Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Second Half of Bracket

Let’s keep the second half short and sweet.

Memphis Pod

When I wrote my inside-outside column, who would have ever guessed I would have had this perfect match-up to test my theory? Oregon is terrible at defending the paint and decent at defending the perimeter. Mississippi St. is terrific scoring inside and horrible whenever they take a three (which is too often.) As long as Mississippi St. just does the right thing and takes it inside, they should win easily.

Pittsburgh Pod

Every year the NCAA gets stuck with a mountain pod with no local teams. This is affectionately referred to as the “Upset Pod”. So who is willing to make the gutsy pick and choose Oral Roberts vs Temple in the second round? I still like Pittsburgh enough that I can’t do it, but I’m convinced Michigan St. is going to lose. And my inside-outside column agrees. You need to make shots from the perimeter to beat Temple, and Michigan St. doesn’t have any reliable three point shooters outside of Neitzel.

Stanford Pod

OK, I’m really taking this inside-outside thing to far, but when you are on a roll, why not keep it going. Marquette is great at defending the perimeter, and now that Kentucky is without Patrick Paterson, Marquette should have no problem advancing to the second round. But then Marquette is going to take on a Stanford team with two scary seven footers. Unless Marquette forces 25 turnovers, this game could get ugly.

Texas Pod

So you like Texas to go to the Final Four do you? Because of that home cooking? Did you like Texas A&M last year? Think twice before you pick against Memphis.

Kansas Pod

I hate this whole region.

Part of my bracket picks are based on risk minimization. I always pick against Georgetown because if they win, I’ll be happy anyway. So of course this year, Georgetown ends up in the Kansas region. And I was so going to pick Kansas to bow out early. Now I feel compelled to pick them to reach the national title game. Where else can you get analysis like this?

Vanderbilt Pod

Kansas only loses to teams that shoot a lot of threes. Vanderbilt shoots a lot of threes. But they aren’t going to get past Clemson unless Villanova beats the Tigers first.

Wisconsin Pod

I’ve been saying for weeks that Kansas St. is going to get a shockingly low seed and they delivered. But I still like their chances against a USC team that can’t exploit their weakness on the perimeter. On the other hand, I think USC could beat Wisconsin and Georgetown and make it to the Elite Eight too. Arggh. This is why I decided not to do any bracket analysis on Sunday night. Did I mention that I hate picking this region?

Georgetown Pod

I am plenty scared of that Davidson / Gonzaga match-up. But if Georgetown wins that game, I think they are the ideal team to take down Wisconsin. While everyone else would get impatient in the half-court, Georgetown would be plenty comfortable.