Sunday, March 16, 2008

Here's What's Going to Happen: East Region


#1 North Carolina over #16 Coppin State: After Coppin gets by Mount St. Mary's, they are greeted in Raleigh by the overal number 1 Tar Heels. UNC has had no problem blowing teams out this year, and there's no reason for that to change.

#9 Arkansas over #8 Indiana: Finally for Hoosier fans, this mess of an end of the season comes to an end, as they can't deal with the athleticism the Razorbacks bring, and DJ White's glorious career comes to an end. Of interest to Gopher fans may be Arkansas leading scorer Sonny Weems, a possible preview of what we can hope Devron Bostick is.

#4 Washington State over #13 Winthrop: I really wanted to pick Winthrop here, mostly because I think Washington State is extremely overrated. The problem is, this Winthrop team isn't last year's Winthrop team. That team was a true contender, with wins over Mississippi State and a good Old Dominion team, and near misses against North Carolina, Maryland, and Wisconsin. This year's Winthrop team has nothing on it's resume. Washington State in a squeaker.

#5 Notre Dame over #12 George Mason: GMU is a very, very dangerous 12 seed, and against a different #5 would be strongly considered for the upset. However, not against Notre Dame (more like Notre Lame). Not when they got knocked off in the first round last year by Winthrop. And Mason's top player is power forward Will Thomas. Unfortunately for the Patriots, he'll be matched up against Luke Harangody, one of the top PFs in the country. Advantage: Irish.

#2 Tennessee over #15 American: American was the number one team in the Patriot, so they may give the Vols some trouble. Probably not.

#7 Butler over #10 South Alabama: This was a tough call. South Alabama is an excellent team, and against any other 7 seed I'd pick them, particularly since this game is going to take place in Birmingham. But I think Butler is a really solid team this year, as in they should have been a 4 or a 5 seed, not a 7. South Alabama catches a bad break getting Butler here.

#3 Louisville over #14 Boise State: Boise has the second highest field goal percentage as a team in the country, and they play a fast tempo kind of game. Louisville was one of the hottest teams in the country, having won 9 straight before losing at Georgetown and to Pitt in the Big East tournament. Going into the tourny with two straight losses isn't ideal, and Boise could be interesting, but the Cardinals should handle it.

#11 St Joe's over #6 Oklahoma: The Hawks are playing excellent basketball, having defeated Xavier twice in the past ten days. And Oklahoma sucks. St Joe's has the size to deal with Oklahoma's big guys, and they're just a better team.


#1 North Carolina over #9 Arkansas: I fully expect the Razorbacks to give the Tar Heels a game. Arkansas has the athleticism to keep up with the Heels, but don't have the ability or the depth to keep it up for a full game.

#5 Notre Dame over #4 Washington State: As I said before, the Cougars are completely overrated, and the Irish are very good. They have the depth, patience, and offensive game to handle WSU's game.

#3 Louisville over #11 St. Joe's: Watching Pat Calathes go up against David Padgett will be a treat. Two quality big men playing very well right now. I expect this to be a pretty tight game, with Louisville winning out in the end.

#2 Tennessee over #7 Butler: I'll be honest, I stared at this one for a long time, and I may end up changing it at some point, but for now, I think the Vols take it down. An interesting clash of styles, as Tennessee ranks 19th in tempo, and Butler ranks 327th. If Butler can make it a slowdown game, Tennessee could struggle.


#1 North Carolina over #5 Notre Dame: I still think Notre Dame is a very good team, but they just don't have the athleticism to hang with the Tar Heels. I expect Harangody to swarmed by Hansbrough, Deon Thompson, and Danny Green and really struggle, while the Tar Heel offense has a good day.

#3 Louisville over #2 Tennessee: This will be a very fun game. Both teams are very athletic and can score and play defense. The depth and size of the Cardinals will be the difference.

#3 Louisville over #1 North Carolina: Roy Williams historically chokes every year with top talent, other than that one year when he actually won, and Pitino historically can get more out of his teams. Louisville is a #1 seed caliber team, but struggled early in the season with injuries and ended up at #3. They're heading to their second final four under Pitino here.

Stay tuned for the other regions.

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