Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sweet 16 Picks

#1 Kansas Vs. #4 Southern Illinois
This game has the potential to be ugly to watch given the defensive prowess of both teams. I'd love to say SIU will win but I just don't know if they can score enough to keep up with the Jayhawks. Especially with Matt Shaw likely to miss this game. My guess is Brandon Rush slows down Jamaal Tatum and Julian Wright does the same to Randal Falker and Jayhawks win by 10+.

#2 UCLA Vs. #3 Pittsburgh
This one should be even more unpleasant to watch than the Kansas-SIU game as neither of these teams score a whole lot. It's all defense and no offense in this one. Pittsburgh as far as I'm concerned is not very good and Aaron Gray is ineffective more often than he's effective. With that said I think the Bruins score just enough to advance.

#1 Ohio State Vs. #5 Tennessee
When these two teams played earlier this season the Buckeyes won a highly contested game by two points. Chris Lofton shot badly yet they still only lost by two. The Vols can win this game and I'd love to see them do it. Greg Oden is the key to this game. If his teammates get him involved early and keep him involved throughout I think the Buckeyes could dominate in this one. If the Vols are successful in pulling Oden out of the paint with Wayne Chism then the Vols have a very good chance to win. I say Lofton plays better and Tennessee sends home the first #1 seed this year.

#2 Memphis Vs. #3 Texas A&M
This one should be a lot like the Memphis-UCLA game in the Elite 8 last season. All defense and not a whole lot of offense. That game came down to who made plays late in the game. If I had to pick one guy to rely on late in a game I'd be the obvious choice Acie Law IV. If Joseph Jones establishes himself against Joey Dorsey and Dominique Kirk contributes even half of what he did against Louisville then the Aggies could win easily.

#1 North Carolina
Vs. #5 Southern California
If anyone has the defense and offense needed to knock off the Heels the Trojans may be it. They showed in the Texas game they can take one player out of the game. If the Trojans can slow down Ty Lawson and keep this game in the half court I like their chances. UNC struggles defensively from time to time in the half court and this is USC's best shot to knock them off. When all is said and done though I think Lawson will get his team up and down the court at a fast enough tempo for the Heels to win. It'll be close all the way but I just think the Heels have to much.

#2 Georgetown Vs. #6 Vanderbilt
In beating Florida earlier this season Vandy showed they're shooting can negate any size. Will they shoot up near 60% though? I doubt it even as good as Derrick Byars has played I just don't see Vandy shooting well enough to pull this off. They have virtually no size and Roy Hibbert should dominate if he tries to. This one should look a lot like the match up earlier this season when G'town won by 16.

#1 Florida Vs. #5 Butler
This one really comes down to Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey's shooting. When they shoot poorly Florida loses and looks bad doing it. When they shoot well the Gators are virtually unbeatable. If those two shoot well the Gators should roll in this one. If they don't as they haven't recently the Gators could be in for a dog fight and it could come down to who makes plays down the stretch of the game. I won't be shocked if Butler does win this game but I think Florida will shoot well enough to advance.

#3 Oregon Vs. #7 UNLV
This could turn out to be the best game of the Sweet 16 as both of these teams like to shoot it from three. If they're both shooting well this one could end up in the high 80's and Oregon probably wins. Because when Oregon's hot they're on fire there seems to be really no in between. Wendell White will be the key to this game as he must penetrate and create for his teammates like he did in the two previous game if they're going to win. Kruger needs to shoot well from outside as well. I think UNLV has enough size to cause a few problems for the Ducks and they can certainly shoot it with them. I like the Rebels despite my bracket.

I only took two upsets here but I wouldn't be shocked if their were as many as four as we cut down to eight. Outside of UNLV and Tenn I think Butler, USC and Vandy can all win as well. No matter who wins the A&M-Memphis game it's not an upset so I didn't count that one. Anyhow I'm off to do homework. I'll be posting a little more next week.

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