Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sunday's Second Round Breakdown

Virginia vs. Tennessee (12:10 PM): This could be a high-scoring battle between two terrific backcourts. The Cavaliers dominated Albany from the opening tip en route to an easy win, while Tennessee was outstanding offensively in their win over Long Beach State, 121-86. The key will be the guard match-up. Sean Singletary and J.R. Reynolds form arguably the best backcourt duo in the country, but Tennessee's Chris Lofton, Ramar Smith, and JaJuan Smith are also very good. Neither team is overly impressive on the interior, and both need a consistent third option to step up. I think the difference will be Virginia's ability to handle the Volunteer pressure. If Singletary doesn't turn it over, and a third option emerges, UVA will win. Prediction: Virginia 81, Tennessee 77

Memphis vs. Nevada (2:15 PM): One of the better games of the afternoon--between two non-BCS teams (again, why did the committee do this?). Nevada won the only overtime game of the first round, against Creighton, while Memphis struggled for awhile against North Texas, but pulled away in the second half. We still haven't seen Memphis play a good team besides Gonzaga in months, so it will be interesting to see how they react to Nevada. Nick Fazekas gives the Wolf Pack the edge down low, but Joey Dorsey is physical inside for Memphis. Ramon Sessions of Nevada will have to handle the athletic pressure of Memphis, but I think that Marcelus Kemp is going to be the key. He played outstanding against Creighton, and will need to do so again. Prediction: Nevada 73, Memphis 71

Wisconsin vs. UNLV (2:30 PM): Another potential upset in the making in a 2 vs. 7 battle. Wisconsin looked horrendous in the first half against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but they played very well in the second half for the win. UNLV made plays late in the game to knock off Georgia Tech. Will the Badgers come out strong or will they take a half to get going? Will UNLV get off to a hot start again? This is going to be an interesting match-up. Wisconsin isn't great down low, but neither is UNLV. The key match-up will be Wisconsin's ability to guard Wendell White of UNLV, and their ability to cut down the open threes that UNLV gets. In what will likely be a close game, I have to go with the team with the best player late in the game--Alando Tucker. Prediction: Wisconsin 65, UNLV 61

Southern Illinois vs. Virginia Tech (2:40 PM): Another outstanding battle on Sunday. Southern Illinois led throughout against Holy Cross, and made plays in the second half to win. Virginia Tech ended their game against Illinois on a 13-0 run to gut out a close victory. The guard battle will be fun to watch. Southern Illinois plays terrific defense, and their three-guard look led by Jamaal Tatum is tough. VT's guard duo of Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon wasn't great against Illinois, but they will need to step up against SIU. Can SIU's Matt Shaw defend VT's Deron Washington? Will VT be able to adapt to SIU's slow-down type of game? They struggled doing it against Illinois, and Southern Illinois is even better than the Fighting Illini. Prediction: Southern Illinois 63, Virginia Tech 56

Oregon vs. Winthrop (2:50 PM): Can Winthrop keep their terrific season going? Or will Oregon, one of the hottest teams around, move into the Sweet Sixteen. The Eagles held off a late surge from Notre Dame to win in the first round, while Oregon did the same against Miami (Ohio) in what was a closer game than expected. The perimeter battles will be key. Oregon is loaded with talented wings, while Winthrop has great shooters in Torrell Martin and Mike Jenkins. Look out for the point guard match-up between two quick ones in Aaron Brooks and Chris Gaynor. The difference in this game will be shooting--whoever is knocking down their perimeter shots will move on to the next round. I think that Oregon will get the game at the pace they want, and get the W. Prediction: Oregon 72, Winthrop 68

Florida vs. Purdue (4:45 PM): This might be the biggest mismatch of the day. Florida was down early to Jackson State, but they absolutely dominated the second half. Purdue controlled most of the game against Arizona, and used their physicality and inside edge to get the victory. In this one, Florida will have the big men to match up with Carl Landry inside, and the Gators have the superior perimeter players. If Purdue is to win this game, they will have to slow the game down tremendously, and constantly go inside to Landry. However, I don't think that Purdue has enough offensive firepower to keep up with the Gators. Unless Florida has an awful shooting day, I think they will advance easily. Prediction: Florida 69, Purdue 56

Kansas vs. Kentucky (5:05 PM): A battle between two of the big names in college basketball history. Kansas looked very impressive in their dismantling of Niagara, while Kentucky pulled away in the second half and held off a late Villanova run to get the win. Kansas has a huge edge in overall talent and athleticism, but Kentucky might have a shot to win this game if they get the ball to Randolph Morris, and he dominates. Kansas doesn't have a great inside presence, and Morris could have an advantage. Moreover, Kentucky will have to be hitting their perimeter shots and they will have to defend all five positions. I don't think that the Wildcats have enough talent or depth to compete with the Jayhawks for 40 minutes. Prediction: Kansas 74, Kentucky 62

Texas vs. USC (5:20 PM): This might be the best game of the day. Texas struggled more than expected against New Mexico State, but they made a very nice run late in the game and got the victory. USC was down early against Arkansas, but they took control midway through the first half and never looked back. The key, obviously, will be USC's ability to defend Kevin Durant. The Trojans have plenty of athletes to throw at Durant, but his size might be a problem. On the other side, USC usually struggles with teams that have a few quality big men--Texas doesn't pose that problem. Taj Gibson could have a big game down low. Moreover, the Trojans need to control tempo, and not allow D.J. Augustin to have a big game at the point guard position for Texas. If USC is knocking down their shots, they will get the win. Prediction: USC 70, Texas 69


  1. I disagree w/ texas losing

  2. USC - all the way!

  3. Thank You for giving Southern Illinois the respect they deserve! GO DAWGS!

  4. whoever thinks that USC is going to beat TEXAS is CRAZY and STUPID!!! Go Longhorns!!!! USC SUCKS.

  5. I disagree w/ Virginia Tech losing! Go V-Tech!!

  6. wow Texas really showed that USC sucks...NOT

  7. I've said for awhile that I didn't really understand the Texas hype. Sure, they had Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin, but they were small and were extremely inconsistent defensively.

    Most of the hype came based on their two games against Kansas--which they both lost. That never made sense to me. Moreover, Texas had only one or two good really good wins all year.

    Playing against a team like USC that had the wings to match up with them, and could keep up with them in terms of points, they were exploited.

    Taj Gibson, who hasn't been a dominant big man all season, destroyed the Texas frontline for 17 points and 14 rebounds.

    D.J. Augustin was absolutely shut down by the long and athletic USC guards.

    I've liked this USC team for a long time, and was actually mildly excited when I saw they could be matched up with Texas in the second round, given the ridiculous publicity Durant and the Longhorns were getting.

  8. Whats funny is, I know nothing about basketball and I am owning your bracket

  9. you know what? suck CHARLIE!!!!! USC SUCKS STILL!

  10. I bet you are predicting for Ohio State to win against Memphis on Sat. Whe nwill people give Memphis the credit they deserve. You picked Memphis to lose twice. Dont quit your day job. Go TIGERS!!!!!