Monday, March 10, 2014

NCAA Conference Tournament Previews Part 1

American Athletic Conference:
Overview: It's been a steel cage match when it comes to the top 5 of the AAC. Memphis, SMU, Cincinnati, Louisville, and UConn have just beat the absolute hell out each other in conference play and they will all be tournament bound next Sunday.

Player to Watch: Sean Kilpatrick. Cincinnati is the number 1 seed in this inaugural edition of the AAC tournament, and they are lead by senior guard Sean Kilpatrick who will take home conference player of the year averaging close to 21 points per game, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

Winner: Louisville. The Bearcats are on a crash course with number two seed Louisville, but with the other three teams looming, you can never be to sure. I think the Bearcats meet up with the Cards and we see the number 2 seed Louisville take home the conference crown in what some call an upset.

Atlantic 10: 
Overview: Anyone who tries to tell you this isn't a power conference is kidding themselves, with locks in Saint Louis, VCU, UMass, George Washington, and a bubble insiders in Dayton and Saint Joesphs... 6 teams getting in, that's power conference material.

Player to Watch: Chazz Williams and Treyveon Graham: Anyone who has watched Chazz Williams knows how unique he is. The 5'9 (he's shorter) Point guard from UMass can be described in one word. Dynamite. He averages close to 16 points and 7 assists per contests. With blazing speed, an unbelievable motor, and a pretty jump shot Williams is the odds on favorite to take home the conference player of the year trophy, but VCU's Treyveon Graham has been awesome this year as well. He's had his biggest performances in some huge games this year for the Rams including a 22 point night capped off by a buzzer beater three in a huge road win against UVA, and a 34 point performance in a double OT win @ La Salle in which Graham went to the rack at will in the final 12 minutes of the game and only missed once. These two guys will be fun to watch here in the conference tournament.

Winner: VCU. Call me a homer, but Saint Louis hasn't been on their game lately, and I think the Rams have a favorable draw as it appears they will get University of Richmond in the 2nd round, and the Spiders are missing their best player in Cedric Lindsey. They are chalked to play GW, a team VCU crushed in their most recent meeting, but let's hope for a Saint Louis VCU final in Brooklyn.

Overview: The top four seeds are all locks for the NCAA tournament, and might present the strongest front 4 teams of any conference in the country with UVA, Duke, Syracuse, and North Carolina. Take
your pick out of those four teams, because no team outside the top four seeds(including 5th seeded Pittsburgh) is strong enough to win the entire thing.

Player to Watch: I can't say anything about Jabari Parker that hasn't already been said. I would like to say he reminds me of Rudy Gay with a higher basketball IQ( I'd like to be the first to make that comparison.) He does everything for Duke, he is their workhorse and they will look to ride him to a ACC title and a 1 seed.

Winner: I hate Duke, but Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker, and the clutch play of Rasheed Sulamon will put Duke in contention for another one seed.

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