Saturday, March 24, 2012

NCAA-Elite 8 Team Historical Comparison

Kentucky (1 South)
2007 Florida (1 Midwest: National Champion)
This Kentucky team is very similar the second of the Florida teams that won back to back National Championships.  The 2006 Florida team took the country by surprise winning it all.  The 07 team had lofty expectations just like this years Kentucky team.  Kentucky's frontcourt trio of Anthony Davis, Terrance Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is very similar to the trio of Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer.  All three of Florida's stars were top 10 picks in the 2007 draft.  Kentucky's trio are all expected to be lottery picks as well.  Both teams had good role palyers in the backcourt who could defend and shoot the three.  Florida had Taurean Green,  Lee Humphrey and Walter Hodge while this years Kentucky team has Marcus Teague, Doran Lamb and Darius Miller.  Just like the 07 Gators, this years Wildcats are the heavy favorite to win it all.  With their defense, NBA talent and solid shooting the Wildcats should be able to do what the Gators did and bring a National Title to the SEC for the first time since 07. 

UNC (1 Midwest)
2006 UConn (1 East: Elite Eight)
Remember the 2006 UConn team that was upset by George Mason?  Many people forget that they were the most talanted team in college basketball that year and had four 1st rounders selected in the 2006 draft.  This years Carolina team will have four 1st rounders as well.  UNC Sophomore Harrison Barnes has a very similar game to UConn's 06 Soph sensation Rudy Gay.  UConn's PG Marcus Williams averaged 8.6 assists per game, UNC's Kendall Marshall averages 9.8 apg this year.  UConn's other first rounders were long, athletic, role playing big men Josh Boone and Hilton Armstrong,  UNC's has two long, athletic role palying bigs in Tyler Zeller and John Henson.  UConn rounded out the rotation with veteran wings Rashard Anderson and Denham Brown while UNC has young wings in James McAdoo, Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston.  With the injury to Kendall Marshall, it wouldn't shock anyone if this Carolina team were upset in the Elite 8, just like the 06 UConn team

Syracuse (1 East)
2000 Cincinnati (2 South: 2nd Round Loser)
Both teams cruised through a nearly perfect regular season only to have a key player go down in or right before the tournament.  CIncinnati had their superstar big man Kenyon Martin get injued before the tournament while this years Syracuse team had big man Fab Melo ruled ineligible.  While Fab is no Kenyon, the loss could still end up hurting the Cuse in the long run.  Both teams played tough and I mean tough, physical defense led by very strong and athletic guards.  This years Syracuse teams has guards Dion Waiters, Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine.  The 2000 Cinci team had guards Steve Logan, Pete Mickael and Kenny Satterfield.  Cinci also has a solid Freshman wing by the name of Dermarr Johnson who endded up being a top 10 pick.  The Cuse has solid wing play from Kris Joseoh and C. J. Fair.  The next few games will tell us if the Melo suspension will crush the Cuse's chances of cutting down the nets, just like the Kenyon Martin injury crushed Cinci's hopes in 2000.

Ohio St. (2 East)
2008 UCLA (1 West: Final Four)
The 08 UCLA team had 4 current NBA starters but met their fate at the hands of current NBA superstar Derrick Rose and Memphis in the Final Four.  That UCLA team was led by star F/C Kevin Love, defensive shutdown PG Darren Collison, SG now NBA PG Russell Westbrook and the forward combo of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Josh Schipp.  The current Ohio St. squad is led by superstar F/C Jarred Sullinger and defensive shutdown PG Aaron Craft.  William Buford is no Westbrook, but he is a very capable complimentary scorer to Sullinger.  Dashaun Thomas has the same length and but is a better scorer than Mbah a Moute.  Neither team was deep with UCLA's starters all averaging 29+ minutes per game while this years OSU starters all average 25+ minutes per game

Kansas (2 Midwest)
2002 Kansas (1 West: Final Four)
As much as Kansas fans would like to hope this years team is like the 2008 National Title team, the similarities just aren't there.  This year's team reminds me of the 2002 Kansas squad led by beast PF Drew Gooden along with big man Nick Collison and guard Kirk Hinrich.  Guards Keith Langford and Jeff Bischee rounded out the rotation.  This years team is led by beast PF and all-american Thomas Robinson.  Helping him out are big man Jeff Withey along with guards Tyshawn Taylor, Travis Relaford, Eli Johnson and Conner Teahan.  That Jayhawk team went to the Final Four, fans in Kansas hope this years Jayhawk team will do the same or even better.

Baylor (3 South)
2007 Georgetown (2 East: Final Four)
Length, length, length and more length.  Both teams had incredibly long frontcourts.  The 07 Hoyas had a 7 footer in Roy Hibbert and were led by 6-9 forward Jeff Green.  They also had Dejuan Summers and Patrick Ewing ho were both over 6-7 and very long.  The Hoyas other leader was junior PG Jonathan Wallace.  This year's Baylor team has a very long and athletic frontcourt led by Perry Jones and the Qunicy duo: Acy and Miller.  The Bears are led by senior PG Pierre Jackson.  The Bears also have decent depth with guards Brady Heslip and AJ Walton along with big man Anthony Jones.  These Bears hope to do what the 07 Hoyas did and make it to the Final Four.  In order to do so they'll need to pull the upset over Kentucky.  The 07 Hoyas surprised a lot of people when they beat the #1 seed UNC team. 

Louisville (4 West)
2005 Michigan St. (5 South: Final Four)
It was hard to find a comparison of this years Louisville team.  A great defensive team with very talented guards, a lot of depth and a great coach that can take a lower seed to the Final Four.  The 05 Michigan St. team was just that.  The 05 Spartans palyed 4 guards at a time led by Alan Anderson, Maurice Ager, Shannon Brown, Kelvin Tolbert and Chris Hill.  Paul Davis was the key big.  Louisville has guard Kyle Kuric, Russ Smith, Peyton Siva and Chris Smith.  Up front they have Chane Behanon, Gorgui Dieng and Rakeem Buckles

Florida (7 West)
2000 Florida (5 East: National Runer Up)
As a Florida fan I would love to compare this team to the back to back National Title teams in 06 and 07 however I am a realist.  I will however compare them to the 2000 Gators who went to the title game only to lose to a Michigan St team led by Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and Jason Richardson.  Both Florida teams were guard heavy but had a solid low post presence.  The 2000 team had Udonis Haslem, Donnell Harvey and a stretch 4 in Matt Bonner.  This years team had Haslem and Harvey combined into one man in Patric Young.  They also have a stretch 4 in Erick Murphy.  Both teams have a true star that had their NBA draft stocck rise as a result of the tournament.   Mike Miller used his great 2000 performance to become the 5th overall pick.  This year Bradley Beal is seeing his sock rise and many experts say he could go as high as #2 in this years draft.  The 2000 guards that rounded up the rotation were Brett Nelson, Ted Dupay and Major Parker.  This years guards include Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker, Mike Rosario and now athletic slasher Casey Prather who has come on very strong at the end of the season

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My case Marshall

Bubble teams Texas and NC St. had key wins this week while bubble teams like Colorado St., California and St Louis have too high of an RPI rating to be left out

Many people are saying that a "mid-major" should be rewarded by the selection committee's last 4 in.  I agree with that, however I don't think that Drexel, Iona or Nevada really deserve a bid because frankly they haven't beat anyone. 

-Drexel's best win and only top 50 RPI victory is against VCU,  VCU then beat Drexel in the CAA title game

-Iona ran through the MAAC but lost in the conferense tournament semis and they best win is against Nevada

-Nevada has zero top 50 RPI wins. 

I like Marshall.  In my bracket I have them as my last 4 in playing against West Virginia

Lets look at their resume

Marshall (21-13, 9-7) 
RPI: 44 
SOS: 24
Record vs. Top 50 RPI: 4-6
Record vs. RPI 51-100: 2-4
Key Wins: @Cincinnati, Southern Miss (#20 RPI)-twice, and Iona
3 sub top 100 RPI losses
The Thundering Herd have a key road win out of conference against Cincinnati.  That win occurred before Cincinnat's "Brawl" with Xavier so Cinci was at full strength when this game occured.  Plus they beat the second best team in their conference twice

Last year the Selection Committee rewarded VCU who has 3 top 50 RPI wins but like Marshall also had 3 bad losses.  VCU went on to go to the Final Four.  Marshall could be a Cinderella if they get the right opportunity


SOUTH (Atlanta)

1)Kentucky (plays in SEC title today)
16)Play-in: Vermont (AEC) vs. MVSU (SWAC)


12)N.C. St.

4)Wichita St.
13)Colorado St. (bubble 5)

11)Long Beach St, (Big West)

14)Loyola  (MAAC)

COLUMBUS (if Michigan St.)/PITTSBURGH (if Ohio St.)
7)San Diego St.
10)St. Louis

2)Big Ten Title loser:  Ohio St./Michigan St.
15)LIU-Brooklyn (NEC)


16)Play-In: WKU (Sun Belt) vs. Norfolk St. (MEAC)

8)Kansas St.

12)Play In-West Virginia (bubble 6) vs. BYU (bubble 9)-x
4)FSU (plays in ACC title today)
13)Colorado (PAC-12)

6)Creighton (MVC)/ Vandy (if they upset UK and win the SEC title today)
11)Harvard (IVY)

14)Davidson (SoCon)

7)Vandy/Creighton (if Vandy wins today)

15)Montana (Big Sky)

MIDWEST (St. Louis)

1) UNC (plays in ACC title today)
16)Lamar (Southland)

8)Iowa St.
9)Xavier (plays in A-10 title today)

5)New Mexico (MWC)
12)Play-In: Seton Hall (bubble 7)vs. Marshall (bubble 8)

13)South Dakota St. (Summit)

6)Memphis (USA)
11) California (bubble 1)

14)Belmont (A-Sun)

COLUMBUS (if Michigan St.)/PITTSBURGH (if Ohio St.)
7)Notre Dame
10)VCU (CAA)

2)Big Ten Title game winner: Michigan St. vs. Ohio St. 
15)Lehigh (Patriot)


1)Missouri (Big 12)
16)UNC-Ashville (Big South)

8)St. Mary's (WCC)

12)USF (bubble 4)

13)New Mexico St.(WAC)

6)Murray St.
11)Texas (bubble 2)

3)Louisville (Big East)
14)Ohio (MAC)

10)Southern Miss

15)Detroit (Horizon)

NOTE:  If St. Bonaventure upsets Xavier in the A-10 title game, I would put them as the 13 seed in the South region thus moving Colorado St. into the  play-in game against West Virginia and thus knocking out BYU out of the dance.  

Big East-10
Big Ten-6
Big 12-6
Atlantic 10-3/4
PAC 12-2
Missouri Valley-2
19 One bid leagues:  With CAA-Drexel, MAAC-Iona and WAC-Nevada all hoping to somehow become 2 bid leagues 

Seton Hall
West Virginia

OTHER bubble teams barely in:
Colorado St.
NC St.

Mississippi St.


Great possible match-ups if this bracket were to come to fruition:


EAST: 8)Kansas St vs. 9)Alabama
Great game between two very tough, athletic teams for a chance to play Syracuse

MIDWEST  7)Notre Dame vs. 10)VCU
VCU won't sneak up on anyone this year and Notre Dame will need to play better than they played in the Big East tournament to beat coach Shaka Smart's crew from VCU

WEST:  6)Murray St. vs. 11)Texas
Upset alert, Texas is better than their record while Murray St. has the second best record in all of college basketball this year.  it will be interesting to see who Murray St. is paired with 


SOUTH: 1)UK vs. 8)UConn
Anthony Davis vs. Andre Drommond, Michael Kidd Gilchrist vs. Jeremy Lamb.  There could be 5 top 10 picks in this game.  UConn is the defending National Champs yet they have struggled this year while UK is the heavy favorite as they have ran through college basketball losing only once this entire season

WEST: 3)Louisville vs. 6) Murray St.
If the Murray St racers survive Texas this will set up a major showdown between two teams from the bluegrass state down south a state in Nashville.

WEST:  2)Duke vs. 7)Florida
Florida has played the big boys tough this year yet have come up short while Duke is coming off of a loss vs FSU who Florida blew out earlier in the season

EAST: 4)FSU vs. 5)Temple
Defense, defense, defense plus toughness and shooting will determine this one.

Sweet 16:

MIDWEST:  1)UNC vs. )4 Indiana
More than just Zeller vs. Zeller (Tyler-UNC and Cody-Indiana), bith teams are deep and can shoot the ball very well.  Indiana is the only team to beat UK while UNC barely lost to UK.

WEST:  2) Duke vs. 3)Louisville
Both teams are great on the perimeter, but struggle inside.  Whoever can shoot better from downtown will likely win

Elite 8:

SOUTH:  1)UK vs. 3)Baylor
Perry Jones vs. Anthony Davis, need I say more.

MIDWEST:  1)UNC vs. 3)Marquette
DO Marquette's duo of Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson Odom have what is take to upset the mighty boys from Carolina

EAST: 1)Syracuse vs. 2)Kansas
Two major programs and two very deep teams go at it for a trip to the Final Four.  Both have very raw big men, Fab Melo-Syracuse and Jeff Withey-Kansas who have developed into very key players this season