Saturday, March 27, 2010

East and West Regional Final Previews

The NCAA Tournament is quickly winding down to the it's end sadly. We are left with just 8 squads. Before we look at the match ups for today, let's rewind and look at who were the big winners last night.

6 Tennessee 76 2 Ohio State 73 - The Buckeyes couldn't keep the Volunteers off the offensive glass, as the Vols grabbed 18. The Buckeyes also couldn't stop Tennessee inside. They did have a chance to win, as Player of the Year in the Big 10, and probably America, Evan Turner got a pair of looks from 3. He missed the first and had the second blocked by JP Prince to send the Buckeyes packing. It's Tennessee's first ever Elite 8. Wayne Chism had 22-11, and Brian Williams 9-12, including the tip in for the lead. Evan Turner had 31-7-5 assists in his last game as a Buckeye.

5 Michigan State 59 9 Northern Iowa 52 - Northern Iowa didn't score a field goal in the last 10 minutes against the Spartans. Those types of things tend to cost you games. Michigan State continues to be a team that always advances to the late stages of the NCAA tournament. Even though many thought they would reach this point in November, none thought it would come this way. For UNI, Adam Koch  had 13, while for the Spartans, Durrell Summers put up 19-7.

3 Baylor 72 10 St Mary's 49 - This was an all out rout in Houston. Baylor shot 45%, pounded the glass, and played tough defense. LaceDarius Dunn went for 23 to power the Bears, while Ben Allen had 16-7 for the losers.

1 Duke 70 5 Purdue 57 - This game went exactly as I predicted, which never happens. Purdue tried their best, but had no offensive answers for the Dukies. This game was ugly for a long time, but the Blue Devils will take ugly as long as they advance. Duke outrebounded Purdue by 22, pulled in 15 offensive boards and held Purdue to just 4. Kyle Singler had 24-8 for Duke, while JaJuan Johnson had 23 for Purdue.

Previews and Predictions

4:30 PM
5 Butler Bulldogs v. 2 Kansas State Wildcats - Butler has been grinding down defensively in their last 2 wins, while Kansas State has shown off their offensive firepower in blowing by BYU and Xavier. It's going to be interesting to see who on Butler can contain Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente. The Bulldogs are going to need Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward to continue their strong play. At least strong play in the last game by Hayward. Ken Pom thinks that Kansas State wins by 3 62% of the time. I really like Butler, but I don't know if they have enough. Kansas State is coming off a tough game yes, but I think they have more.

Prediction: Kansas State 68 Butler 60

7 PM
2 West Virginia Mountaineers v. 1 Kentucky Wildcats - The best of the Elite 8 games in being played tonight. The Wildcats and Mountaineers are two very good defensive clubs, who have a tendency to miss shots. Both rebound the hell out of the offensive glass. It's going to be interesting to see if Hugs puts Devin Ebanks on John Wall like everyone is predicting. I think that he will, but that WVU will play a lot of zone. That leaves the game in the hands of the Kentucky guards. Eric Bledsoe could murder WVU if they leave him open, as could Dobson or Darius Miller. Kevin Jones and Ebanks could have their hands full with Patterson and Cousins. I think Butler will be guarded by Miller, and it's going to be a challenge for Darius. I'm looking forward to this game very much. It should be great. Ken Pom has UK by 2, winning 58%. Even the computers think it's a toss up. Of course, I'm pulling for Bob Huggins. Final Four track suits everyone!

Prediction: West Virginia 72 Kentucky 68

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