2010 NCAA Tournament: Five Low Seeds with Final Four Talent
Got all No. 1-seeded teams in your Final Four?
Got only No. 1 and 2-seeded teams in your Final Four?
Well, if you do, you may want to read this article, because this year there are no Final Four locks.
There are many teams that are just as, or maybe even more talented than, all the No. 1-seeded teams in this year's tournament but have received low seeds because of bad season performances.
The NCAA tournament is a great time to turn things around, and inside this article I have listed five low-seeded teams that have the talent to face off with the top seeds and take their Final Four spots away from them.
No. 11 Seed Washington
A preseason top-15 team, the Washington Huskies are finally playing up to their potential, and it's already gotten them something to celebrate—a Pac-10 title.
With future pros Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas scoring a combined 37 points per game for the Huskies, there's no question they have one of the best inside-outside duos in this years NCAA Tournament.
Their first round matchup is against the No. 6 seed Marquette Golden Eagles, whose interior defense will be no match for the 6'7", 220-lb. Pondexter.
After that they would likely play New Mexico, West Virginia, and Kentucky in the second round, Sweet 16, and Elite Eight respectively—all of whom are opponents that the Huskies match up well with because of their dual offensive and defensive strategies.
No. 10 Seed Georgia Tech
Can you say talented?
Derrick Favors, Gani Lawal, and Iman Shumpert are arguably the best 1-2-3 in the ACC, and this was shown during their ACC tournament title game run and during the season in wins against Duke, Siena, Clemson, Wake, and Maryland.
With G-Tech's big men combining for 17 rebounds per game, it's hard to find another big man duo that can top them in that category.
Georgia Tech is led by the five-star recruit Shumpert, who can score, rebound, and pass (11 points, 3.5 rebounds, and four assists per game).
In the first round the Yellow Jackets square off against No. 7-seeded Oklahoma State, which heavily relies on its star James Anderson. G-Tech's versatility will get them the first round victory.
After that, they would likely play Ohio State, Tennessee, and Kansas in the second round, Sweet 16, and Elite Eight respectively. All three of those matchups favor Georgia Tech because they have the guards to play with OSU, the versatility to play with Tennessee, and the big men to compete with Kansas' Cole Aldrich and Markieff Morris.
No. 9 Seed Lousiville
Louisville has the formula for beating No. 1 teams this season. They beat Syracuse twice this season and accounted for two-thirds of their losses.
Louisville has tournament returnee Samardo Samuels, whose experience will help out a lot, not to mention senior Edgar Sosa, who has improved vastly from last year. These two leaders give Louisville the smarts to compete with the big boys.
In the first round the Cardinals play the No. 8-seeded Cal Bears. Cal relies on the three-point shot, and Louisville likes to press and play tight on the wings. Louisville's defense will hold Cal to under 60 points in the victory.
There next opponents would likely be the No. 1-seeded Duke Blue Devils (bad news for Duke), the Texas A&M Aggies, and the Villanova Wildcats in the second round, Sweet 16, and Elite Eight respectively.
Because of Louisville's ability to run the press so perfectly and their strong defense, they should give all these teams problems scoring the ball.
Duke's Brian Zoubek will likely guard Samuels but will be too slow to contain him. Texas A&M lacks size and depth, something Louisville has both of, and Villanova is a familiar Big East foe that Louisville is confident they can beat after taking down Big East power Syracuse twice.
No. 8 Seed Texas
Texas is a tough one to figure out this year.
After being ranked No. 1 in the country, they now find themselves as a No. 8-seeded team in the NCAA tournament.
They aren't really playing strong ball as of late, but what's a greater time to start then during the NCAA tournament?
One thing's for sure: Texas is very talented.
Future NBA player Damion James has the ability to take over games with his resiliency towards the hoop and his outside shot. Dexter Pittman possesses one of the biggest bodies in college basketball and can get position on any defender.
J'Covan Brown has shown spurts of excellence. Freshman Avery Bradley, the No. 1-rated recruit, has contributed very nicely.
This Texas team will square off against a Wake Forest team that many people don't think deserve to be in the tournament. If that's the case, then Texas should play well and oust them out immediately, using their size and strength against the frail Demon Deacons.
Texas would likely play Kentucky, Wisconsin, and West Virginia in the second round, Sweet 16, and Elite Eight respectively.
The Texas team that plays well can beat the inexperienced and similarly built Kentucky Wildcats. They can also give Wisconsin a beatdown down low and use their guards to run by West Virginia in the Elite Eight.
No. 6 Seed Tennessee
After the dismissal of forward Tyler Smith, many wondered if Tennessee was both too depleted and too distraught to contend anymore.
Tennessee quickly answered with their upset victory over then-No. 1 Kansas. Later on in the season they beat top-ranked Kentucky as well.
We know that Tennessee can play with the big boys. However, can they eliminate the little boys beforehand?
Tennessee plays No. 11-seeded SDSU in the first round, which should be a pretty close game. However, Tennessee does have the better coach, more experience, and an easier commute to the site, so they are favored to win.
Tennessee would likely play Georgetown, Ohio State, and Kansas in the second round, Sweet 16, and Elite Eight respectively.
Tennessee's Wayne Chism matches up well with G'town forward Greg Monroe, and Scotty Hopson and Bobby Maze match up perfectly with G'town guards Austin Freeman and Chris Wright.
Georgetown has no bench, and they are still unsure how they will handle Freeman's illness, so Tennessee can use their transition scoring to tire out Georgetown for a lopsided victory.
Tennessee is more talented all-around than Ohio State. Chism should be active down low against Ohio State's weak interior defense that features Dallas Lauderdale. If Tennessee can contain Evan Turner, the game will be a breeze.
In the Elite Eight match up with Kansas, we already know what could certainly happen. Tennessee has beaten this Jayhawk team once, and they can certainly do it again.