Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sweet Sixteen, Night 1 and look at Night 2

I mercifully only saw the part of the UNC/Wash State tilt when it was close. But how about Xavier/West Virginia? I am going to pretend that Xavier is bound and determined to make all their games as dramatic as possible. For the record, as before the ball was knocked out of bounds with only 2.1 seconds left on the clock, I recommended that Xavier hit a 3 pointer. And they did. I told them to do that. I'm a game manager of Mr. Burns quality!

Eyebrows may be raised at Xavier's various close scraps (much as many have been raised at Memphis' general direction (more deservedly at Memphis, since they don't hit free throws, and Xavier does)) but the fact is Xavier (and Memphis) are well-balanced attacks that create mismatches on the floor with just about every team in the NCAA. They don't have the best player at one position, but with the exception of Kansas and (Fine! I admit it!) North Carolina, Xavier may have the most balanced attack in the NCAA.

The second grouping of games seemed to be falling in a with the first games. You had an entertaining opening 10 minutes in the 1 seed game, this time with UCLA and Western Kentucky, before the the #1 seed figures out the weakness of the team they are playing and just poops all over them. UCLA jumped out to a big lead.

And then someone decided, as the kids say, "to flip the script". With about 6 minutes left, WKU finished a furious comeback to put them in striking distance, just at the same time Louisville was burying Tennessee by more than 15 points.

And then UCLA remembered they were playing WKU and put the game out of reach with about 3 minutes left in the game.

I think Jay Bilas would like to take David Padgett behind the Junior High and get him pregnant.

I'd like to point out that I called all these games (in some cases, down to the final play!) With that, I'll push my luck.

Friday games:

Davidson's run isn't done yet. I'll pick them over Wisconsin. There is no logical basis to do this. I imagine Flowers and Landry to be so tight on Dell Curry's kid that he barely gets a shot off in the first half. Which will then illuminiate for the rest of the country how good Davidson's front court is. No big comeback for Davidson this time. They will take the lead in under 10 minutes and never surrender it.

In a clear fit of pique I'll take an inside team over a perimeter team when it comes to Stanford and Texas. The Lopez twins will not need miracle free throws or miracle baseline jumpers to beat a Texas team overly reliant on their perimeter game. Texas thinks they know all about Stanford's perimeter game. They are wrong. Goods shoots the Trees into the Elite 8.

Villanova vs. Kansas? Really? This is a Sweet 16 match-up? It won't score that way. Kansas will eat Villanova's lunch. Villanova has Scotty Reynolds. Kansas has 3 players that play on the perimeter that can defend Reynolds, and get him in foul trouble. This will be the Chalmers/Rush show. Except that Villanova can't defend Kansas' big men either. It will also be the Darrell Arthur show. Kansas in a romp that makes the other #1's romps look like Fischer v Kasparov.

Memphis will lock down Michigan State's two good players--Goran Suton and Raymar Morgan. Memphis will let Drew Neitzel chuck 3's, because they know if he misses his first two, he'll miss 80% of his shots from then on. Memphis has too many skilled players where Michigan State relies upon time-eaters. I'll take Memphis by at least 9 points.

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