Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Next up is Signal to Noise with the Dirty South. This is who JCMJ's East will end up playing in the Final Four, and could be the most exciting region come Thursday.
Signal to Noise is most famously known for laying into Steve Lavin, creating a Play Date for Tom Brady and Matt Leinart's kids, and putting Brett Favre and tongues together.
His thoughts on the South Region are after the jump.
Thanks to AA for bringing me in for the South Regional Preview -- let's do the first round games, then run down the other fun stuff you should be checking for when watching these games.
OSU (#1, 30-3) vs. Central Conn. State (#16, 22-11) - Thanks for coming, Other Blue Devils. Enjoy your courtesy graft and have a safe trip home after Greg Oden swats at least five of your shots in the first half.
BYU (#8, 25-8) vs. Xavier (#9, 24-8) -- Probably will be one of the closest games to watch, although Xavier tried to coast and it showed, losing an A10 tourney it should have won without a problem. BYU is on a very quick road to recovery, and if any of you like MWC MVP Keenan Young leading these guys to a Sweet 16 appearance, it might be nuts (they'd have to plow OSU to do it), but it would be respectable.
Tennessee (#5, 22-10) vs. Long Beach State (#12, 24-7) -- I like the 12-over-5 upset here. The Vols go as their threes fall, and if they're not (and Lofton is having an off night), then the 49ers have an opening to knock 'em out. LBSU is very short (no one over 6'6" on that team), but they run to make up for it, which is part of why they decimated their conference. Show the Big West some love!
Virginia (#4, 20-10) vs. Albany (#13, 23-9) - Albany almost upset UConn in the first round last year, and they get a better seed and a chance to move on this time against UVA, which has kind of slid in rather than hit the ground running with wins. Can't see an upset here, with Sean Singletary and J.R. Reynolds in the UVA backcourt and both averaging 18 a game.
Louisville (#6, 23-9) vs. Stanford (#11, 18-12) - The Cardinals are playing well heading into the bracket, while Stanford is reeling from losing four of their last five, including getting shellacked by an inconsistent USC team in the Pac-10 tourney. Louisville also has semi-homecourt in Lexington, but that could be filled with UK folks and Pitino haters.
Texas A&M (#3, 25-6) vs. Penn (#14, 22-8) - May rate high on the "game you can skip" list. Unless something catastrophic happens to Acie Law IV, Penn should be happy with their third straight Ivy League crown, and A&M will head on to a tough Louisville team.
Nevada (#7, 28-4) vs. Creighton (#10, 22-10) - Who gets the right to knock off Memphis? (Yes, that will happen.) Nevada's O led by the awesomeness that is Nick Fazekas inside against a Creighton defense that has been tough as of late. Winner of this game will make the Sweet 16 because....
Memphis (#2) vs. North Texas (#15) - ...the Tigers have a fatal flaw, and have had it over the years, that kills teams in March Madness: horrific free throw shooting. I watched Memphis players brick a bunch of free throws against Gonzaga when they ought to have won that game going away (and I believe that game went to overtime because of those misses at the line.) It's not going to kill them against North Texas, but I like them out next round.
2nd Round Upset: Nevada over Memphis. If you're feeling really brave and picked LBSU to beat Tenn, you might take them to beat UVA too, although I won't.
2nd Round Trap Game for a High Seed: OSU vs. BYU. Buckeyes win, but BYU will make it closer than most of us think.
Sweet 16 Teams: OSU, UVA, A&M, Nevada.
Regional Final: OSU vs. A&M.
Winner: A&M. Senior leadership matters, and while OSU is talented, no one knows how they're going to react in later rounds with the pressure on. Acie Law IV just makes his teammates better, and while OSU has the pure talent, I can't jump off the Aggie bandwagon now.