Monday, March 05, 2007

Conference Tournament Predictions

With the major conference tournaments coming up, I thought it'd be good to take a look at a lot of the bigger. So I'll give my predictions for the 8 conference tournaments that I am most interested in. Once again, in Spreadsheet format, because that's way cool.

ACC


Favorite: North Carolina is the #1 seed, and even though they haven't been playing great basketball lately, they still have to be considered the favorite.

Sleeper: Georgia Tech and Maryland have both been playing great lately and both have the talent to win 4 games in 4 days.

My Pick: When playing a lot of games in a short amount of time, depth is key, and nobody has more depth than the Tar Heels.

Atlantic-10


Favorite: Xavier and UMass tied for the regular season crown and both teams are playing equally well, so they're probably the co-favorites.

Sleeper: Charlotte comes in as the 9 seed, but if De'Angelo Alexander and Leemire Goldwire are playing well they can compete with anyone.

My Pick: I really think Xavier is the best team in the conference. They're experience, they're well-balanced, and they're well-coached. I really like the Musketeers this year.

Big East


Favorite: Georgetown completed the Big East schedule with a 13-3 record to get the #1 seed, making them the prohibitive favorite.

Sleeper: Villanova can be a little inconsistent offensively, but as Scottie Reynolds matures they are rapidly becoming a tough team to beat.

My Pick: I go with Pittsburgh here, a well-balanced team that always plays smart. I have picked Notre Dame to upset the Hoyas, leaving a clear path to the Big East title for Pitt.

Big 10


Favorite: With Brian Butch injured, the Buckeyes become the favorite here, though they have looked a little sketchy lately. They certainly are the most talented team in the conference.

Sleeper: Michigan St. is a great defensive and rebounding team, and Drew Neitzel can hit a lot of big shots down the stretch. That all means that they have the ability to keep a lot of games close. With a few breaks, they can find themselves winning the Big 10.

My Pick: I'll go with a little bit of a surprise pick and Indiana. They are solid defensively, and if they can knock some shots down they have the ability to play with anyone.

Big 12



Favorite: Kansas is playing better basketball than any team in the nation. They're the slight favorite, although Texas A&M and Texas are not too far behind.

Sleeper: By beating Kansas and Texas A&M (twice), Texas Tech showed they have the ability to beat anybody in the country, which makes them a possible sleepers if they get some breaks. Jarrius Jackson can carry a team for stretches at a time.

My Pick: I love what Texas and Texas A&M are doing, but Kansas is playing lots of great basketball right now. Hard to pick against them.

Mountain West


Favorite: BYU is the #1 seed, but I think UNLV is probably the favorite. They are 25-6 on the season and have won 6 of 7.

Sleeper: No real sleepers here... I'll be really surprised if a team not in the top 4 wins this thing.

My Pick: I've been pushing San Diego St. all season, and now it's time to officially pick them for something. They've been extremely inconsistent, but if they can put it together like they have a times this year, they are definitely talented enough to win the conference.

Pac-10


Favorite: I know UCLA is coming off of a loss, but they've been the best and most consistent team all season long

Sleeper: Washington is talented enough (Hawes and Brockman on the front line is awesome) and they'll be playing for their season this Tourney. They've been pretty disappointing this year but they have the ability to change all of that.

My Pick: Can't go against the Bruins. Toughness, defense, outside shooting... if they can get anything from Lorenzo Mata they're going to be a real tough out.

SEC


Favorite: The Gators haven't left anyone in awe over the past month, but as the defending champions they should probably be given the benefit of the doubt and be labeled as the favorites.

Sleeper: I really do think Kentucky has the talent to compete with pretty much anyone in this conference. They have good guards, and Randolph Morris is tough in the post. I would label Vandy the sleeper here, but then they are (for all intents and purposes) the 2 seed here.

My Pick: The Vols are playing better and better as this season goes along and the young freshmen posts get more and more experience. My only concern with the Vols is that they play a real uptempo style, and that could get tough playing 4 games in 4 days, which is what it would take to win the Tourney. Still, I'll take them.

What are your picks?

20 comments:

Pradamaster said...

I'd be wary of picking teams like Tennessee, Georgia Tech, and Washington, considering how badly all of them struggle on the road.

Give me UMD in the ACC, Florida in the SEC, and UCLA in the Pac-10.

Also, don't rule out LSU, who has gotten extremely unlucky in close games this year. Notre Dame and Oregon had the same problem last year, and they're now two of the better teams in the country.

twins15 said...

Good points all around Prada... I was going to include LSU as well, as they have been playing later, but I forgot. With Davis and the rest, they certainly have the talent to pull off some upsets. The SEC Tourney will be interesting if only to see if the West can hold their own.

Also I love your Maryland pick... I was thisclose to picking them to win it... they've been awesome lately.

Signal to Noise said...

I'm with Prada - fear the Turtle in the ACC. Beat UNC once and Duke twice.

The rest:
A10 - Xavier
Big East - G-Town (Pitt plays smart most the time, but smart teams don't get dominated by Marquette like that.)
Big 10 - Buckeyes
Big 12 - Texas A&M
MWC - SDSU
Pac 10 - UCLA
SEC - Florida (I don't like any of these teams, really.)

Mini Me said...

My picks...

ACC - Maryland
A10 - Xavier
Big East - Pittsburgh
Big 10 - Wisconsin
Big 12 - Texas
Mountain West - UNLV
Pac 10 - UCLA
SEC - Florida

Josh said...

Its cool you put this together. My comments would be that Georgetown destroyed Notre Dame in their only meeting, leading Mike Brey (HC of ND) to say:

"I'm glad we play them once," Brey said. "Their size really bothers you."

Also, WSU beat UW twice already this year, including the grudge rematch at UW, when UW was on a roll and playing for their season's lives, despite good performances from their 2 best players Hawes and Brockman.

BeaverFever said...

A-10 = Rhode Island

Mark said...

Duke will not beat Virginia. If they survive NC State without the services of Gerald Henderson, they will still be worn down enough to be easy pickings for the Cavaliers. Remember, Duke was 3-7 against the top half of the league this year (and two of those were against a slumping BC squad).

The Indiana Hoosier said...

Ha, We had nearly identical picks in the Big Ten. If you read my blog from yesterday you'll be happily surprised.

www.sportingnews.com/blog/Samueltstory

Anonymous said...

Kentucky to beat Alabama AND Vandy? Someone hasn't been watching mush SEC play or is smoking some really good crack.

ming01 said...

i love your indiana pick, i have them as a sleeper ofr the big dance. also for my brackets i picked g tech to go all the way too, but i have them beating bc.
my big east and pac 10 predictions will be up later today.

thirdstringjd said...

A-10 will probably be Xavier but I have UMass in the finals against them. The Minutemen are playing at a VERY high level right now and while GW is always a threat - nobody matches up well against Stephane Lasme and Rashaun Freeman. And yes I went to UMass.

twins15 said...

Thanks everyone for the comments... some responses:

Duke will not beat Virginia. If they survive NC State without the services of Gerald Henderson, they will still be worn down enough to be easy pickings for the Cavaliers. Remember, Duke was 3-7 against the top half of the league this year (and two of those were against a slumping BC squad).
I know Duke has not been that good this year, but I just have a strange feeling they're going to get some mildly surprising wins. They're tough defensively and getting better offensively. The loss of Henderson for one game hurts, but if they can get through that I like their chances against Virginia.

Kentucky to beat Alabama AND Vandy? Someone hasn't been watching mush SEC play or is smoking some really good crack.
Alabama with a healthy Ronald Steele = very good
Alabama with a hurt Ronald Steele = pretty bad, as they've shown.

Also, IIRC, Kentucky went to Vandy and lost by 2 on a late shot... I don't see why it's so out of the realm of possibility that they could win those games?

BD said...

I don't think SDSU wins the MWC tourney because they'll likely draw UNLV (the host) in the second round rather than the final where they could maybe afford the loss. SDSU is a bad road team (See: Wyoming) and I think UNLV beats them rather easily. I still can't believe Slaughter tried to jump to the NBA last season (he was not drafted). I have been pumping up the Aztecs just like you have but unfortunately it looks like they'll be watching the Madness from the NIT.

My Picks:
ACC: UNC (it'll be Va. Tech they're playing for it.)
A-10: Xavier
Big East: Marquette (thats a loose call)
Big Ten: Ohio State (It'll be MSU they beat for it though)
Big 12: Texas A&M ( I think they frustrate Kansas again)
MWC: UNLV
Pac-10: USC
SEC: Florida (on a neutral court I think Florida beats Tenn easily)

grittysquirrels said...

Hey jon. Just wanted to tell you you rock. You are a sports mastermind and a role model to all of us. You should come check out the Conference tourney predictions we got going on at The Sports Flow. We have the PAC-10 and Big East up now with the ACC and SEC tomorrow and then Big10 & Big12 following. Also i wrote a letter to the bigwhigs of the Minnesota Twins that i know you might be interested in reading. Come check it out.

Rob said...

I was enjoying your picks, and for the most part I would agree. However, Notre Dame is not going to beat Georgetown. Indiana might put up a fight, but Ohio State or Wisconsin will take the Big 10. And you're nuts if you think Washington will beat Wazzu. The Cougs have beat them twice this year, twice last year, and this year's Washington team is a whopping 1-10 on the road. I still think UCLA will win the tourney, but there is no way Washington will win two tourney games with their terrible guard play.

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