Sweet 16 – Day 1 Preview
Big night of basketball ahead of us. Some very nice match-ups and potential for…what’s the word….yes, madness.
Game 1: UConn vs. Purdue
The Big East can be defined by superior athletes, the Big 10 can be defined by half-court offense and a lot of white guys (maybe half-court offense and white guys are synonymous). Purdue has had a nice tourney so far, but I don’t see it going any further than tonight. I really like JaJuan Johnson and their coach, but they can’t handle UConn’s power. Although…it will be interesting to see how UConn handles the latest recruiting allegations.
Prediction: UConn 84, Purdue 71
Game 2: Pitt vs. Xavier
Pitt has had close calls in both of the early rounds and I think this has a chance to be a great game. Xavier is actually taller than Pitt at just about every position, and they’ve got a big-time stud in B.J. Raymond. Although my heart wants to pick Xavier, I’m gonna take Pitt for my bracket’s sake. I don’t think the Muskateers have an answer for Pitt’s poing guard Levance Fields.
Prediction: Pitt 74, Xavier 72
Game 3: Memphis vs. Missouri
I think Memphis is going to the final four. I think they’ll win by 15 tonight.
Prediction: Memphis 79, Missouri 64
Game 4: Duke vs. Villanova
This should be the game of the night. It has the biggest upset potential (even though it’s a 2 vs. 3 game), and has some great athletes on display. Duke has a 3-headed scoring machine in Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer, and Kyle Singler. ‘Nova has a stud in Daunte Cunningham that could really give Duke some problems inside with his athleticism. In recent history, Duke has had trouble with teams who are filled with athletes, and that certainly qualifies with ‘Nova’s roster. But even though ‘Nova may have a more athletic squad as a whole, the best athlete in the tourney not named Blake Griffin happens to be Gerald Henderson.
Prediction: Duke 71, Villanova 65
High School Update: For those of you who don’t know, I live in Hopkins, MN, which is home to one of the top-5 (ranked #4) high school boys basketball teams in the country. Yesterday they won their first round game of the state tourney by 42 points. Their entire starting line-up is going D-1, as well as a couple of reserves. People are claiming (and legitimately so) that this Hopkins team has the best starting 5 in Minnesota high school basketball history. I’m already planning on attending their state championship game this Saturday.