NCAA Tournament 2012: Sweet and Sour Teams Heading into March Madness
The college basketball regular season is finally complete and March Madness is upon us with the 2012 NCAA tournament brackets being revealed Sunday afternoon.
Each year, the tournament field is composed of teams that either get hot at the right time or back in from early success or reputation—and this season is no different.
Here is a look at six teams that are either poised for a deep run or bound for an early exit.
Sweet: Missouri Tigers
Riding high off of their dominant performance in winning the Big 12 Conference tournament, the Missouri Tigers caught a pretty favorable draw as the No. 2 seed in the West.
Mizzou is a matchup nightmare with any team they line up with, as they are paired with what is widely considered the weakest of the No. 1 seeds in Michigan St.
Missouri has run out the same starting lineup every game this season, and assuming that trend continues, look for them to make their first Final Four in school history.
Sour: Syracuse Orange
Although considered the No. 2 overall seed heading into the NCAA tournament, the East Region could pose major issues for Syracuse.
It is safe to say they will bounce UNC-Asheville out of the gym, but a potential matchup with a tough Kansas State, even if the Orange win, will take a lot out of them as the tournament progresses.
Syracuse plays their version of the zone to perfection, but potential regional opponents Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Florida State or Ohio State are very capable of exploiting their defense, preventing Jim Boeheim and the Orange from a deep run.
Sweet: Floride State Seminoles
Florida State rolled into the NCAA tournament by knocking off a No. 2 in seed Duke and a No. 1 seed in North Carolina en route to winning the ACC Conference tournament.
A popular pick to make a deep run into the tournament, the Seminoles do a great job of not worrying about the names on the front of their opponent's jerseys—which will bode well for them.
With a little help, a trip to the Final Four isn't out of the question.
Sour: UConn Huskies
From National Champions in 2011 to a serious bubble team in 2012, UConn has stumbled since their schedule hit conference play.
Not only will they have to deal with Royce White and Iowa State in their opening game, but the potential draw with No. 1 overall seed Kentucky indicates that there will be no repeat of their magical run from last season.
Sweet: Memphis Tigers
With five losses in the non-conference portion of their schedule, Memphis could have easily gone into the abyss this season. But as recent seasons have indicated, the Tigers are the class of Conference USA.
Losing only three conference games by a combined six points, Memphis again went into the conference tournament as favorites—and they did not disappoint.
An opening matchup with Saint Louis University looks favorable with the way Memphis can fill the bucket. And if they can get by Michigan St. in their next game, they could make a Butler-type run, circa 2011, from the eighth seed.
Sour: Purdue Boilermakers
Benefiting from a great year overall by the Big 10 Conference, Purdue backs into the NCAA tournament with no real expectations.
An opening round matchup with Saint Mary's—one of the more consistent teams in the field—poses major problems to the Boilermakers.
Suppose Purdue upsets Saint Mary's—hey will more than likely be one-and-done with their next game against Kansas, led by National Player of the Year candidate Thomas Robinson.