The Grand National Championships

March 17, 2009

The Midwest Projections

Filed under: Basketball is played by tall guys,Bracketological,Tournalysis — by Andrew @ 10:58 am

Round 1
1 Louisville
16 Alabama St./Morehead St.

Obvious pick is obvious. I want Chief Kickingstallionsims to make it past the play-in game. But betting on a 16 to beat a 1 is like betting on getting a Royal Flush. It will happen eventually, but you can’t take it.

8 Ohio State
9 Siena

Siena is a scrappy team with good tournament experience. Kenny Hansbrouck is a go-to guy. They generate a lot of turnovers, and this was a team that took it to the Sweet 16 last year. But as for Ohio State? They have Evan Turner, B.J. Mullens, and a short trip down I-70 with a slight turn on I-75. Their size and inside game mean they advance.

5 Utah
12 Arizona

Does Arizona deserve to be here? No. Can they win? They do have a triumverate. Will they win? No. No momentum going into the tournament does not equal the miracle 5-12 upset. I take Utah.

4 Wake Forest
13 Cleveland St.

This really does look like an upset. Jeff Teague struggles to take care of the ball, and the Vikings have two people with fast hands in Cedric Jackson and D’Aundray Brown. Cleveland State already has a big win over a Top 4 seed. Gary Waters is an excellent coach. But they are quite undersized and Wake Forest has talent in the low post. I think this game will be fun to watch. But I just cannot pull the trigger on the upset.

6 West Virginia
11 Dayton

West Virginia is going to pummel Dayton. Dayton is a poor shooting team that wins by hitting the offensive glass hard. West Virginia is a mediocre shooting team that wins by shotblocking, hitting the offensive glass hard, and defending the perimeter. They can beat Dayton’s press. And they will advance.

3 Kansas
14 North Dakota St.

This is a game that everybody wants to see as an upset. And there is a lot to it. The Bison are an experienced team of bombers. Ben Woodside and Brett Winkleman are very talented go-to guys. And it will be a semi-home game for them.

But can they pull it off? As much as I want to say it. And my first instinct is to go with the upset. But I just can’t. I expect it to go down to the last shot. And I expect a no-call. Kansas advances.

7 Boston College
10 USC

If Taj Gibson plays Taj Gibson’s game? Boston College has no answer for it. I say that it’s going to happen. Boston College gets their shots blocked and their USC’s 1-4 is just too strong for Boston College to handle.

2 Michigan St.
15 Robert Morris

One year, I had a gut feeling that Winthrop was a fifteen seed and could take out #2 seed Tennessee. I don’t see it here. Robert Morris will be game. But Michigan state will win it by at least 15.

Round 2
1 Louisville
8 Ohio St.

Now I know Louisville has a tendency to get tripped up by mediocre teams. And I know that Ohio State is a sharp-shooting team that can block shots. Louisville has an inside presence that can tamp down their game. Louisville will be advancing to the Sweet 16.

4 Wake Forest
5 Utah

This is something of an obvious choice. Whereas Wake Forest would have trouble with their first match-up in the draw. You have a team that plays man and can’t generate steals. This is catnip for the Wakes. This is why they will win.

3 Kansas
6 West Virginia

Kansas struggles to take care of the ball. And with a defense as strong as West Virginia’s? They will make the Jayhawks suffer. I feel like this would be a 71-58 win for the Mountaineers.

2 Michigan St.
10 USC

There are two reasons why you have to go to Michigan State here. 1) Kalin Lucas is a better point guard than Daniel Hackett. 2) This is why Michigan State is better than taking care of the ball. Trust this. Sparty makes it to weekend two.

Sweet 16
1 Louisville
4 Wake Forest

Louisville is going to bring the pain here. Pitino’s press promises pain for promising point guard Jeff Teague. Sure, they can keep it close. Wake has good defense. But Louisville will win the Turnover battle. Thereby they get to the elite eight.

2 Michigan St.
6 West Virginia

And the winner of the rebounding battle is going to win this game. And while the Mountaineers can generate a good second chance opportunity or two? They won’t be able to stop Sparty from doing their own second chancery. Chalky? Sure. But that’s how it goes.

Elite 8
1 Louisville

2 Michigan State

Michigan State’s defense will be tough. They will likely win the rebounding battle. The may lose the turnover battle. But if it goes shot for shot? Who do you trust in this matter. Kalin Lucas or Edgar Sosa?

I choose Kalin Lucas. Sparty gets the Midwest. Yeah.

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