Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Down to the Nitty Gritty

Its time.... time to play your way in or play your way out. Its time to decide if you are going to be a 7-9 seed or a 4-6 seed.

Clemson vs Miami 7:30
Clemson's NCAA Tournament flame is about to be extinguished and Miami can vote off the island. Miami has been somewhat of a giant killer this season and will be discussed in the context of "well they lost to Miami why should they get in?" on Selection Sunday. I think Miami is ok with that trying to bolster any NIT bid possibility and hoping things turn around in football season. Clemson has been pretty good at home and despite their collapse since the Duke game, I think they squeak one out.


Duke vs Maryland 9:00 ESPN
This rivalry is not at the level it was a few years ago when both teams were winning national titles, but Duke has got their swagger back after a brief stint in rehab and Maryland is starting to differentiate themselves like how oil rises to the top. The Cameron Crazies will pull out all the stops in this one and will be a huge emotional lift for Duke. I like Duke to lead nearly the entire way, survive a couple of runs, and pull away at the end.

South Carolina vs Vanderbilt 7:30
Vanderbilt just keeps winning. It seems like no matter what teams do, they cannot topple the Commodores. Could the bottom feeder in the SEC East perform such at task? Well, they are at home and Vanderbilt is due for a loss. I think South Carolina's NIT streak is going to end this year. I like Vanderbilt on the road.

Kentucky vs Georgia 8:00 Lincoln Financial
Tubby Smith has to be furious after Sunday's close loss. Five years ago, Kentucky would have squashed most any team in the SEC if they really wanted to - not the case anymore. Still, Kentucky's RPI is top 20 in the nation because of their strong schedule. If the Bulldogs want a signature win, this would be it getting them to 9 conference wins. Kentucky is trying to differentiate themselves into the 4-6 seed range instead of falling to a 7-9 seed. I like Kentucky at home.

Georgia Tech vs North Carolina 9:00 ESPN2
Georgia Tech really let a golden opportunity slip away in Charlottesville. They led nearly the entire second half and let a seven point lead go to waste as Virginia closed with a 13-0 run. North Carolina hit the skids this weekend too and will now have to likely win out to take the regular season title. Georgia Tech has been very tough at home losing just once, but that loss was to the best team they have played at home. North Carolina has not lost two in a row and three out of those four wins after losses were on the road. I like the Tar Heels in a hard fought battle.

Clemson over Miami
Duke over Maryland
Vanderbilt over South Carolina
Kentucky over Georgia
North Carolina over Georgia Tech

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