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Archive for March 21st, 2008

Getting a read on Notre Dame, initial thoughts

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 21, 2008

Notre Dame coming up tomorrow. Here are some links for your thinking pleasure, along with some of my initial thoughts after watching a good portion of the Notre Dame beatdown of George Mason.

My initial reaction to Notre Dame? This is a team that likes to get up and down the floor offensively, and is at its best pushing the tempo. It’s also a team that is less-than-committed on defense, especially if it has to work very hard. That was George Mason’s biggest failing last night. The Patriots played right into the hands of the Irish, getting into a much higher paced game than they should have. I will bet the Cougs won’t make that same mistake.

Luke Harangody is pretty darn good. He’s got surprising agility for how dang goofy he looks with that silly flat-top haircut, and will be one heck of a challenge for Aron Baynes. I didn’t really get much of a sense of other strengths and weaknesses of the Irish from the game, mostly because George Mason made it so easy for them with porous transition defense predicated by ill-advised shots on offense.

Your thoughts?


Posted in Around the 'Net, NCAA Tournament | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

GAMES THREAD: NCAA Tournament – Day 2

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 21, 2008

Welcome to Day 2 of the NCAA Tournament. I don’t know about you, but I’ll have a heck of a lot easier time watching and enjoying games knowing that the Cougs don’t play until Saturday. My thoughts never really were with any of those games yesterday until the Cougs had safely put Winthrop in the freezer.

This is your thread for all that you see today. Here’s the slate, along with the picks from my bracket — let’s hope I don’t lose two more Sweet Sixteen teams today. All times PDT.

Morning/afternoon session

  • (2) Tennessee vs. (15) American, 9:15 a.m. — Tennessee has the most success against teams that will be flustered by their full-court attack, both offensively and defensively. Here’s to betting American gets flustered. Pick: Tennessee.
  • (7) Gonzaga vs. (10) Davidson, 9:20 a.m. — Zags were rolling until throwing up a pair of offensive stinkers in the WCC Tournament. This is a pick ’em in my mind. I hate the Zags, but I’ll go with the known quantity. Pick: Gonzaga.
  • (7) Miami, FL vs. (10) St. Mary’s, 9:30 a.m. — One of my least confident picks of the Tournament. I really don’t have a great reason for picking Miami, other than they’re from a big conference. Isn’t that shallow of me? Pick: Miami.
  • (5) Drake vs. (12) Western Kentucky, 9:30 a.m. — I’ve been skeptical of Drake all year, but the way they dominated the Valley gave me some pause. They’re pretty athletic, and as long as they’re not awed by the stage, they should be OK. Pick: Drake.
  • (7) Butler vs. (10) South Alabama, 11:30 a.m. — The Bulldogs have struggled to live up to expectations this year … and are stil 29.3. How’s that for expectations? This is a veteran squad that is poised for a run against a team that probably should have been left out of the tournament. Pick: Butler.
  • (2) Georgetown vs. (15) UMBC, 11:35 a.m. — Georgetown will get upset at some point in this tournament, but it ain’t now. Pick: Georgetown.
  • (4) Connecticut vs. (13) San Diego, 11:45 a.m. — If the Toreros can figure out a way to score some points, they might just pull the upset. They are an excellent defensive squad that should be able to hang around, but the question is, can they get past a 7-foot-3 center? Pick: UConn.
  • (2) Texas vs. (15) Austin Peay, 11:50 a.m. — Texas poised for a deep run, says my bracket. Longhorns’ guards way too much in this one. Pick: Texas.

Evening session

  • (6) Oklahoma vs. (11) St. Joseph’s, 4:10 p.m. — Oklahoma’s interior play just too much for St. Joe’s, which has trouble stopping good rebounding teams. Pick: Oklahoma.
  • (1) North Carolina vs. (15) Mount St. Mary’s, 4:10 p.m. — This one will be ridiculous quickly. Pick: UNC.
  • (4) Vanderbilt vs. (13) Siena, 4:20 p.m. — Vandy ripe for an upset if its not hitting 3s. That’s what’ll happen here against a team that beat Stanford earlier this year. Pick: Siena.
  • (8) Mississippi State vs. (9) Oregon, 4:25 p.m. — This game is a matchup nightmare for Mississippi State. Bulldogs make their living erasing shots near the rim; Ducks make their living burying 3s. Good shooting wins it for the Ducks. Pick: Oregon.
  • (3) Louisville vs. (14) Boise State, 6:30 p.m. — Cardinals too athletic for Broncos. Pick: Louisville.
  • (8) Indiana vs. (9) Arkansas, 6:30 p.m. — Hoosiers miss Kelvin Sampson so much. They just aren’t playing with the fire of their fired coach since he left, but can still beat anyone on any night on talent alone. Arkansas might be one of the most underrated teams in the tournament. Pick: Arkansas.
  • (5) Clemson vs. (12) Villanova, 6:40 p.m. — Wildcats have a strong chance if they can slow down the reckless Tigers. I don’t think they can. Pick: Clemson.
  • (1) Memphis vs. (16) Texas-Arlington, 6:40 p.m. — This one will be ugly quickly, too. Pick: Memphis.

Posted in Game Threads, NCAA Tournament | 6 Comments »