March Madness 2011: Southeast Region

Written March 15th, 2011 by Joe

Ok, let’s take a look at the much maligned Southeast bracket…I also plead you don’t listen too much to what I have to say, because it may just confuse you more as you try to win tBBC Challenge. I’ve linked to some of our previous impressions as well, so you can make a better guess.

Cakewalk?

This maybe the most difficult region that I have ever tried to predict in recent memory.  On the 1 line is a very solid Pitt Panthers team, but they are a team that can struggle offensively at times.  If they face someone that gets hot from deep not sure they can keep up.  Then you have a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 seeds that are so similar that it would be hard to call any win by them an upset.  I’m not sure that any team is favored by 8 points or more, with most of them are probably toss up or 3-5 point spreads.

This region also has two teams hurting with lost players.  BYU lost 3rd leading scorer, and main big man, Brandon Davies to team rules while St. John’s also lost their 3rd leading scorer in D.J. Kennedy.  Both losses make these teams vulnerable to first round upsets to Wofford and Gonzaga respectively.  I will speak about Belmont later, and also have Utah State as a team that could pull the 12-5 upset.

At the end of the day I am not sure who to pick.  I am making the safe pick and advancing Pitt, but read along and you will see some stars to watch, under the radar players to watch as well as my sleeper pick and elite 8 picks.

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Impressions: Baylor and Gonzaga

Written December 19th, 2010 by Jay

Yesterday’s game between the Baylor Bears and the Gonzaga Bulldogs pitted the #9 team in the country (Baylor) against a Gonzaga team that has struggled to match the competition early in the season as they work their way through one of the more challenging pre-conference schedules you’ll see.  Having lost to San Diego State (now a top-10 ranked team), Kansas State, Illinois, Washington State and Notre Dame already, the Bulldogs could only boast a 5-5 record coming into Saturday, and their best win was against unranked Marquette.  In contrast, Baylor was rolling along in an undefeated season after their first seven games, although none of their prior opponents appeared in the top 25, and only one (Arizona State) even came from a major conference.

With this context, both teams had something to prove.  For Gonzaga’s part, they needed to show that they could prevail in a significant matchup and help their flailing tournament resume with a quality win.  With Xavier, Oklahoma State, and Wake Forest all to come on their pre-conference schedule, Gonzaga was in dire need of a reversal of fortune before things got out of hand.  On Baylor’s side, the perspective was that they needed to prove their legitimacy as a top team in the country rather than continuing to ride on the success of last season’s Elite 8 squad.

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