MIDWEST REGION

MIDWEST REGION

Best Team: Louisville Cardinals

Most Underrated Team: Utah Utes

Most Overrated Team: Wake Forest

Dark-horse: West Virginia Mountaineers

Best Coach: Rick Pitino, Louisville

Best Player: Terrence Williams, Louisville

Upset Special: USC over Boston College

 

Summary: Louisville are the Big East regular season and tournament champions. They have the best player in the region in Terrence Williams. They are also a very good defensive team, the second best nationally behind Memphis. Having Rick Pitino as a coach also helps. Perhaps the best reason I can say I have them going to the final four is the complete lack of competition they have in this region. To me, it’s easily the weakest region. The most underrated team is Utah. I think Arizona is certainly a tough matchup in round 1, it’s no given, but it certainly isn’t a lock win for Arizona as many “Experts” say. I also think it’s very likely they give Wake Forest a run for their money if they meet in the second round. Wake Forest is very young, inexperienced, and inconsistent and could lose to Utah. They will undoubtedly lose to Louisville. I like USC over Boston College as my upset special, though technically not much of an upset. If you want a surprise: I have West Virginia in the Elite Eight. I think they are the second best team in this region. In the end though, I don’t see Louisville being challenged.

EAST REGION

EAST REGION

Best Team: Pittsburgh Panthers

Most Underrated Team: UCLA Bruins

Most Overrated Team: Florida State

Dark-horse: Wisconsin Badgers

Best Coach: Coach K, Duke

Best Player: DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Upset Special: Wisconsin over Florida State

 

Summary: The Pittsburgh Panthers are the best team in this region. They also have the best player in the country in DeJuan Blair. The problem is if Blair gets in foul trouble. If Blair gets in foul trouble they can get beat by almost anyone (see Providence). Unfortuanately, you can’t really predict which game that will happen. They got a good draw with not much competition so it may not happen. The most overrated team here is Florida State. They barely beat a Lawson-less UNC and got crushed by Duke. I think Wisconsin will beat them in round 1. Xavier is also overrated and subject to upset. UCLA is easily the most underrated team in this region. ESPNs “experts” have caught the VCU over UCLA upset trend like the black death. I don’t think there’s any chance of that happening. UCLA is a better team than Villanova as well, and I’d favor them in a neutral situation. Unfortunately for the Bruins they have to travel nearly 3,000 miles to play Villanova at home. That is a really rough break. When it’s all said and done I like Pittsburgh to advance to the final four.

Denver Shopping Cutler?

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcwest/0-3-1666/Spurned-Cutler-wants-to-be-traded.html

So the Denver Broncos tried entering the Matt Cassel sweepstakes by dangling their Pro Bowl QB Jay Cutler. This has made Cutler mad and now he would probably like to be traded. 

I don’t know what Denver is thinking with this one. Jay Cutler is probably the most talented QB in the entire league, he can make every throw, he can carry a team on his back. He was frustratingly inconsistent last year (trust me, he was on my fantasy team). But it was only his second year in the starting gig and he had no running game. Veteran quarterbacks tend to struggle without any running support. And when you have to carry your team on your back and you are confident you can make every throw, you’re bound to make mistakes. 

 

Denver has done this before. Most people don’t know Denver once tried to replace a in-his-prime John Elway with Tommy Maddox. But at least in that case they kept Elway on the roster so when they realized their total failure, they could turn back. Cutler has Elway ability and if I were any team in the league I’d trade whatever the Broncos wanted for this guy.

Duke vs UNC

NCAA Game of the Day

This is the biggest game of the year in college basketball. There are no bigger rivals in the sport than these two schools. In recent years they have kind of taken turns being at the top of college basketball, Duke having success early in the century and Carolina flourishing recently. But this year I think both these teams are at the top. Both are very capable of being national champions at the end of the season. Being ranked 3rd and 5th I think it’s possible they’re both being slightly underrated, maybe not but they’re good. 

Duke struggled last week, getting blown out by Clemson and an OT win against Miami. I think the biggest thing they struggled with was Clemson and Miami’s athleticism advantage. I don’t think UNC is much more athletic than Duke, however, they’re pretty comparable. Duke has no major weaknesses and outside of the Clemson game have played very well. UNC has been on fire lately, winning 7 in a row. This includes blowing out the same Clemson team that blew out Duke. They also blew out Miami who Duke just struggled with. They are the best offensive team in the country with no major weaknesses. They have a size advantage over Duke with Ed Davis, Deon Thompson, and Tyler Hansbrough. Tyler Hansbrough has also never lost at Cameron Indoor Stadium, going 3-0. So UNC definitely has a lot of things going for them. However I’m going with the Dookies. I think this might end up being the best game of the year. I like Duke in a close one.

5 Duke 75 vs 3 UNC 74

 

Other Top 25 predictions….

23 Purdue 68 vs Penn State 60

1 Connecticut 92 vs 22 Syracuse 77

14 Xavier 68 vs Dayton 63

1o Memphis 70 vs Tulsa 59

8 Wake Forest 77 vs North Carolina State 73

2 Oklahoma 80 vs Baylor 78

Big East Showdown

NCAA Game of the Day

There aren’t a lot of good games today but Nova vs Marquette is pretty solid. Both are in the hunt for the Big East title and in the top 15 in the rankings. Both of these teams are very close in ability and potential. Neither has any major weaknesses. Villanova has troubles keeping big guys off the offensive glass but Marquette is not a big team. Villanova is at home and that helps, as evidenced by their blowout of Syracuse last game.  Villanova has reeled off five straight wins in conference. Marquette is coming off a loss to South Florida, so they appear to have road issues. I’m going to take Villanova in this one.

13 Villanova 81 vs 12 Marquette 75 (Villanova 102 vs Marquette 84)

Other top 25 games…

25 Florida State 70 vs Virginia 62 (Florida State 68 vs Virginia 57)

11 Clemson 75 vs Boston College 71 (Clemson 84 vs Boston College  77)

9 Michigan State 73 vs Michigan 69 (Michigan State 54 vs Michigan 42)

Steelers Win

So the Steelers won the superbowl. Yippeeee. I guess a lot of their fans are excited. I was rooting for Arizona to take it home. I was pretty excited after Fitzgeralds long run. But Santonio Holmes crushed that by having at least 3.5 million catches on that last drive, including the ridiculously hard catch in the end zone. These teams were evenly matched and it turned out to be a very entertaining game, so that’s always good. Pittsburgh will probably challenge again next year, I’m not so sure about Arizona.

Big Line-up of Boring Games

Saturday is a huge line up of games on Saturday with 17 of 25 ranked teams in action. But after looking through all the games, I don’t really find any that interesting. They’re mostly games with big talent difference and the more talented team is usually at home. This looks like it should be called One Sided Saturday. However I’m sure as I look closer some games will intrigue me. 

NCAA Game of the Day

8 Marquette vs 23 Georgetown

Marquette has been playing very well. They’re first place in the conference and just beat Notre Dame in their house. Georgetown is the most inconsistant team in the country and coming off four straight losses, including losses to Seton Hall and Cincinnatti. Marquette is undefeated in the Big East while Georgetowns tournament hopes are slipping. I don’t know why, but I’m picking Georgetown. This schedule of games just seems like a lot of no brainers. I just have a feeling something surprising will happen. This is what I’m going with. The best game of the day in terms of the level of teams involved is easily Louisville and West Virginia. Louisville has been rolling. Should be fun to watch.

23 Georgetown 72 vs 8 Marquette 69 *(Marquette 94 vs Georgetown 82)*

 

Other Predictions..

2 Connecticut 85 vs Providence 70 (Connecticut 94 vs Providence 61)

3 Pittsburgh 82 vs 22 Notre Dame 71 (Pittsburgh 93 vs Notre Dame 80)

4 Wake Forest 80 vs Georgia tech 70 *(Georgia Tech 76 vs Wake Forest 74)*

5 Oklahoma 73 vs Iowa State 65 (Oklahoma 78 vs Iowa State 68 )

6 North Carolina 83 vs North Carolina State 74 (North Carolina 93 vs North Carolina State 76)

7 Louisville 65 vs West Virginia 63 (Louisville  69 vs West Virginia 63)

10 Xavier 80 vs Massachussetts 59 (Xavier 82 vs Massachussetts 80)

12 Texas 70 vs Kansas State 66 *(Kansas State 85 vs Texas 81)*

Washington 68 vs 14 Arizona State 65 (Washington 84 vs Arizona State 71)

16 UCLA 77 vs Stanford 65 (UCLA 97 vs Stanford 63)

17 Purdue 72 vs Michigan 60 (Purdue 67 vs Michigan 49)

18 Portland 71 vs St Marys 66 (Portland 84 vs St Marys 66)

19 Memphis 75 vs Houston 64 (Memphis 83 vs Houston 69)

25 Gonzaga 73 vs San Diego 52 (Gonzaga 64 vs San Diego 47)

 

Record 13 – 3