Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Super Seven Sleepers from Outside the Major Conferences


In addition to identifying the teams ripe for an upset in the first weekend, one must find the smaller conference clubs that have the potential to make a run into the second week. Every NCAA Tournament has them; you just have to figure out which ones. Last season saw Nevada make a run to the Sweet 16. Here are the top sleepers from the mid-majors:

Southern Illinois- A tournament-tested team, the Salukis play stifling defense and have Darren Brooks, one of the best all-around players in the country.

UW-Milwaukee- Their pressing style creates havoc against teams with weak ballhandlers. Ed McCants and Noah Tucker can carry the Panthers.

St. Mary's (CA)- They have a solid duo in Paul Marigney and Daniel Kickert and are not intimidated by bigger and stronger teams.

New Mexico- Outside of the Top 3 seeded teams, Danny Granger may the best player in the tournament. The Lobos also have all 5 starters in double figures.

UTEP- Filberto Rivera and Omar Thomas are a great inside-outside combo, and the Miners almost pulled an upset last season.

Nevada- The Cinderella of a season ago, Nick Fazekas and Kevinn Pinckney are tough to stop down low, while Ramon Sessions is a steady point guard.

Creighton- When their threes are falling, the Blue Jays can beat anyone. Nate Funk is the team's best offensive and defensive player.

No comments:

Post a Comment