Seeking a NCAA Tourney Cinderella (Part II)
I have a confession...
I am a college basketball addict.
My condition is so bad in fact that I watched every single Big 12, Big East, ACC, and Big Ten conference game this year.
Now, I don't need a doctor or anyone else to tell me that I'm mentally insane for doing this, but this year I got the Madness and I got it bad...
Unlike other years, it seems as if I have a pretty strong opinion on almost all of the teams that made the field. There are going to be a lot of awesome match-ups ahead in these next couple weeks. It certainly should shape up to be one heck of a March Madness...
So...let's take a look at the potential Cinderella's. They're the funnest to look at and keep everyone intrigued, so I'll give a small rundown of the teams that I think have that certain "gusto" to advance to the Sweet Round of Sixteen.
PS...I consider Cinderella's at least a 6th seed or higher...
So without further adue, I bring to you:
So, I already pretty much broke down the Bulldogs in my one of my previous articles (Part 1), so it might be better to look there. The Bulldogs are back again after going to the Sweet Sixteen last year by eventually being uprouted by last years National Champs, the Florida Gators. Butler has one sweet frontcourt spearheaded by G Mike Green. Four of the starters are seniors and have been in this type of situation before. They have shown that they can beat teams from power conferences (Michigan, Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, Ohio State, Florida State) and it has earned them a lowly 7th seed. They should be able to breeze by South Alabama and most likely be matched against Tennessee in Round Two. If we get that matchup, Butler has the potential to pull the upset.
Most people forget that USC was a Sweet Sixteen contender last year. Many people were predicting that a Kevin Durant led Texas team would shake up the brackets last year...until USC destroyed them in the Second Round. This year, USC played one tough nonconference schedule and only lost to this years #1 seeds Kansas and Memphis by four points. This is a team that can stick around until the end of the game with the chance to win it. Everyone is calling the first-round matchup with K-State the Beasley vs. Mayo game, but USC is a lot more than just O.J. Mayo...unfortunately for Kansas State, Michael Beasley is the only consistent threat for the Wildcats. USC would most likely face Wisconsin in the Second Round. They'd face a considerably different playing style, but they more than have the arsenal and the talent to overcome them if they can contain their post players.
In all of those hours that I spent in front of my television, one team really stood out to me. The Golden Eagles have arguably some of the best guard combinations that I have seen. James, McNeal, and Matthews all have the ability to hit the three, but can be quite streaky at times. It all depends on the Marquette that is going to show up to the tournament. If they can get a decent showing from Lazar Hayward inside, they'll be able to easily route Kentucky and have a real shot at a probable Stanford in Round Two. In that regard, Marquette's guardplay destroys Stanford's almost seven-fold...but when dealing with Stanford, containing the inside game will be what is important.
Those teams should provide for some awesome March Madness excitement. It should be interesting to see where all of these teams end up because we can speculate all day, but most of our brackets are going to be messed up by the end of the day anyway. These are simply the teams that jumped out at me during Conference Tournament weekend.
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