in this game and that is not a good thing for Duke. You could really tell that JJ was getting frustrated towards the end with the "lack of calls" (in his opinion). LSU showed they have the athleticism to play with anyone in the country. Their biggest weakness is ball handling, which Duke exploited early on, but the Tigers defense kept the game even the whole way. SEC Champs beat the ACC Champs.

Friday:
#3 Florida vs #7 Georgetown Minneapolis, MN
The Gators are playing some of the best basketball in the country right now. One would think that momentum would just carry over to this weekend, but not necessarily as we are seeing with UCLA tonight. Joahkim Noah has been outstanding for Florida so far and will need to continue his stellar play against a more athletic Georgetown team. This game will go down to the wire and will come down to a turnover battle. I like the Gators in a very close game.
Prediction: Florida

#1 Villanova vs #4 Boston College Minneapolis, MN
A clash of two styles of play in the Twin Cities. 'Nova will want to get up and down the court with their 4 guard lineup, while BC is just fine with a grind-it-out half-court game. BC's Craig Smith and Jared Dudley will need to take advantage of Villanova's limited size inside. Allan Ray has fully recovered from an eye injury and will be handful along with Kyle Lowry for the Eagles. The winner of this game will be the team who can impose their style of play on the other. In the end, I think 'Nova has too good of guard play (which is a must in the NCAA's) to be beaten by BC's muscle.
Prediction: Villanova

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sweet 16 Thursday

A little anxious to get basketball started again? ACC and SEC regular season champs will lock horns in Atlanta on Thursday. Duke is a -6 point favorite, which sounds about right considering LSU struggled to beat Texas A&M. The Blue Devils will face a stern test from the Tigers though.

#1 Duke vs #4 LSU Atlanta, GA
This will be the first team Duke has faced in the tourney that can really push them for 40 minutes. LSU's size inside could be a real problem for Duke. Glen Davis has not played like the SEC Player of the Year so far and could be ready for a breakout game. If Duke can keep Shelden Williams out of foul trouble and get good production out of Josh McRoberts, they should win this game. However, if LSU controls the paint Duke could be in serious jeopardy. You know JJ will get his points and Darrel Mitchel is going to hit some for LSU as well. I think this a great mathcup in the Sweet 16 that could go right down to the wire. In the end, the best player on the court will shine like he has so many times. Duke will advance, but by the skin of their teeth.
Prediction: Duke

Tournament: 14-5

Monday, March 20, 2006

Looking Back to the Predictions

Lets take a look back to the ACC and SEC predictions I made at the beginning of the season and see how they fared.

ACC Basketball Predictions

Here is how the ACC Finished vs how I predicted:


Duke14-213-3
North Carolina12-410-6
Boston College11-511-5
NC State10-610-6
Florida State9-74-12
Maryland8-88-8
Virginia7-93-13
Miami7-98-8
Clemson7-95-11
Virginia Tech4-127-9
Georgia Tech4-126-10
Wake Forest3-1311-5



Major suprises were how badly Wake Forest did this year and how well UNC did losing their top 6 players from last season. 4 out of the top 5 came in as expected. FSU did much better than I thought (and deserved a bid too) as did Virginia. VT and GT disappointed this season; I think the Hokies were not going to sneak up on anyone this season.

I thought the ACC would be stronger top to bottom than it was and get 7 teams in- they got 4. I thought they would have had 4 Sweet 16 Teams, but only got 2 (thanks to George Mason). Roy Williams and Tyler Hansborough were Coach and Rookie of the year like I thought and JJ Reddick was the Player of the Year (no shocker).

SEC Basketball Predictions


EastActualPredicted
Tennessee12-45-11
Florida10-612-4
Kentucky9-711-5
Vanderbilt7-98-8
South Carolina6-107-9
Georgia5-116-10
WestActualPredicted
LSU14-211-5
Arkansas10-69-7
Alabama10-69-7
Mississippi St.5-119-7
Mississippi4-125-11
Auburn4-124-12


Tennessee is by far and away the biggest surprise in the SEC and maybe even the nation. Florida struggled a little more in conference than I thought they would, but the SEC was stronger than predictioned. Kentucky also struggled a bit more than expected. The rest of East performed close to predicted. In the West, LSU really ran through this Division to a 14-2 record. Miss St was a disappointment, but everyone else pretty much fell in line.

I thought the SEC would get in 5 teams, but it turned out to be 6. They have 2 Sweet 16 Teams though I thought Kentucky would be in instead of LSU.

Player of the Year was Glen Davis of LSU, Newcomer was Tyrus Thomas also of LSU, and Coach of the Year (well-deserved) was Bruce Pearl. I thought Ronnie Brewer would be Player of the Year (was 1st Team All-SEC), Richard Hendrix would be Newcomer of the Year, and Billy Donoavan as Coach of the Year.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Perfection, Noah, 9 in a row

6-0 Yesterday brought me back to a respectable 12-4 with the ACC, SEC picks. ACC is now 6-0 in the Tournament and the SEC is 7-3. ACC team's UNC and North Carolina State will face stern tests today however in George Mason and Texas respectively, while Kentucky tries to be the first team to knock out a number #1 seed (UConn).

I was not high on Florida when the tournament began, but after watching them yesterday they are Final 4 material. Noah is one of the most improved players in college basketball this season having made a huge leap from his freshman to sophomore seasons. He is like a point forward out there and his inside passing skills are beyond the college level. Meanwhile, the Vols loss ends what was a great season, but yet it seemed they ran out of gas at the end of the year (or teams started taking the more seriously). Still, Bruce Pearl has a lot to build with for next year.

Duke is will Duke this time of year making their 9th straight Sweet 16 appearance.

Sunday:
#3 North Carolina vs #11 George Mason Dayton, OH
George Mason knocked off a Tournament favorite Michigan St on Friday leading most of the way. Today, they get back Tony Kirk who was suspended for 1 game after a cheap shot he gave in their conference tourney. Roy Williams is one of the best tournament coaches around and will have his young Tar Heels ready. George Mason will have a tough time handling Tyler Hansborough inside. If the outside shots are falling for the Heels they will advance.
Prediction: UNC

#1 UConn vs #8 Kentucky Philadelphia, PA
Kentucky comes into this game after playing very well in beating UAB. The Huskies struggled mightily to beat Albany and were down and were down as many as 12. Tubby's kids will play their hearts out, but UConn just has too much talent.
Prediction: UConn

#2 Texas vs #10 NC State Dallas, TX
The Wolfpack relied on their three point shooting and the first round game and will have to an even better job today to beat Texas in what essentially will be a road game for Herb Sendek's crew. If Evtimov, Atsur, and Bennerman can light it up from outside and take the crowd out, the Wolfpack have a very good shot in this game. Texas will look to pound the ball inside and get Cedric Simmons in foul trouble. Texas will be very tough to beat in Dallas.
Prediction: Texas

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).

Saturday
#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
2. UCLA
3. BC
4. LSU
5. Florida
6. Wichita St

Thursday, March 16, 2006

One Day Down...

If Duke pulls out the win over Southern, then I'll be 5-1 on the first day. Surprised by how much BC struggled; thought Tennessee would have a battle, but wouldn't need a last second shot; LSU struggled in the first half which I figured they would most of the game, but they really pulled away from Iona in the second half. SEC starts out 3-0, while the mighty Big East is 0-2 right now.

Friday's Games will be much more competitive as the the ACC and SEC face some grudge matches (7 vs 10, 8 vs 9)

Friday's Games:
#7 Cal vs #10 NC State Dallas, TX
NC State really struggled down the stretch losing their last 4. Cal is the exact opposite playing their way into the Tourney in the Pac 10 Tournament. NC State has alot of Tournament experience and played their way down to a #10 seed, but I like Cal in this game because NC State has been a totally different team since Evtimov got hurt.
Prediction: Cal

#8 Arkansas vs #9 Bucknell Dallas, TX
Arkansas' Ronnie Brewer is the type of player you need to go far in the Tournament as a sleeper because he can score in so many ways. The Razorbacks may be looking forward to a possible second round match with nearby Memphis. Bucknell will provide a stern test, but I like the Hogs in a close one.
Prediction: Arkansas

#8 Kentucky vs #9 UAB Philadelphia, PA
The Wildcats and Blazers meet again for the first time since UAB's upset of #1 Kentucky in the second round 0f 2004. The Blazers bring their full court press, which Kentucky struggled against then and will struggle against now. Rajon Rondo will have a big day, but he is the only player Kentucky can really count on. I like the Blazers in this one.
Prediction: UAB

#3 North Carolina vs #14 Murrary State Dayton, OH
The Racers have not seen a player like Tyler Hansborough this season. They won't see much more this year after tomorrow.
Prediction: North Carolina

Prediction Confidence:
1. UNC
2. UAB
3. Cal
4. Arkansas

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

1st Round Predictions - Thursday

Thursday's Games:
Duke over Southern
LSU over Iona
Marquette over Alabama
Tennessee over Winthrop
BC over Pacific
Florida over South Alabama

Toughest game will be Marquette and Alabama. The rest should be blowouts.

Prediction Confidence:
1. Duke
2. Tennessee
3. BC
4. Florida
5. LSU
6. Marquette

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Semifinal Saturday

4 teams left in each conference tournament. The best matchup of the day should be LSU and Florida. The winner of this game will definetly be the favorite on Sunday as the other side of the bracket has surprising South Carolina facing Kentucky. Both the Gators and Tigers have a strong inside prescense to go with hot shooting from the outside so expect an up and down, run and gun game.

In the ACC, Wake Forest has made it to the semifinals with two victories matching its season total. The Deacs will have to beat #1 seed Duke to advance farther. Duke struggled mightily to put away Miami in their first round game. Wake has enough talent to beat Duke on the right day, so I don't expect a blowout especially the way the Devils have played in their last 5 games. Carolina tangles with Boston College in what should be an excellent game. The Eagles and Heels will match their strong frontcourts against each other. The Heels are playing as good as anyone in the country right now and BC has won 12 of their last 14 ACC games, so this one should not disappoint.

Predictions...

E5 South Carolina vs E3 Kentucky
The Gamecocks were one of the few teams Kentucky played very well against this year. With the Wildcats in the semis, even more fans will be flocking to Nashville. I like Kentucky in a low scoring affair.
Prediction: Kentucky

W1 LSU vs E2 Florida
This game is the equivalent of a Sweet 16 game with the caliber of these two teams. I like the way LSU has played all season, quietly going 14-2 in conference. Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas get it done offensively and defensively for the Tigers.
Prediction: LSU

#1 Duke vs #12 Wake Forest
Where has this Wake team that was predicting to finish third been all season? Heck of a time to start playing; If Wake can get the ball into Eric Williams inside and draw foul trouble then the Deacs have a very good shot at this game. Duke has been playing non-Duke like for the past 5 games and JJ has been very cold as of late - could it be fatigue? I think Duke pulls this one out, but it will be close.
Prediction: Duke

#2 North Carolina vs #3 Boston College
This game will feature two of the best post players in the country in UNC's Tyler Hansborough and BC's Craig Smith. Both teams had relatively easy first round wins. BC won the only matchup during the season, but that was before UNC got hot. You could point to the second half of the Georgia Tech where UNC came from 13 behind to win as a turning point for Roy Williams' bunch.
Prediction: UNC






Thursday, March 9, 2006

Round 2 in Nashville, Greensboro

Thursday provided a few upsets, but for the most part the favorites survived and moved on. Wake Forest came from behind to beat FSU and advance to play NC State, whom they beat last Saturday. Miami also came from behind to beat favored (but lower seeded) Clemson. Virginia completed a three game sweep versus their rival, Virginia Tech. Maryland was in the process of blowing out Georgia Tech in the nightcap and barring a miracle will advance to play Boston College (any maybe lock up an NCAA bid).

In the SEC, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt all advanced. Vandy did struggle a little bit versus Auburn and has a huge game versus LSU hoping to make an impression on the Tournament Selection Committee. Arkansas was beating Georgia convincingly in the second half. The winner will play Florida Friday.

Friday Record: 5-3

Friday's Games
SEC
E5 South Carolina vs E1 Tennessee 1:00 JP
Bruce Pearl's club struggled down the stretch, but as long as they are shooting well they should be able to cruise past the Gamecocks; the Nashville home crowd will also help.
Prediction: Tennessee

E3 Kentucky vs W2 Alabama 3:15 JP
Crimson Tide have a chance to beat Kentucky three times in a season. Kentucky looked awful last Saturday vs Florida, but played much better Thursday. Alabama will be more rested and matches up well with Kentucky.
Prediction: Alabama

E4 Vanderbilt vs W1 LSU 7:30 JP
LSU has been overlooked much of the season, but should be regarded as an elite team (14-2 in the SEC). Vandy has been playing very well as of late, but I think they will come up just short in this one.
Prediction: LSU

W3 Arkansas vs E2 Florida 9:45 JP
This one should be the best of the day. Florida has a big advantage by having rested since last weekend.
Prediction: Florida

ACC
#1 Duke vs #8 Miami 12:00 ESPN2
Duke lose 3 in a row? Won't happen. I expect the Devils to come out firing and get some early rest for their stars.
Prediction: Duke

#4 NC State vs #12 Wake Forest 2:30 ESPN2
These two teams met last weekend with Wake Forest winning by double-digits at home. State will have Cam Bennerman back and be fully rested. I like State in this game, but Wake may be just now pulling it together (heck of a time), so I won't be shocked to see the Deacs pull an upset. Prediction: NC State

#2 North Carolina vs #7 Virginia 7:00 ESPN2
Two teams split the season series, but right now Carolina is playing about as good as anyone in the country.
Prediction: UNC

#3 Boston College vs #6 Maryland 9:30 ESPN2
The Terps are starting to click at the right time. A win over BC should get the into the Tournament. BC has won 11 of its last 13. This game will go down to the wire and I like Maryland in a close one.
Prediction: Maryland

Prediction Confidence:
1. Duke
2. UNC
3. Tennessee
4. LSU
5. NC State
6. Alabama
7. Florida
8. Maryland

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Conference Tournament Time

The SEC and ACC Conference Basketball Tournaments start tomorrow in Nashville and Greensboro respectively. The top 4 teams in the ACC will get a bye, while the top 2 teams in each division of the SEC get a bye. The ACC has two teams on the bubble right now (FSU, Maryland) with two more teams hoping that they can get on the bubble (Miami, Clemson). The SEC's Arkansas, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt are all on the tourney bubble.

Now onto the predictions. Had a rough end to the season; limping into the conference tourneys (like Duke).

Thursday's Games - ACC
#8 Miami vs #9 Clemson 12:00 JP
Clemson is playing well down the stretch, while Miami has lost 6 of its last 7.
Prediction: Clemson

#5 Florida St vs #12 Wake Forest 2:30 JP
FSU would blow a NCAA Tournament trip with a loss. Wake has struggled mightly all season.
Prediction: FSU

#7 Virginia vs #10 Virginia Tech 7:00 ESPN
Third meeting between the two teams. UVA swept the season series; will be hard to win a third. Prediction: Virginia Tech

#6 Maryland vs #11 Georgia Tech 9:30 RJ
Tech took Maryland to the wire in College Park a few weeks ago, but their season will come to an end here.
Prediction: Maryland

SEC
E5 South Carolina vs W4 Miss. St 1:00 JP
The Gamecocks would like to thank they can still make it to the Tournament. They need a win badly here.
Prediction: South Carolina

W6 Ole Miss vs E3 Kentucky 3:15 JP
Wildcats will be taking over Nashville this weekend.
Prediction: Kentucky

W5 Auburn vs E4 Vanderbilt 7:30 JP
Vandy is a much better team than Auburn and has much more to play for.
Prediction: Vanderbilt

E6 Georgia vs W3 Arkansas 8:45 JP
Rematch of last weekend's game where Arkansas won by 17. I expect the same here.
Prediction: Arkansas

Season: 87-40


Friday, March 3, 2006

Weekend Predictions

Last weekend of regular season action for the ACC and SEC.

North Carolina @ Duke
Prediction: Duke

Florida @ Kentucky
Prediction: Kentucky

Virginia Tech @ Boston College
Prediction: Boston College

Tennessee @ Vanderbilt
Prediction: Tennessee

Georgia Tech @ Clemson
Prediction: Georgia Tech

NC State @ Wake Forest
Prediction: NC State

Florida St @ Miami
Prediction: Florida St

Maryland @ Virginia
Prediction: Virginia

Alabama @ Miss St
Prediction: Alabama

South Carolina @ Auburn
Prediction: Auburn

Ole Miss @ LSU
Prediction: LSU

Arkansas @ Georgia
Prediction: Arkansas

Prediction Confidence:
1. LSU
2. Boston College
3. Alabama
4. Duke
5. Arkansas
6. Virginia
7. NC State
8. Kentucky
9. Florida St
10.Tennessee
11.Auburn
12.Georgia Tech

Season: 81-34