College Basketball 2010: Puerto Rico Tip-Off Preview and Predictions
In the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, every team will play three games. The losers in the first round will enter a loser's bracket, and the winners in the first round will enter a winner's bracket.
I will only be focusing on the winner's bracket, more specifically the first round, semifinals and championship game.
Davidson vs. West Virginia
The glory days at Davidson continue to fade away. After a 16-15 season last year, the Wildcats dropped a close game to Penn in the 2010-11 season opener.
On the other side, despite being less talented than last season, West Virginia is still a very good basketball team that should handle Davidson fairly easily. In their season opener, the Mountaineers defeated Oakland, a solid mid-major, 95-71. West Virginia will cruise to a 2-0 start with a win over Davidson.
West Virginia 92, Davidson 67
Nebraska vs. Vanderbilt
Nebraska is off to a solid 2-0 start, but Vanderbilt is clearly the more talented team. The Commodores have not yet been tested this year, but they are returning a bunch of players from last year's NCAA Tournament team. Vanderbilt has a couple of pesky guards and strong big men that will wreak havoc against the Cornhuskers.
Vanderbilt 85, Nebraska 61
Hofstra vs. North Carolina
Hofstra looked strong in its season opener, but that game was against Farmingdale State. Charles Jenkins was outstanding for the Pride with 26 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, and he received solid support from teammates Shemiye McClendon, Dwan McMillan, Greg Washington and Mike Moore.
The Pride will provide some size with Washington, but the Tar Heels' big men are simply too strong. Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes and John Henson will be able to get to the basket with ease.
UNC 86, Hofstra 58
Western Kentucky vs. Minnesota
Minnesota has looked strong in its first two games, defeating two solid mid-majors in Siena and Wofford. Although this will be the closest first round game in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Minnesota should still be able to win with a little bit of breathing room. The Gophers' size, strength and athleticism will be too much for the Hilltoppers.
Minnesota 68, Western Kentucky 59
West Virginia vs. Vanderbilt
West Virginia has the balance to compete with Vanderbilt, plus the Mountaineers have more depth. This depth will be what ultimately puts West Virginia into the championship game.
West Virginia 81, Vanderbilt 71
North Carolina vs. Minnesota
Minnesota has the talent to keep up with North Carolina, but the Golden Gophers do not have enough depth to beat the Tar Heels. The Tar Heels have too many strong big men. Minnesota does not have the depth in the post to keep up with the Tar Heels.
UNC 77, Minnesota 71
North Carolina vs. West Virginia
North Carolina's biggest strength appears to be its size in the post. The Tar Heels have multiple big men that can all get the job done. Although West Virginia's big men are not as tall, they can still play with players bigger than them. In North Carolina's other matchups, this advantage has been pivotal.
In addition to that, the Mountaineers also have more talented guards than the North Carolina guards. This advantage will make the West Virginia Mountaineers the Puerto Rico Tip-Off champions.
West Virginia 79, UNC 74
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