Thursday, March 15, 2012

NCAA Tourney Thoughts: West Region

*If any 16 seed is going to win this year, my money is on LIU Brooklyn. They have three legit players and put up points. Not saying it will happen, but it could.

*Both Florida and Virginia come into this tournament having lost three of their last four games, but I think Patric (leave off the last k for no good reason) Young can shut down Mike Scott and lead the Gators to victory. Brad Beal is too good to go home after one game.

*Toughest game of the bracket features St. Louis and Memphis, but I'll take talented offense over talented defense in almost every case. Memphis can score and comes in as one of the hottest teams in the nation. I'm not worried about the lack of size on the Tigers roster because the Billikens don't have much in the way of size either. I'm riding Will Barton here.

*Two more teams that lack any size face off in this region as well: Murray State and Colorado State. Although CSU isn't a power conference team, this is a statement game for the MSU. Are they a legit 30+ win team or a product of an awful conference? If you get bonus points for upsets, you do worse than taking a shot on the Rams.

*BYU comes in to this game against Marquette with scary momentum. It's not every day you come back from 25 and the brink of elimination to win. Marquette has the superior talent, but this is a dangerous game for them.

*Louisville lost four of six games heading into the Big East tournament. So, of course they went out and dominated the competition en route to the title. This team is impossible to predict. We have no idea which team will show up so let's see what Davidson brings to the table. They didn't pass my eye test during the SoCon tournament but they have only one bad loss (at Samford) and seem like a legitimate threat here. They have five double-digit scorers, a big man, and a go-to scorers. Also love the fact that head coach Bob McKillop knows Rick Pitino from childhood (great point made by Jay Wright). Upset city here.

*Long Beach State is also a dangerous team in this region. If Larry Anderson plays (injured ankle), they can give New Mexico a run for their money. This is another game pitting two teams that can make deep runs in March. Hate that they are playing each other in Round 1.

Projected Region Winner: Marquette over New Mexico.

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