Five Teams I'll Root for in the NCAA Tournament

Gabe SimondsContributor IMarch 8, 2009

Well, this weekend has been disappointing for me. Besides Mizzou losing to Texas A&M (which really isn't all bad because they are virtual lock for tourney), VMI lost to Radford. 

I love the Colonial Athletic Conference.  Three of the four teams in the semifinals are my upset picks if they win. Worst case scenario is if Towson wins it all, because they are under my radar.  VCU, Old Dominion, and George Mason are all hopefuls. 

Anyway, here are my five favorite teams likely to make the tournament.


1. Mizzou Tigers

This one is easy, because I am from Missouri. Their style of play also would intrigue anyone and no lead is safe with Mizzou. Leo Lyons, and DeMarre Carrol are beasts and can shoot from outside as well as down low. Juniors J.T. Tiller and Zaire Taylor dish the ball and run the floor.

Trio of freshmen guards can hit the three and so can senior Matt Lawrence. Their type of play can take them to the Elite Eight, but it also yells UPSET, because of inconsistent shooting. OOOO WELL. I can deal with it. First bid since 2003 so I will live in the moment.


2. North Carolina Tar Heels

If you haven't figured out faced paced teams intrigued me, then you will now. I am also a BIG HOMER. Did you know Tyler Hansbrough was from Missouri. Well, you do now. Ty Lawson is a double of the MU guards except faster, better shooter, and better passer. 

So maybe they aren't alike but same type.  Wayne Ellington is a better shooter than any of the three freshmen.  Danny Green is essentially like Leo Lyons, but Danny can shoot threes as well. 

Sorry but Hansbrough is not alike anyone on Missouri and DeMarre Carrol is unlike ANYONE.  But essentially, they are same style, better talent.  WAY BETTER TALENT.  UNC gives me a reason to root for a real title contender. 


3. Creighton or any MVC team that makes the tournament

Yes, yet another homer move here. MISSOURI Valley Conference. I don't care if the team isn't from Missouri, the conference tournament is held in St. Louis so I root for all teams.

My hope is Northern Iowa wins tournament and the Blue Jays can get an at-large bid.  Between the two though, Creighton is more likely.


4. Louisville

I hate the Big East so even this pick surprises me.  I love their play.  Their not fast paced but they can beat any team on any given night.  They are the "sleeper" of winning it all.  Most people have them no higher than Elite Eight if that. 

But Terrance Williams and Earl Clark are good and I was highly disappointed they faced my (they were my team last year; this year the Tigers) Tar Heels in Elite Eight. I have no other reasons. 

Please don't get upset; leave that to Duke (COME ON, I HATE YOU BUT BELMONT.  BELMONT!!! YOU NEEDED A GAME WINNING SHOT TO WIN!! REALLY??!!!)


5. Xavier

They got upset today by Rhode Island, who by the way most people didn't know had a basketball team, and probably will still make it. I picked them and not Davidson, Memphis, and Gonzaga as the dominant team consistently most years but in awful conferences.

Memphis lost the sleeper role when i read like 5 articles on ESPN alone on how unappreciated they are. Evans < Rose.  Just accept it.  They won't go to the title game and in Final Four.  C-USA is a weak conference. 

Is it a surprise that the two decent teams, UTEP and Tulsa weren't killed and everyone else was?  Davidson is overrated and basically a one-man team in Curry and Adam Morrison's mustache made me hate Gonzaga. 

Anyway, Xavier is my favorite weak conference yet dominant team that can compete with the Big East or ACC once a month (but every night, not so much)  By the way, I heard an outrageous claim by John Calipari. 

Here's the quote.  "To keep winning like this is a big deal. I'm sure if you put North Carolina in this conference, they wouldn't go undefeated. It's very tough." 

Now that is BS. 

The only team that may beat UNC is Memphis and that is unlikely. Sorry Memphis fans, I am just mad that national media is so high on Memphis. They lost CDR and Rose and Dorsey.  This isn't UNC or Kansas who have starters as their reserves.


Teams I Hate

Notre Dame/Georgetown- Yes they are in the Big East. But they have 12 losses.

Duke- I am UNC fan...need I continue?

ALL SEC TEAMS- very overrated conference...hopefully only two teams make it.

Those are only teams I hate. I dislike Davidson (one man team), Kansas (MU rival), Purdue (a little over-hyped), Radford (beat my sleepers in tourney SLU and VMI), and USC (recruiting violations/one and done players).


Honorable Mention for Teams I like

UTEP- fast paced team and surprisingly not one man team despite Stefon's dominance.

St. Mary's- underdog story if they beat Gonzaga.

Butler- I believe five underclassmen starting and still that good.

Citadel- Loved the ESPN story recently and to upset Davidson.