Saturday, March 7, 2009

See You in the NBA, Lester

Lester Hudson and the UT-Martin hopes for the NCAAs went up in flames yesterday, with a loss to Morehead (hee hee) State. The game was on ESPNU and I had a chance to catch some of it, and Hudson is really, really, really good. He's a damn good distributor of the ball as well as scorer, it's just his teammates are really awful. I'd like to write more, but I have to get to the bar. Yes, it's 8:45.




BIG SKY: Always close to my heart because of family ties is Weber State (Mrs. W went there for a year, along with a lot of family), I always pull for them to take the Big Sky, and the Harold “The Show” Arceneaux year was a grand old time. And hey, what do you know? Weber is the #1 seed.
FAVORITE: Weber State. The Wildcats destroyed the Big Sky this year, rolling to 15-1 with their only loss inexplicably to sixth place Montana State. Weber actually ranks in the top 100 RPI (#92), and although they didn’t get any big non-conference victories, they are a solid team, ranking in the top 125 in both offensive and defensive efficiency on Ken Pomeroy’s site.
SLEEPER: Portland State. The Vikings were the champs last year, but got ripped by #1 seed Kansas. You know they’d love to get back, and despite finishing four games behind Weber State they have the ability to get it done as evidenced by their win over Gonzaga earlier this year. Last year’s Big Sky POY, 5-6 dynamo Jeremiah Dominguez, is back and although his numbers are way down this year and he’s shooting under 40%, he has the ability to get hot and carry PSU to the dance, such as when he hit 7 threes in the Gonzaga game.
W’s PICK: Weber State. Sorry Jeremiah, the Wildcats are too good and too deep to be upset this year.


SUMMIT: I’m sure, like me, you’re sick of hearing about how Tim Miles redshirted his first class at North Dakota State in order to make sure they were still around for the first year the Bison were NCAA tournament eligible and blah blah blah. Well, Miles is gone to Colorado State, but the Bison have the players to get it done.
FAVORITE: North Dakota State. Yes, that little weiner and his boyfriend are still around, and they actually are first and third in the Summit in scoring, helping the Bison to the number 1 seed.
SLEEPER: Oakland. If this two meet up it should be a pretty good show, as they rank similarly in nearly every category, from scoring to field goal percentage to offensive efficiency, where they are both very good (NDSU 37th, Oakland 28th). The biggest difference is defense, where the Bison are mediocre, but the Grizzlies are terrible. Keep in mind Oakland already beat NDSU once this year.
W’s PICK: Oakland. NDSU is far too precious of a story for me to pick them, but I also think the Grizzlies can get it done. They have a top flight scorer, a top flight scorer, and an excellent point guard in Johnathan Jones, the nation’s leader in assists at 7.8 per game, whose broken double digits in 6 of his last 7 games.

BUBBLE GAMES OF NOTE:
Michigan @ Minnesota - of course. See previous post.
G Tech @ Boston College - BC needs to win
Kentucky @ Florida - Florida needs to win
S. Carolina @ Georgia - So Car is probably already good, but this win would help - or, more accurately, avoiding this bad loss would help
Umass @ Rhode Island - RI has climbed into the bubble discussion while everyone else seems to falter
Mizzou @ Texas A&M - I have no idea how, but TAMU will probably get a bid if they take this one
Ok State @ Oklahoma - A loss doesn't hurt OSU, but a win guarantees a bid
New Mexico @ Wyoming - A win doesn't help, but a loss kills
Duquesne @ Dayton - Dayton probably in no matter what
San Jose St vs. Utah State - USU might get in if they don't win the WAC tourney, but not by losing in the first round
UNLV @ San Diego State - might be an elimination game here, especially for SDSU


TOMORROW: No new tourneys kick off, but we do get the Missouri Valley championship and a bunch of semi-finals.