Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Best Matchups/Possible Matchups

Let's take a look at the best matchups in the first round, and then the best potential matchups in Round 2, and the Sweet 16

Best First Round Matchups
5) Syarcuse vs. 12)Texas A&M - Everyone is pointing to this game as the most likely 5/12 upset, and I have to agree. Syracuse is hot, but there was a reason they were on the bubble coming into the tournament. A 5 seed is probably a little high. Texas A&M is a good, athletic club that plays good defense, and showed they can play with anyone when they beat Texas.

6) West Virginia vs. 11) Southern Illinois - Two teams with different styles. West Virginia is methodical offensively, working to get a good shot, and shooting a lot of 3's. They don't play great defense, and they're not a good rebounding team, but they keep teams off the line and don't turn the ball over. Southern Illinois is methodical, physical, and defensive-minded, just a team that can give West Virginia trouble.

6) Indiana vs. 11) San Diego St. - Indiana is playing for a lame duck coach, which has actually seemed to help them. SD State is a talented bunch, with very good balance. This game could be decided by the health of Robert Vaden.

5) Washington vs. 12) Utah St. - Washington is a very good squad, with good depth, good balance, and a star in Brandon Roy. However, Utah St. could give them trouble with their style of play. I think Washington is a little too athletic, but Utah St. will make it interesting.

2) Tennessee vs. 15) Winthrop - This game will be a lot closer than the seeds would indicate. Tennessee is overseeded, and Wintrhop is underseeded. Winthrop returned almost everyone from the team last year that gave Gonzaga a legitimate game in the Tourney, and they already beat Marquette this year. Don't sleep on Winthrop just because of their seed.

Best Potential Second Round Matchups
3) Iowa vs. 6) West Virginia - Much like the Mountaineers opening game against Southern Illinois, they would face a hard-nosed, defensive-minded team, but perhaps a little more talented.

4) Kansas vs. 5) Pittsburgh - Kansas is a young team led by lots of freshman and sophomores. Pittsburgh is led by 24 year-old Carl Krauser. But they are both very good defensively, and they combine good guard play with solid play inside.

4) Illinois vs. 5) Washington - Both of these teams were 1 seeds last year. And while both lost some guys, they both returned a lot of talent, and they have good coaching. Illinois is led by seniors Dee Brown and James Augustine. Washington is led by Brandon Roy and Jamal Williams.

3) North Carolina vs. 6) Michigan St. - Lots and lots of talent in this game. North Carolina is led by Super-Frosh Tyler Hansborough, Michigan St. has a three-headed monster with Shannon Brown, Maurice Ager, and Paul Davis but not much else. The coaching in this potential matchup is incredible, with Tom Izzo and Roy Williams. Michigan St. has to play better defense, but if they do, this could be one of the best games of the Tournament.

4) Boston College vs. 5) Nevada - I think BC is underseeded a little, but that doesn't mean they'll coast here. Nevada is led by Nick Fazekas, who's a heck of a player, but they have more than that, with Marcellus Kemp, Ramon Sessions, and company. This would be an extremely well-played game between two very good teams.

2) Ohio St. vs. 7) Georgetown - Two teams that differ in style. The Buckeyes rely a lot on the 3-Point shot, but they can also pound the ball to Big-10 Player of the Year Terence Dials. Georgetown runs their variation of the Princeton offense, which is more effective because of the passing skills of their bigs.

Best Potential Sweet 16 Matchups
1) Duke vs. 4) LSU - It would seem like LSU is just the type of club to beat Duke. They're athletic, they defend, and they have a very good big man that could give Shelden Williams trouble.

1) Villanova vs. 4) Boston College - Many people are saying this could be the best game of the Tournament, and looking at the teams, I think it certainly has that potential. Their styles are completely different - Villanova is an outside team while Boston College likes to get the ball inside - but they both execute very well. I think this game would come down to the play of Louis Hinnant, and if he can play like he did in the ACC Tourney, Boston College is a potential Final Four Team.

These are only some of the games that look great. I think we'll see at least one 14 seed or lower win a game this year, the problem is figuring out which one will do it. Can't wait until Thursday!

6 comments:

The Armchair Quarterback said...

I would love to see Georgetown make some noise in the tournament. I thought they should have been seeded higher than Syracuse. I know the Orangemen won the conference tournament but does that discount their poor play in the Big East throughout the year?

Pradamaster said...

You forgot possibly the best potential Sweet 16 matchup of all...Uconn vs. Illinois. If there's one team that could match up well with Uconn, it's Illinois. Brian Randle is a defensive whiz and will be all over Rudy Gay, and Dee Brown could easily get the best of Marcus Williams. Inside, Shaun Pruitt is improving to join James Augustine, and they could give Uconn lots of trouble.

Otherwise, this is a pretty good list. Then again, every matchup is a good matchup for me. I can't choose.

twins15 said...

Armchair QB, yeah, I think Cuse is a little overrated, definitely. It's kind of funny that a Gerry McNamara miracle shot eventually got Syracuse from the outside looking in to a 5 seed (I realize they had to win more games, but stay with me), and dropped Cincy from a team that was on the bubble but pretty firmly in to the outside looking in. I can't explain it.

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