The Grand National Championships

March 30, 2009

Okay, let’s try this again shall we?

So I got one right? It was to be expected. All that research, and it was worth roughly 10 games. I feel bad about that. I had my moment of brilliance and many deaths in the second weekend.

And here’s what I’m going to say. I’m going to analyze the strengths of each team. I will look for one major weakness? And

UConn

+ Height. It’s not just Hasheem Thabeet that’s a tall dude. They have size to break it down.
+ Shotblocking. A nautral extension of being tall.
+ Field Goal Defense. Forcing bad shots isn’t exclusive to being tall, the perimeter defense is excellent as well.
+ Turnovers. They will likely win the turnover battle. Michigan State can lose the ball if they aren’t careful.

They just do not shoot threes. All of their losses have been of the variety where they get bombed out of the arena in a rapid fashion. Outside of A.J. Price? They have nobody who can score by the magic number.

Michigan State

+ Luck. Ken Pomeroy has them as the 8th most lucky team in D-1. For whatever that’s worth.
+ Home State Advantage. Those who can afford it are going to roll out to Ford Field.
+ Rebounding. UConn is a solid team at generating second chances, but you know what? The Spartans are stronger.
+ Tom Izzo. Say what you will. He’s a great coach. Someone who has made as many final fours as Izzo is worth a posession or two. Especially with Jim Calhoun busy texting.
+ Depth. They have a much deeper rotation than UConn.

– Turnovers. Kalin Lucas is a good distributor, but the reason why they lost a couple in the Breslin Center they shouldn’t have is because the rebounds don’t overcome the turnovers. And with a team like UConn?

Villanova

+ Balance. They have little that they’re basketball leading dominant, but they have a salad bar of the skills that they bring to the table.
+ The Line. They can generate baskets by drawing fouls. And when they get to the free throw line? They sink the baskets.
+ Second chance baskets. If they can keep a team up off the boards? They will win the rebounding battle.
+ Dante Cunningham. He is the most underrated player left in the Tournament.
+ Simmons bunching theory. Philadelphia is in position for a good run as a sports city.

– They foul. If you want to be snarky. It is what could cost them the game. In a bang bang play between Cunningham and Hansborough? Does overrated white guy or underrated salad bar get the call?

North Carolina

+ The most efficient offense in sports entertainment.
+ Fouls and Turnovers. They do not commit them.
+ They shoot sharply. Beyond the arc? Inside? They can handle themselves.
+ They generate second chances. They get their misses.
+ Six starters. Anybody in the country would take them.

– A good day from the backcourt can beat them. Scottie Reynolds is a shining star right now. Corey Stokes is a legitmate three-point shooter. One of them gets hot? And they contend.

So what does it all mean? It means I expect UConn and UNC to play each other. And Jim Calhoun takes one for evil. If you’re betting game by game.

But if you’re taking odds? Go for Villanova.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: