Friday, March 28, 2008

Day 2 of the Sweet Sixteen

After an exciting day of play today we move over the other two brackets to see who will join Xavier, UCLA, North Carolina and Louisville in the Elite Eight. Boxscores from the four games today here.

Davidson (28-6) v Wisconsin (31-4)

This is a match up where a team in Wisconsin will be trying to slow one individual, Stephen Curry of Davidson, to really enhance their chances of winning.

The Badgers of Wisconsin are a team in every sense of the word. Their leading scorer averages 13, but they have many contributors. None will be more important than Michael Flowers. Considered by many to be the best defensive player in the nation, his job will be to simply slow a hot Curry (could not resist that one) down.

Flowers will try to be Bruce Bowen like with his defense, but if he is beaten on penetration he knows his teammates have his back.

On the flip side, Curry is red hot. He has dropped 70 points in his first two tourney games. Although Curry can create for himself, he has Jason Richards creating some easy opportunities for him to knock down. Richards leads the nation in assists at 8 per game.

My tip is Wisconsin. The Badgers will slow Curry, plus their team play and depth will wear Davidson down.

Trivia: Name an Alum from Davidson who probably become an NBL Hall of Famer? Answer below.

Villanova (22-12) v Kansas (33-3)

Villanova depends so much on point guard Scottie Reynolds. He does it all for the Wildcats. He really needs to have a super game for his team to advance any further.

As for the Kansas Jayhawks, they have one of the deepest teams in college basketball. They have five guys who score in double figures and two others just below.

No need to try and sugar coat this one.

My tip, the Jayhawks in a canter. Too much depth!

Standford (28-7) v Texas (30-6)

This is a battle between the Stanford bigs and the Texas guards.

Stanford's twin towers, the Lopez brothers (Brook and Robin), have come up huge for the Cardinals in the past two games. Brook's game winner in the previous round sees them into the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2001.

Texas' DJ Augustin and AJ Abrams make this juggernaut tick. Augustin is a streaky outside shooter but it is his penetration that causes the trouble for opposition defense. Abrams on the other hand can fill it up from down town in a hurry. Then the rest of his game follows.

Although these four guys will have an influence each team has their respective X factors.

Stanford's point guard Mitch Johnson controls the tempo for the Cardinals, so if he keeps Augustin in check the Cardinal can advance.

Meanwhile, for the Longhorns they have a double double man on the inside. Damion James kick starts many of the Longhorns fastbreaks with his defensive rebounding. At the other end, this super athlete can drain the three ball or penetrate to the basket and finish strong.

My tip here. Something is telling me Stanford, but look for a close one here. Maybe a triple overtime thriller.

Michigan St (27-8) v Memphis (35-1)

Michigan St is methodical in their approach, both on offense and defense. They love to control the tempo. The backcourt of freshman Kalin Lucas and senior Drew Neitzel really dictate much of what happens throughout the course of their games.

Lucas will have to control Memphis' freshman sensation Derrick Rose, while Neitzel needs to provide 5 to 8 threes to give his team the offensive spark they need in this contest.

Memphis, like Kansas, is deep. Rose and backcourt teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts are a nightmare for most teams to control. Joey Dorsey and Robert Dozier are also two you need to watch on the interior.

Memphis like to play uptempo at both ends for forty minutes. If young buck Lucas does not get caught up in this frenzy that Memphis provides the Spartans can stay in the game and have a chance to win at the end. Memphis is a poor free throw shooting team (59%) and it will catch them out short in one of these games.

My tip is Memphis. Too much depth and Rose will have a dominating game.

Trivia Answer: Derek Rucker

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Bogut High Five's Himself!

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