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Well everybody Selection Sunday is done & now the Field of 68 has been selected. Below will be a quick hit of each team & 2 question marks I have from the selection committee also. Thanks to ESPN for help in this article.
Midwest(Regionals in Cleveland)
Favorite: Kentucky- The Wildcats from the start in November, have been #1 & undefeated. The Wildcats are 10 players deep & for 1st & 2nd year college play defense like you would never believe, mainly at the 3 point line.
Overrated Team: Cincinnati- The Bearcats is ranked #294th in points scored. The Bearcats only good wins was SMU twice & NC State, with a weaken AAC this season, the Bearcats took advantage of it & overcame Mike Cronin stepping away from the day-to-day operation of the program to recover from a non-life-threatening condition. The Bearcats can defend, but you have to score enough points to win & I don’t see the Bearcats doing that.
Sleeper: Wichita State- I think the Shockers can once again give teams problems in the NCAA Tournament, they only have 4 losses this season & only 1 conference loss in the Missouri Valley, if the Shockers get Kansas in the Round of 32, oh how great would that be & upset alert would be there.
Matchup you want to see from this bracket: Kentucky vs. Maryland Sweet 16- This is the one challenge that Kentucky hasn’t seen yet, if Kentucky meet up with Kansas they played them earlier in the year, the Terps would be the one new matchup that the Wildcats would see in the Midwest Bracket.
West(Regionals in Los Angeles)
Favorite: Wisconsin- The Badgers ran thru the Big Ten, only losing 2 Conference Games & to Duke in November. Frank Kaminsky #44 is a pretty good player that plays inside & can shoot, but this Badgers team can shoot & they don’t foul you much. There only weakness to me is if they face a athletic team that can shoot.
Overrated Team: VCU- Briante Weber saw his career ended by a devastating ACL/MCL/meniscus tear. He was 12 steals shy of the all-time career record; he led Division I in steals percentage for an unprecedented four straight seasons. His injury has weakened the Rams & the wrong matchup could send them packing earlier.
Sleeper: Ohio State- Ohio State freshman D’Angelo Russell a ready-made NBA guard with a sweet lefty touch, perimeter range, a you-can’t-teach that feel for the pick-and-roll, and innate passing gifts. He is good enough to take the Buckeyes on a deep run & with the injury to Weber of VCU, the Buckeyes will give them problems.
Matchup you want to see from this bracket: Wisconsin vs. Arizona Elite 8- Just to see the Badgers & Wildcats contrast of styles meeting would be a great Elite Eight game indeed alone.
East(Regionals in Syracuse, NY)
Favorite: Villanova- The Wildcats have not lost a game since January 19 & in its last eight games, it averaged 1.28 points per possession, more than any team in the country. The Wildcats shoot alot of 3’s & in the Big East looked unbeatable, but if Nova gets in a tough game, who can bail them out of it & there will be some tough games for them this March.
Overrated Team: Virginia- Defense is the Cavs thing & they are good at it, but scoring points there are #225 in the nation & at times the Cavs have a hard time scoring points & the Cavs have to find points to move on.
Sleeper: Michigan State- Tom Izzo is one of the master of March & this team wasn’t the best team he’s had, but this might be his best coaching performance & that is saying alot. The Spartans took Wisconsin into OT in the Big Ten Championship Game & look out now for Michigan State in March.
Matchup you want to see from this bracket: Villanova vs. Louisville Sweet 16- A Recent Big East Matchup before last season would be good to see a real test for the Wildcats in Louisville.
South(Regionals in Houston)
Favorite: Duke- Jahlil Okafor is perhaps the greatest, most dominant offensive freshman in ACC history. Tyus Jones is a controlled, cold-blooded finisher who, despite playing with Okafor, frequently looks like Duke’s best player. Senior guard Quinn Cook does everything right.Justise Winslow is an NBA general manager’s platonic ideal of a small forward. Matt Jonesand Grayson Allen have played their best basketball down the stretch. The Blue Devils combine Okafor’s unstoppable interior scoring with expert spacing and lights-out shooting. They won at Wisconsin, at Louisville, at Virginia, and at North Carolina. Okafor does have trouble shooting FT & Duke is only 7 players deep, but when on, they are the 2nd best team in College Basketball.
Overrated Team: Georgetown- The Hoyas’ reputation for NCAA tournament letdowns precedes them & with them going out to Portland to play will be a problem for them, not granted Josh Smith has become a dominant post force; D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera can do everything a lead guard must; Mikael Hopkins is the heart of the Hoyas’ punishing defense; Isaac Copeland is a versatile 6-foot-8 freshman with an NBA future; and Jabril Trawick is rolling right now, but the Hoyas will be tested now.
Sleeper: SF Austin- The Lumberjacks — who have lost exactly one game since Nov. 24 — are back and even better in 2014-15, combining one of the country’s peskiest pressure defenses with one of its most efficient offenses. SF Austin beat VCU last season & is that type of senior laden team that could give teams problems in March.
Matchup you want to see from this bracket: Gonzaga vs. Iowa State Sweet 16- If this game takes place in the Sweet 16, it will show if the Zags can get it done vs. the Big XII Tournament champ Iowa State.
Also my 2 questions to the selection committee:
- How did UCLA not only get in the Tournament but not to play in the 1st Four, but only key wins was Coastal Carolina, UAB & Oregon. But look at these following Double Digit Losses the Bruins have(Oklahoma by 10, North Carolina by 22, Gonzaga by 13, Kentucky by 39 after only scoring 7 points in the 1st half, Utah by 32, Oregon by 18 & Arizona by 10) with a RPI of 49, the Bruins jumped Colorado State, Temple, Tulsa & Old Dominion(at RPI of 46 beat Richmond, LSU, VCU & Georgia State). I do think that teams like Murray State paid for not having a good non conference schedule, but if a Mid Major do schedule well in Non Conference & win more of those games than not should get in over a team with a name but having a down year & got beat in alot of their key games
- Has Dayton been giftwrapped a trip to the Sweet 16: The Flyers was pretty much the last team to get in the Tourny & thanked God that SMU beat UConn in the AAC Championship to keep the Flyers in the field, but the Flyers will be at home on Wednesday Night in the 1st Four matchup vs the Boise State Broncos which won the Regular Season tittle from the Mountain West, but that’s not all, if the Flyers win on Wednesday Night then they will only have to travel to Columbus, Ohio & face Providence. So the Flyers have a chance to stay in the State of Ohio until the Sweet 16, the Committee must look at making sure a mistake like this don’t happen down the line again. NCAA vice president Dan Gavitt, who is in charge of the men’s basketball tournament, said there were four scenarios for the First Four based on the A-10 and AAC title games Sunday. Gavitt said there was one scenario that had UCLA and Texas playing in the First Four in Dayton. The NCAA officials added that had Dayton become an automatic qualifier and moved into the general at-large field (and UConn lost, as was the case) then UCLA would have been in the First Four.