Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wait, I have a preview too! Midwest

I will explain myself like this:
1) I use a lot of stats. If you want reasons like "X will lose because they are fading down the stretch", this isn't your preview.
2) I love teams that can shoot the 3 and play good defense, I think this keeps teams in games. All the numbers used in this are from Ken Pomeroy's site.
3) I also do some random picks, just because I know the better team won't always win.


2nd Rd Sweet16 Elite8 Final4 Finals Champs
1 Florida 99.72% 78.61% 56.54% 37.69% 21.07% 10.85%
2 Wisconsin 95.91% 68.27% 48.17% 25.15% 12.31% 5.45%
4 Maryland 86.42% 62.76% 26.04% 13.59% 5.64% 2.07%
6 Notre Dame 80.30% 47.69% 18.95% 6.86% 2.29% 0.66%
10 Georgia Tech 69.95% 25.14% 13.87% 5.07% 1.72% 0.50%
3 Oregon 86.02% 44.35% 15.76% 5.08% 1.51% 0.38%
5 Butler 72.39% 27.39% 7.13% 2.48% 0.65% 0.14%
9 Purdue 50.52% 10.89% 4.67% 1.70% 0.47% 0.11%
8 Arizona 49.48% 10.50% 4.45% 1.61% 0.44% 0.10%
7 UNLV 30.05% 6.16% 2.17% 0.45% 0.09% 0.01%
12 Old Dominion 27.61% 5.63% 0.70% 0.12% 0.02% 0.00%
11 Winthrop 19.70% 5.66% 0.84% 0.11% 0.01% 0.00%
13 Davidson 13.58% 4.21% 0.47% 0.07% 0.01% 0.00%
14 Miami (OH) 13.98% 2.31% 0.21% 0.02% 0.00% 0.00%
15 TAMU - CC 4.09% 0.43% 0.04% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
16 Jackson State 0.28% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%

I think we're all smart enough to pick against the 16 seeds, so I won't delve into those. I have Florida bowing out against Maryland, for the record.

15 TAMUCC vs. 2 Wisconsin - I love TAMUCC's chances in this game. I know that Wisconsin isn't a dog team, but they are missing injured center Brian Butch, and they haven't scored much without him; I think that could be key. Another reason that this game favors an upset is Wisconsin's slow pace: when you run less possessions, there are less possessions to see who the better team is. Finally, TAMUCC's strength is shooting. They were 14th in 3 points field goal %, 5th in 2pt fg%, and while Wisconsin's defense is good, turnovers are their weakest area (only 93rd). I picked TAMUCC in my bracket. I think they've got a good chance to win against a non-healthy Wisconsin squad. I don't think they'll be as fortunate to escape the 2nd round.

14 Miami (OH) vs. 3 Oregon - This team kicked a vastly superior Akron squad out so it could get it's name on the bracket for one round. Miami can't shoot. They play good defense, they have some inside game, they slow the tempo down. When it comes down to it, they have no outside shooting. This game will be closer than most expect, but Oregon will pull away, only to fall in the second round as well.

13 Davidson vs 4 Maryland - I always have a tradition of picking against these middle-tier ACC/Big East teams in the opening round out of hate, but I'm not pulling the trigger this time. I was one of the guys who took UTEP over Maryland a couple of years ago. Maryland's too good. I think Davidson would have a great chance against Butler, or Oregon even, but not against Maryland, who I have in my elite eight.

12 Old Dominion vs. 5 Butler - I don't understand how this is so many people's pick for the 12-5, I don't think Old Dominion is that good. Butler is okay, but not 5 seed material themselves. I see a Butler win and a quick dispatch in the round of 32.

11 Winthrop vs 6 Notre Dame - Another popular sleeper pick here in Winthrop. Problem is; Notre Dame is amazing. Their defense is only adequate, but they are excellent three point shooters. This is kind of the random pick here, but I'm gonna say Notre Dame puts it together on defense, and I'm going to ride them all the way to the Final Four.

10 Georgia Tech vs. 7 UNLV - Georgia Tech is led by a ton of freshman, which has led to a lot of people going against them. I have them getting to the sweet sixteen, and I like UNLV and think they could easily win this game too, but I'm going with the team that forces a lot of turnovers (almost as many as they commit), but is stellar offensively (16th in 2's, 61st in 3's) against the team that is not in the top 100 in either of them and isn't much better at playing defense.

9 Purdue vs. 8 Arizona - Matchup of two teams that are right next to each other in the Pomeroy ratings, at 22 and 23. Arizona has a dynamite inside offense and a poor defense, Purdue has...Brian Cardinal? No, he's gone. I hope. Purdue preys on turnovers, Arizona can't shoot the 3 and turns it over a lot. This game should be Purdues.