Tag:march madness
Posted on: February 24, 2009 10:59 am

Shaping up to be a crazy March!

Unbiased views from a college hoop fan!  I am not here to rip any teams but give what I think as March Madness rolls around.  Look forward to your responses!  So who is the best team in the Country?  That is as hard a question right now as no team has shown that they are heads and heels above the rest.  All have question marks that make winning 6 straight very hard to fathom.  They won't be playing bottom dwellers but the best of the college field.  I know there will be questions on bubble teams but my thoughts are that bubble teams don't win it and are usually out by the round of 16.  Let's go through the field...

  1. Pittsburgh- amazing guard play and intensity on defense.  I love the way Jamie Dixon has them playing and the toughness this groups seems to portray.  Losses at Louisville and Nova are respectable losses.  Both on the road at tough gyms.  Play great defense and limits opponents to 62 points per game while scoring 78. The problem...they are 45th in the nation by allowing over 40% of shots taken against them.  They give up quality shots and all it takes is one hot team to send you home.  If they contests shots and make teams earn baskets with tough shots they will be a very tough out.  Prediction- final 4
  2. UCONN...Ok I will say it....my pick to win it.  Teams don't shoot well against them.  You have to hit outside shots to beat them.  They are big, strong, rebound well and always prepared.  Tourneys are won in the paint.  The later in the tourney, the more you need an inside game.  They will have to survive an early round scare with a hot shooting team and they will only become a tougher out as the tourney progresses. Don't see many flaws  and to  all the Pitt fans ...I am sorry...Thabeet won't get pushed around again on a neutral floor.  Win in March not February.  Prediction: Championship team
  3. Oklahoma - Boy are you Boomer Sooner fans going to be mad.  You had to win that game last night to show you can win without the big guy.  What you showed last night is you need Griffin to have a chance.  If UNC loses Hansborough do they still have a chance to win it all?  I say yes and I don't do the same with OU not having Griffin.  Head injuries stink.  He will for the rest of the season be one elbow from lala land as concussions come back so easily after one...Texas got you again.  PRediction 16 and out
  4. UNC - If they learn to play defense and show a dedication to it they have more talent than anyone.  They just refuse to play the d that will allow them to win it.  Many teams can score with the heels.  If they decide to use their athleticism to make some stops it will be the UNC invitational...Only problem is defense isn't a light switch and if they aren't playing it now, I don't know why they would start tomorrow.But how scary talented is this team? Prediction...Final 4
  5. Duke - sweet 16 run is in them but lack of interior toughness will get exploited.  One bad shooting night could embarrass them early in the tourney where guard play dominates the action but even if they are fortunate to survive, look at the teams above and tell me how they stop the interior play of those teams?  Yeah I am a fan and can't seem to lie to myself and answer that one.  Prediction 16 and out
  6. Memphis - Calipari has it going again but those disciplined teams seem to give them trouble.  I just don't see how they match up to the UCONNs or UNCs.  Pitt would spread them out.  I even see Duke giving them more than they can handle.  Memphis is a great story but they lost too much from last year's squad to make a serious run.  Prediction...16 and out
  7. Marquette - Dark horse here!  They really impress me!  Every time I sit down to break them down I leave saying "wow they are good" but they run the gauntlet of Uconn, Pitt, Louisville and Syracuse over the next two weeks...This will tell is they are pretenders or contenders.  We will find out if the cool aid is any good after next week.  That loss to Dayton just leaves me a bit weary on this team.  Prediction 16 and out
  8. Michigan State - My dark horse!  I love them and everything about Coach Izzo.  He gets the most out of what he has.  They are sound fundamentally and always focused.  They execute and are efficient.  They are made for deep runs into the tournament because Izzo makes the game into a game of possessions and execution rather than a scoring fest.  He puts your in tough spots and makes you make plays against a very tough hard nosed defense.  I love the team he has and a run into the elite 8 is very possible.  Prediction elite 8
  9. Louisville - God I love Rick Pitino.  His teams are ultra athletic and always peaking at the right time.  They have some bad losses so they are capable of breaking your hearts but I think he has them playing extremely well and has them ultra confident.  Upset special....Final four team.

I know I am opening up myself to critcism but this is just a brief look.  As the weeks go on I may change my mind but up to this point this is my humble view after watching a bazillion games

Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com