Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sixteen Predictions: Thursday

Seeing as I got almost every single one of my predictions wrong last time around, I figure I'm due to be 100% right this time.

We've got four games tomorrow.

West Virginia vs. Xavier--West Virginia has looked good so far, perhaps surprising some folks. But this is their first real challenge with a well-rounded team. Watch Josh Duncan--I think he'll be the guy Xavier tries to get going early. If they do, they could win in a romp. But Huggy Bear Huggins is a crafty coach, and although he prefers a straight-up man on man, he may run some interior zone sort of defense to help protect WVa's big men. I'm still picking Xavier, but I think it will be close. Drew Lavender perhaps making a big play down the stretch to stem a late run from the Mountaineers.

Washington State vs North Carolina--I still haven't seen much of Wash State, but I know they've been blowing out teams almost as badly as UNC has. This will certainly be the most frustrating team UNC will play thus far. They will not get Wash State into the running game that UNC excels at. UNC will not score 100 points this time. But Wash State will almost certainly have to score more than their usual 65 if they want to win. I hate to do it, and I hope I'm wrong, but I'll take UNC in an ugly affair.

Western Kentucky vs. UCLA. UCLA. Yawn.

Louisville vs. Tennessee. This is how one ends a night of hoops. This should be a fantastic game, with two different styles, two close rivalries, and great talent on either side of the ball. Louisville has certainly looked better to this point, and I see no reason for that not to continue. Butler proved you can get Wayne Chism in foul trouble. Louisville will pound that point home, and go inside over and over again. Lofton and Smiths (JaJuan & Ramar (palindrome!) will have to shoot well to keep Tennessee in it. Lofton will almost certainly shoot well, but the rest of the guards are more of a question mark. I'll go with Louisville, as the more balanced, hotter team.

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