Monday, February 28, 2011

You Remember

Everyone remembers 2006. The year the #11 seed George Mason made an incredible tournament run to the final four, only to be beaten by eventual national champion Florida. Well this year George Mason could be looking at another deep run. But, this year it may not be a surprising run. The Patriots are (25-5) (16-2) in the CAA. They are currently riding a 16 game win streak heading into this weekend's CAA tournament. The most surprising thing about this team, is how quietly they have been going about doing this. George Mason does not really have a star player, they have many players who can step up any night. They play very solid team defense. Coach Jim Larranga deserves very high praise for leading a team with no star player, to such great success. I had the distinct pleasure of watching The Patriots play against VCU. They picked apart VCU's defense from inside and out, and held VCU's star players in check. I do not see them having any problems in their conference tournament, and I think they will make it to the sweet 16, at the least.-Josh Neighbors

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Time To Dance

Last night the Virginia Tech Hokies solidified their tournament spot with a 64-60 win over #1 Duke, in what was arguably one of VT's top 5 most important games in program history. On this night it seemed The Hokies could not lose this game. Gameday, the fans, and Duke all set the bar for Virginia Tech and they rose to challenge and knocked off Duke. Virginia Tech is a team who always seems to find themselves on the bubble in late February into early March. They have been left out the last few years, but this is no more. Despite an off night from Malcolm Delaney, and terrible free throw shooting (39.1%) they got it done. Good teams always find a way to win, and that is what The Hokies did. All 5 starters scored in the double-digits, headlined by Jeff Allen's 18 points and 15 rebounds. Eric Green added 12 points, which included two and 1's that provided a spark. Victor Davilla had 11 points and 10 rebound, which was exactly what VT needed due to the lack of depth inside. Terrel Bell scored a dozen points, and had a key 3 with 4 minutes left, which tied up the game. Then there was Malcolm Delaney. He struggled the whole night, and was 0-5 on 3's until 2 minutes left in the game. Virginia Tech was clinging to a 2 point lead, and Malcolm Delaney stepped up and drained a 3 to extend Th Hokies lead. His 3 was part of Virginia Tech's 15-4 run in the last 4 minutes of play.
Duke's leading scorer was Kyle Singler, he had 22 points and 12 rebounds. Nolan Smith added 18 points. In a game that was supposed to be huge for Seth Curry, he was held scoreless annd fouled out. The Virginia Tech students harassed Curry with chants of "who's your daddy?", as VT former great Dell Curry, father of Seth, was in attendance. For Duke, this is a tiny bump in the road. They will rebound and get a #1 seed in the tournament. For Virginia Tech, this is a milestone win that speaks to the effort level of the short-handed Hokies this season.-Josh Neighbors

Monday, February 14, 2011

In or Out - Michigan State

Normally everyone is wondering, do you think Michigan State will make the final four? This year it is far from it, the question is do you think Michigan State will make the NCAA tournament. They were ranked #2 in the preseason polls and many people believed they would cut down the nets come April 6th. With the inability to beat equally good teams early in the season, there season began to spiral out of control. They were forced to suspend 6th man Korie Lucious because he violated team rules twice. With a 14-10 record they have to win. They have two big opportunities this week. First going on the road at #3 Ohio State and then hosting Illinois on their floor with gameday in the house. Beat Illinois and don't get run right out of the gym at OSU and they will be sitting pretty. They will also have two more opportunities when they play at Minnesota and play at home against Purdue. If they win two out of these four games and handle their business versus Iowa and Michigan they will go dancing.

Final prediction: MSU will beat Illinois and Purdue and make the NCAA Tournament. Once they are there they will be a threat to make deep tournament run

Connor Jones

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Best of The Rest

\ It is early February, and it is time to start thinking about the NCAA tournament. This is what our guys live for. We love College Basketball, and making picks and predictions. But, I am going to talk about a possibility. This possibility may seem unreal. The Big East could potentially send 8 or 9 teams to the NCAA tournament. There are at least 7 teams that will be going for sure. Pittsburgh is (10-1) in conference, they are (22-2) overall. In my mind, they will be a #1 seed. Next you have Notre Dame (8-3) in the Big East, (19-4) overall. They will get over 20 wins, easy in. Villanova is 3rd in The Big East (7-3) in conference play, (19-4) overall. Another easy in. Syracuse is 5th in the conference, but they are the next obvious choice. They are (20-4) overall, and (7-4) in conference. Boeheim is looking at another trip to the big dance, as well as Rick Pitino. Cards are(18-5) overall and (7-3) in The Big East. Georgetown and UConn round out the obvious group of 7.
Now comes the hard part. 
The first team on the bubble is West Virginia. They are (15-8) overall and (6-5) in conference. They have 2 quality wins @ Georgetown, when they were #13, and against Purdue when the were #8. The Mountaineers may be out of luck though, out of their 7 remaining games, 5 are against ranked teams. 3 of them are against top 10 teams. There 2 non-ranked opponents are Depaul, and Rutgers. They need to get those wins, and at least 2 wins against the ranked opponents. They need to be over .500% in these last 7 games if they want a shot.
The next team on the bubble is The Cincinati Bearcats. They are (18-5) and (5-5) in The Big East. The problem is all of their conference wins have come against unranked teams. Cincinati has 4 ranked teams in their remaining 8 games. Only 1 of them is in the top 10.

Lastly on the bubble is Maquette. They are (14-9) and (5-5) in conference. They have 8 games remaining, they play only 2 ranked teams. The rest are against USF, St. Johns, Seton Hall twice, Providence, and Cincinati. Out of all these teams, I think Marquette has the best chance of making the big dance. They are well coached, the share the ball well, and they take very high quality shots. I think The Golden Eagles will round out the Big East pack on selection sunday.-Josh Neighbors