At The Bottom Of The Post There Are Links To The Three Other Brackets
With the way the 1st and 2nd rounds went, reading up on the sweet 16 round is a must if you want to cash in.
Who you got?
Every year come March Madness, it doesn’t matter if the Duke Blue Devils are a #1, #3 or #6 seed, they always seem to produce and be a team that no one can take lightly. In the last five years though, Duke has failed to make it past the sweet 16 round and this year… the Blue Devils expect that to change consider they are the 4th ranked team in the nation. Duke hails from the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference), which in 2010 isn’t as competitive as recent years with only #20 Maryland with unranked Virginia Tech and Florida State giving Duke any competition. Duke is 31-5 with their losses coming against Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Wisconsin, Maryland and a shocking loss to North Carolina State back on January 20th. Through-out the entire season, three players have carried the Blue Devils. They’ve been guards Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith, who average 18.4 and 17.1 points per game and forward Kyle Singler averages 17.7. After the win-in game was won by the Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions (who?), Duke easily took care of them in the first round 73-44. Kyle Singler put up 22 points and 10 rebounds earning a double-double while his team-mates Scheyer, Lance Thomas and Smith put up 13, 12 and 10 respectively. Duke easily beat the #16 APRB (much like a #1 seed should blow-out teams (cough, cough, Kansas) and in the 2nd round it was the California Golden Bears who fell victim to the Blue Devils. Smith was simply just to much to handle for Cal, and if it wasn’t Smith scoring, it was yet again Kyle Single or Brian Zoubek (Zoubek had a double-double in the game). The game was quite frankly never close, and Duke was able to sit back and allow some of the bench players to get into the game giving their starters a nice rest. No one, and I mean no one wants to face off against the Blue Devils… after all, when a lot of people hear the words ‘March Madness’, Duke is what comes to mind.
Don’t tell the Purdue Boilermakers that they don’t want to play Duke. Hell, they will play Duke and they will beat them (remember this is according to them). The Boilermakers are 29-5 on the season and come from the Big 10 conference and face off annually against teams like Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin. The team is lead by star player E’Twaun Moore who averages 16.4 points per game, Robbie Hummel (15.7 points and 6.9 rebounds) and JuJuan Johnson (15.4 points and 7.3 rebounds). In the first round of the tournament, Purdue beat Siena by a score of 72-64 and JuJuan Johnson lead the way with 23 points and 15 rebounds in an amazing outing (three other Boilermakers put up double digits on the stat-sheet). In the second round, they met up with the Texas A&M Aggies and the game went into overtime and Purdue came out with the close victory. It was E’Twaun Moore putting up 15 and Johnson added 11 but leave it to guard Chris Kramer who notched 17 points and the game winning basket in the thrilling 63-61 victory. Even off the bench, surprisingly 6th-man D.J Bird put up 10. If all these players are clicking than the Purdue Boilermakers are not a team to take lightly. You don’t want to mess with a team that has a lot of depth and many players who can put up double digit points. The Blue Devils do have their hands full put if they continue to have their threesome of stars who put up almost 20 a game… this could turn into a shootout.
As long as two of the three Duke stars (Singler, Scheyer or Smith) can play a good game, expect the Blue Devils to move on to the Elite Eight. It’s hard enough to stop one guy who can put up 20+ points in a game, let along two, or three. That’s what this tournament is all about!
TheCoach’s Pick: Duke Blue Devils
Who you got?
The Baylor Bears are the 19th ranked team in the country and haven’t played a team who is not a double-digit seed in their bracket, as they have faced #14 Sam Houston State in the first round (winning 68-59) and #11 Old Dominion in the second round (winning 76-68). The trend will continue as they go up against the 10th ranked team in the South Bracket, the Saint Mary’s Gaels. Guard LaceDarius Dunn is averaging 19.5 points per game in the tournament, forward-centre Ekpe Udoh (love the name) is averaging 14.0 points per game, while forward Anthony Jones has put up 10.0 points per game. Josh Lomers, Tweety Carter and even 6th-man Quincy Acy have each put up at least 10 points in one of the games thus far and one of them can be counted on to do so game in-game out. The Bears are from the Big 12 conference and in it, they sit behind Kansas (33-3), and Kansas State (27-7) and have a record of 27-7 (11-5 against Big 12 teams). Considering the Big 12 consists of Texas A&M, Missouri, Oklahoma State, as well as Kansas and Kansas State, the Baylor Bears should be game ready even though they have faced mediocre teams thus far. Question is… can they handle the cinderella story of Saint Mary’s?
The St. Mary’s Gaels were the first double-digit ranked team to gain entry to the Sweet 16 round by beating #2 Villanova 75-68 in the first game last weekend, which came after their win over Richmond 80-71 in the first round. The key to stopping the Gaels’ is to get in the mind of Omar Samhan and play his rough. The 6’11″, 260 pound centre who completely dominates, put up 29 points in the first game against Richmond, only to follow it up with 32 in the crushing upset of Villanova. Add the fact that Mickey McConnell is putting up 18.5 points per game and you have yourself a dynamic duo. If Baylor is able to stop Samhan, or even McConnell, than St. Mary’s will look too Clint Steindl or Matthew Dellavedova who are able to hit double digits on the stat-sheet. The AP does not have St. Mary’s ranked but they are most likely somewhere between 40-50th but can play like a top 25 team when playing good basketball. The only other team who is in the tournament from the WCC (West Coast Conference) is the Gonzaga Bulldogs who are 27-6 overall. Saints Mary’s is 28-5 but sits behind Gonzaga in the conference due to more inner-conference losses.
The Gaels are no team to take lightly and any player putting up 30 points in a college basketball game isn’t easy. Doing it twice in a row? You’re talking serious skills. Omar Samhan can give his team the edge and a chance to beat any team in the entire nation if he is on his game… ok, maybe not Kentucky.
TheCoach’s Pick: St. Mary’s Gaels
Also, Make Sure To Take A Look At The Other Brackets
Filed Under: Sports
About the Author: TheCoach knows his stuff. Now you can either utilize the knowledge, or regret that you didn't.