Tuesday, 13 March 2007

NCAA Tournament Prediction: Midwest Region

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(picks in bold)

(1) Florida
vs. (16) Jackson St.
Thanks for playing Jackson St. Gators should have no problems here.

(8) Arizona vs. (9) Purdue
Purdue has been playing some nice basketball, but Arizona is just too athletic for the Boilermakers to hang with them.

(5) Butler vs. (12) Old Dominion
Two teams that are sort of going in the opposite directions... Old Dominion has won 12 of 13, and Butler seems to have gotten this 5 seed mostly just based on what they did early in the year. I think this game is close to a pick'em.

(4) Maryland vs. (13) Davidson
I love Davidson, but I don't like this draw at all. Maryland takes care of the ball, and DJ Strawberry should be able to do a solid job on Stephen Curry. It definitely wouldn't surprise me to see Davidson in the sweet 16, because they are that good, but I just think Maryland is a bad matchup.

(6) Notre Dame vs. (11) Winthrop
Winthrop is everyone's cinderella, but I like the Irish a lot. I feel like whoever wins this game can go to the Elite 8, and I think the Irish are just a little better offensively.

Field Negro asked me this in the comments: " Why the love affair with Notre Dame?Russell Carter is way overrated, and Mike Brey always chokes come tournament time."

Well, I just think the Irish are clicking offensively. Carter takes some bad shots, but he shoots 40% from 3-range. Colin Falls can hit 5 in a row without blinking. Kurz and Hagabody are nice players inside. And I think Tory Jackson is developing into a stud. I think the Irish starting 5 is real good.

(3) Oregon vs. (14) Miami (Ohio)
Let me put it this way, if Oregon shoots like it did in the Pac-10 Tourney, they can beat absolutely anyone.

(7) UNLV vs. (10) Georgia Tech
This is a tough game to pick... UNLV is a very solid all-around team, but I think the Yellow Jackets will be just a little too athletic for them.

(2) Wisconsin vs. (15) Texas A&M - CC
No 2/15 upset here... though the Badgers are certainly the most vulnerable of the 15 seeds.


(1) Florida vs. (8) Arizona
Arizona has the individual talent among the starters to hang with the Gators, but they play no defense and they have no depth. That's not a good combination, especially against a great team like Florida.

(4) Maryland vs. (12) Old Dominion
ACC Tourney loss aside, the Terps have been one of the hottest teams in the country, and I can't see ODU taking them out here. The Terps are too talented and too experienced.

(3) Oregon vs. (6) Notre Dame
The thing everyone forgets about Oregon (because of their offensive performances in the Pac-10 Tourney, is that they really aren't that good defensively. Not that the Irish are going to shut anyone down, but I think they'll be a little better to beat the Ducks in a high-scoring battle.

(2) Wisconsin vs. (10) Georgia Tech
The Badgers offense just has not been the same since Brian Butch went down. Alando Tucker is great, but he can't do it all alone.


(1) Florida vs. (4) Maryland
The Gators are just too good to be knocked off here. Too good defensively, too balanced offensively. But even with a team with a few seniors, the future is bright for Maryland with the young guys in the backcourt.

(6) Notre Dame vs. (10) Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets run ends here, as they just aren't able to defend all of the Irish's scoring weapons. Still a nice tournament showing for a young team.


(1) Florida vs. (6) Notre Dame
The dream ends for Notre Dame. Florida is good enough to get out and defend the Irish's shooters, and they are more than good enough to beat Notre Dame's questionable defense. I really think all roads lead to Atlanta for the Gators.


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