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

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