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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.
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6 Responses to “GAMES THREAD: NCAA Tournament – Day 2”

  1. johnnycougar said

    whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, you hate the Zags? Do you mean you hate the Zags in this game? C’mon, they were the only thing Eastern Washington had to cheer about for like ten years!

    I know it’s too late for bracket purposes, but I thought this was pretty interesting:
    http://ballhype.com/story/mapping_the_ncaas/

    They use Pomeroy’s efficiency ratings to nicely compare teams in each region using pretty graphs. They also have a good luck at possible upsets. They map the 1-4 seeds, and they say “Vanderbilt does not belong” so perhaps your upset pick will prove true.

  2. Nuss said

    That’s an awesome link. Very interesting information, and makes me feel a little better about picking George Mason last night.

    And, yes, you read that right. Mostly I can’t stand Gonzaga because of their fans. They are WAY more arrogant than they have any right to be, considering all they do year after year is beat up on weak opponents in a crappy conference and flame out in the tournament. I was there when they went on that first run with Santangelo and Frahm — their first two rounds were at KeyArena that year — and ALL the fans came out of the woodwork. It was kind of fun then. Now, everyone who either went there or maybe just had a relative who went there or maybe had a friend of a friend go there thinks they’re the greatest. It’s so obnoxious.

    Oh, and there was that little incident when I was working on a story for a magazine and wanted to profile Adam Morrison, along with profiling players from the four northwest Pac-10 schools. The four Pac-10 schools did everything I needed to make it happen, even though it was during the summer time. Gonzaga? Couldn’t get a call back from their SID for forever, then they finally called and said Adam might be stopping by the office that day. Three different times they told me that, three different times I cleared my schedule, three different times I received no phone call from Morrison — not even one from the SID to tell me Morrison would not be calling. The general attitude was, “Well, we’re Gonzaga, and Morrison is going to be a top 5 NBA pick next year, and your little magazine — quite frankly — just isn’t important enough for us to make time for.”

    That’s why I can’t stand Gonzaga.

    (Although I like Mark Few; he was very cool the one time I interviewed him for a story on Dan Dickau, who also was cool. But I guess they just got a little too big time for their britches.)

  3. Nuss said

    Now this is more like it. Yesterday was about the most boring day of the Tournament I can remember since, well, last year’s day one. Today is so much better. Great Gonzaga game, and the finish to this Drake game has been unbelievable. It’s like having two days of Christmas.

  4. Nuss said

    Like I was saying, that’s more like it. Wow, Western Kentucky.

  5. Lauren said

    Good calls on Siena and Arkansas, you’re officially kicking my butt right now. Too bad with Clemson, but at least they didn’t screw up your entire bracket like they did mine.

    And, Western Kentucky, funny story. Stull, Cathy, Michael Guimond, a bunch of other juniors, and I were watching the end of OT in the library, and we yelled so loud at the last second shot that I’m pretty sure all of the kids working on scholarships in there wanted to kill us. (Of course we had it turned on at school, it’s not like we were learning or anything.)

  6. Nuss said

    Yeah, today was a good day. And smart teachers like me plan work days on these two days of the year, every year.

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