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Honorable Mentions: Brigham Young, UCLA, Wisconsin
UCLA: No one really talks much about UCLA as a serious contender in this year's tournament. That's a mistake. Look at some of the teams the Bruins have taken down this year: BYU, St. John's, and Arizona. They lost to Kansas by one point, and none of their losses are that drastic.
They have an extremely well balanced team and they're young. Tyler Honeycutt, Reeves Nelson and Malcolm Lee have an opportunity to advance against any team they face in the tournament.
Brigham Young: There's no second guessing when it comes to the scoring ability of Jimmer Fredette and the BYU Cougars. They have guys that can shoot the trey, no question about it. However, interior post play is vital in the tournament.
Without Brandon Davies, I think BYU is lacking in their rebounding, and physical presence down low. It's been an exciting year in the Mountain West and it's largely due to the play of the Cougars.
I just think cutting a guy from a team because he did what most college kids think about doing 99 percent of their existence can break a team's spirit.
Wisconsin: The Badgers are coming off of a brutal 28 point loss to the Buckeyes. However, their top ten ranked defense (giving up 59.1 PPG) is what scares most teams in this tournament who will play against Wisconsin. They're a team that is extremely well coached, and when clicking, plays with a lot of discipline.
They have an excellent point guard in Jordan Taylor, and a couple guys who average over ten PPG, particularly Jon Leuer at 18.9 PPG. Wisconsin has beaten teams like Ohio State, Purdue and Marquette. They're an excellent example of what the Big Ten is all about: Winning as a team.