Thursday, March 17, 2011

Comments on 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket

I know this post will come in after the first round has started, but I promise these are original opinions. These are my thoughts on the bracket.

1: I know I have Duke winning. Even on this blog, I will admit that I am a complete homer, and I believe that the Blue Devils will survive until either a) Kyrie Irving comes back or b) Kyle Singler figures out his game (getting boards and driving rather than shooting 3's). They have some tough matchups (Texas, UConn, SDSU) before the Final Four, but they are experienced, and I believe they can make it.

2: Here on, I will go straight top-to-bottom from my previous post

  • I know lots of people have WVU losing to Clemson. I think that UAB would have been tougher, and I think the late game plus early game for Clemson will show in the second half when they'll be a bit more tired than the Mountaineers. Plus I think Bryant is the best player in this game.
  • I know some have Xavier losing to the Golden Eagles. I think Xavier is veteran and won't lose this early.
  • I had Xavier beating 'Cuse, then I went through my entire bracket and took another look at all the Big East teams, many which had losses, but mostly to each other. I believe in the conference this year, and in many cases, I upgraded their teams.
  • I have the Huskies beating the Tarheels because I believe that UW is a veteran, tournament tested team. I saw them last year and believe their experience will serve them well against UNC's youth. I also believe that UNC will face ball pressure and that they didn't necessarily do well against Duke's pressure. Finally, I think Isaiah Thomas is the best player in this game. I will use the best player call often, because I believe in the one-and-done format, sometimes the bets player can transcend a game and put an inferior team on top. Example? Carmelo.
  • I think Thomas continues to be great for UW, better than Jardine for 'Cuse, and then the talent of OSU (Sullinger > Thomas) takes over.

  • I'm flipping between Arizona, Memphis, Texas, and Oakland for the first two rounds. Ultimately, I think Derrick Williams will be the best player among the four, and I believe that Texas has too many weapons for Oakland to handle.
  • I think Texas' youth comes out against the veteran Blue Devils. Also, I am a total disbeliever in Rick Barnes' tournament chops (c'mon, they lost in the second round with Durant). So I'm taking Duke here. 
  • I think that SDSU will beat UConn inside, and although they can be susceptible to great guard play, I think UConn will be a bit tired and just don't think they have it in them to go all the way.
  • I think Duke will play better pressure D against the Aztecs than they've seen and will win this one going away.

  • I am a big disbeliever in Vanderbilt, having watched them through the SEC. I just don't think they have the mentality to close games.
  • Lots of people have Louisville losing, I did too before my second look at the Big East.
  • Ditto for Georgetown, though I think this upset will probably happen. Oh well, I'll stick to my guns.
  • I think FSU's defense trumps A&M's offense.
  • I think the Jayhawks' second round game is dangerous. They could go out here. UNLV can be sneaky good or just not so good.
  • Big risk taking Louisville for two wins.
  • I love Moore and I think he may be the best player in this region if he's hot.
  • I think ND can have two good shooting games-they've done it in the Big East.
  • The Jayhawks have another tough game here. Two toughies in a row.
  • I think Moore as the best player beats them in the next game though.
  • Again, Kansas has to beat a tough team. I really was tempted to pick Purdue, but Kansas is solid all over the place, especially on D. We'll see though, as the Jayhawks have to play what seems to me to be three tough games in a row.

  • I think Utah State was seeded way too low. The problem is, I think Pullen is the best player in the top half of this bracket, or maybe even the whole bracket (if Jimmer is gone), and the Wildcats have gotten super hot. Still, I think Utah State will be playing with a chip on their shoulder.
  • St. John's lost their best player. Tough.
  • I have no faith in Michigan State this year. Maybe like last year, they will prove me wrong.
  • Pitt is going to find it tough against Old Dominion
  • I don't think Gonzaga can slow down Jimmer or punish BYU enough inside.
  • I think Florida is the weakest 2 (like many people). I think that UCLA is tournament-tested and can win this one. I think of this game as a push.
  • Pitt faces another hard game against either Utah State or Kansas State. I think this will be a physical game no matter who's in it.
  • BYU can't continue to play one man ball. This club can either make the final four, or lose in the first weekend.

  • I think Duke matches up well with OSU. And I think Nolan will prove to be the best player in this game. I'm not saying he's necessarily better than Sullinger, I just think Duke can cover Sullinger better than OSU can contain Smith. Also, if Irving is playing around 15 minutes a game by this point, look out.
  • I think the Jayhawks and the Panthers will both have tough roads to the Final Four. Ultimately, I think the Jayhawks have more talent and Pitt might be more worn out.

  • Playing Pitt will cost the Jayhawks as they find themselves in an early hole against Duke. In the second half, the defenses tighten it up and they get the game within a possession, but Nolan Smith hits a big three pointer off a Kyle Singler miss and offensive rebound, keeping the Jayhawks at bay, and they never get within 4 the rest of the way as Duke celebrates its second straight title.
3: Places I think I could be horribly wrong:
  • Having Duke win it all.
  • Not having OSU win it all.
  • Being too confident in the talent on Kansas and Pitt teams.
  • Not trusting SDSU's lack of tournament wins enough
  • Not believing in Kemba enough. 
  • Not believing enough/believing too much in Jimmer.
  • Overrating/Underrating the Big east.
  • Forgetting about George Mason too early.
  • Forgetting about Harrison Barnes.
  • Jordan Hamilton owning Derrick Williams.
  • Believing too much in Isaiah Thomas.
  • Over/Under-rating ND's shooting.
  • Picking too much chalk in the end.
Right or wrong, you make the call, and let's find out together!

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