Sunday, March 5, 2006

Sunday, March 5th Preview

Southern Illinois vs. Bradley (2:05 PM, CBS): The Missouri Valley Championship comes down to two teams that most would not have expected to see in the title game had you asked two weeks ago. SIU came into the tournament slumping, while Bradley turned it on late in the season and rode their momentum to a championship game appearance. I think both teams should make the NCAA Tournament regardless of the outcome, but that might not happen. The Salukis have the best defensive team in the league but also have the worst scoring offense. The backcourt duo of Jamaal Tatum and Tony Young is one of the best in the MVC, as Young is a lock-down defender and Tatum is a solid all-around performer. Randal Falker is the main option down low, while Matt Shaw is another decent player up front. Many consider Bradley to be the most talented team in the league, and they lead the league in blocks, steals, assists, and rebounds per game. They can also get it done on the offensive end. Patrick O'Bryant is one of the best big men in the league and is a premier shot-blocker. Marcellus Sommerville is an excellent offensive player can carry the Braves on that end. However, he tends to be selfish at times and force shots. Lawrence Wright rounds out an outstanding frontcourt. Tony Bennett is the main man in the backcourt. Prediction: Bradley 63, Southern Illinois 58

Davidson vs. Chattanooga (2:00 PM, ESPN2): The Southern Conference Championship features two teams that did not win their respective divisions. However, both squads are hot and are playing for the automatic bid. Davidson went undefeated in league play last season, but Chattanooga took the bid from the conference tournament. Can the Mocs get it again? For Davidson, Brendan Winters is one of the best players in the conference, while Ian Johnson is an excellent forward. Those two might form the best duo in the conference. Jason Morton anchors the backcourt. On the other side, Keddric Mays leads a quintet of perimeter players that can all produce in several aspects of the game. Jerice Crouch is a consistent scorer. Inside, Charles Anderson is a solid player in the paint. The Mocs play more of a 4-around-1 offense to take advantage of their perimeter depth. Prediction: Davidson 74, Chattanooga 68

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