Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weak Out West

Next, we head out to the West region where where the controversial Gonzaga Bulldogs own the #1 seed. They might be top dogs, but are they the best team?

Best team: It's a week bracket with the zags, OSU, and New Mexico owning the top three spots. But I think the best team by a favorable margin Is The Ohio State university. I have always had a dislike for Ohio State in every sport, but this year's Buckeyes have something about them. In the beginning of the year, it appeared as though Ohio State could beat everyone they were supposed to, but fell short against elite competition. All of that changed on Feb 20. when the Buckeyes handed a 71-45 lashing to Minnesota, which began an 8 game win streak in which OSU allowed one team to score over 60 points. They beat 4 ranked opponents, 3 top 10's, highlighted by a come from behind road win  in Bloomington Indiana. Thad Matta's brilliance has shown this year, as his relatively short handed Buckeyes have become a nightmare for opposing offenses. Players get fired up over dunk, Ohio State players get fired up over defensive stops, taking charges, and shot clock violations. Aaron Craft is one of the best decision makers in the country, and DeSean Thomas(for some reason, whenever I flip to an Ohio State game, this kid is nailing a corner 3.... It's happened about 7 times this year) is the only double figure scorer on the team, averaging close to 19.5 points per game and is a ravenous defender. Depth isn't an issue for the Buckeyes who are primed to make a final four run in a week west bracket.

Best Player: This is a tough call, but nobody means more to his team then Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson. The "land shark" is a prolific scorer, and unless your team has an exceptional lockdown man defender, you better double team or hope your help defense is good. He is unconventional because he establishes his outside shot and then goes inside. He shoots close to 39% from the field and is a 37% 3 point shooter. Also, he shoots 88% from the stripe. He is so much fun to watch play because he plays with unbelievable passion, and his teammates feed him because Henderson will find the open man if he is double teamed. Henderson will have a chance to prove his worth to his team, and we will see how prolific of a scorer he really is when the Rebels square off with Wisconsin Badgers, one of the best defensive teams in the country.

Best Coach: The first article I ever wrote was about Sean Miller and I believe he is one of the most underrated coaches in the NCAA. In his tirade on Sunday afternoon, he demonstrated why. Defending his players, and fighting for them, which in turn will motivate them. Miller loves his guys, and even thought Arizona hasn't had a great year, Miller has done a fantastic job with the personal he has.

Most overrated team: Bruce Webber's Kansas State team is a defensive monster, and might be the worst offensive team in the tournament in big games. 3 ranked wins, two against Oklahoma State, and one against an inconsistent Florida team. The Wildcats haven't beaten an elite team yet this year, and were held to 35% shooting from the field against KU last week.(25% from 3, and 50% on free throws) Play all the defense you want, but when you play an elite team you need to score, and those numbers won't cut it. If Kansas State gets in a hole early, it's over. McGruder and Angel Rodriguez aren't enough offensively.

Most underrated Team: They are Kansas State on defense, but have the offensive part of it worked out. The Wisconsin Badgers are better then a 5 seed and I like them to grind their way to an Elite 8 matchup with Ohio State. This a classic, under appreciated, Bo Ryan team.-Josh Neighbors

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