Saturday, June 16th, 2012

East Bracket Breakdown : 2012 NCAA Tournament

Published on March 12, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

Who are the best players and coaches in the East region?  Also what is the best match up and potential match ups down the line?  Find out below in my East Bracket breakdown. 

Top 10 Players:

1. Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)-Sullinger is hot now, in his last three games he has scored 30, 24, and 18 points.

2. Kevin Jones (West Virginia)- If West Virginia had a better record Jones would have been the Big East Player of the Year.

3. John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)- Jenkins is the best three point shooter in the nation. Jenkins is making 3.9 threes per game while shooting 46 % from three.

4. J’Covan Brown (Texas)- Brown knows how to score. He is the leading a very young team with 20 points per game.

5. William Buford (Ohio State) – Buford is one of the most underrated shooting guards in the country. For the season he is averaging 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.

6. Michael Snaer (Florida State)- Snaer, a former McDonalds’ All American is playing like one in his senior year. If the game is on the line I want Snaer taking the last shot.

7.Jeff Taylor (Vanderbilt)-Taylor was the second leading scorer in the SEC behind Jenkins.

8. Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure)- Nicholson is coming of a 70 points and 30 rebounds performance in the A-10 Tournament. He is likely a 1st round pick.

9. Rodney McGruder (Kansas State) – McGruder is a versatile guard, who is averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds.

10. Kris Joseph (Syracuse)- I had to put a Syracuse player on here after all they only have 2 losses on the season. Joseph is the best player on the deepest team in the country.

Just missed : Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin)

Top 3 Coaches:

1.Jim Boeheim (Syracuse)-Despite all the problems at Syracuse with the drug problems and the Bernie Ferine mess, the Orange still went on to only lose 2 games. Boeheim will be looking for his second NCAA title.

2. Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)- Bo Ryan does the most with less than any coach out there. He gets the most out of his players. He has a very tough offense to guard and his teams always play tough in your face defense.

3. Leonard Hamilton (Florida State)- Hamilton was the ACC Coach of the Year. Florida State has been the third best program in the ACC for a while. It’s never easy to win at a football school.

Best 2nd round Matchup : (Gonzaga vs. West Virginia) – This game will feature two of the best power forwards in all of college basketball: West Virginia’s Kevin Jones and Gonzaga’s Elias Harris. I think Jones will get the better of the play. Jones would have likely gotten more national attention if WVU had a better overall record. On the season he is averaging 20.1 points and 11.1 rebounds. I thought Jones should have been the Big East Player of the Year. Gonzaga likes to score but the Zags do not face many teams that play tough hard nose defense like WVU. Another interesting plot is WVU is playing 2 hours away in Pittsburgh while the Zags have to travel across the country. Look for Truck Byrant to step up for WVU in this game.

Best chance for 2nd round upset: ( Texas over Cincinnati) –Cincinnati is coming off a great run losing in the Big East conference championship game, but I still think they could get upset. Texas is coming off a big win over Iowa State in the Big 12 tournament. Texas guard J’Covan Brown is one of the best scorers in all of college basketball. The Longhorns are a very young team with 6 freshmen getting serious playing time. This team has grown a lot over the season. Freshman point guard Myck Kabongo is playing like the elite prospect he was thought to be after struggling early on. Sometimes the Bearcats really struggle on offense; their shooting percentages are horrible. They don’t give the ball to their big man Yancy Gates enough. If the Bearcats can’t score they could be in trouble.

Potential best third round Matchup: (Ohio State vs. West Virginia)- Both teams will have a ton of fans in the stands as both schools are close to Pittsburgh. This game would feature both of the best double double players in college basketball in Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and West Virginia’s Kevin Jones. This will be a very physical game as both teams play tough defense. I think these teams are kind of even across the board except at shooting guard where Ohio State has a huge advantage in William Buford. Ohio State takes care of the basketball and has a high shooting percentage for two pointers.

Potential best Sweet 16 Matchup: (Vanderbilt vs. Syracuse)- This is a game where the Syracuse 2-3 zone could come back to hurt them. Vanderbilt is one of the best three pointing teams in the country. Leading the way is John Jenkins, who is making about 4 threes per game. Syracuse also has trouble allowing offensive rebounds. If Festus Ezeli plays up to his potential he could cause a lot of problems. One concern for Vanderbilt is their lack of depth. The Orange are the deepest team in the country.

Potential best Elite 8 Matchup: (Syracuse vs. Ohio State )- I This would be the final everyone would want to see. How would Ohio State star Jared Sullinger match up against the talented Syracuse front line? I think the Orange could give him fits because Sullinger struggles against length and athleticism. Ohio State’s point guard Aaron Craft is one of the best defenders in college basketball. It will be interesting to see if he can stop Dion Waiters and Scoop Jardine. The Syracuse depth could hurt Ohio State because the Buckeyes only play about 7 players. The Orange could be fresher. At the end of the day whatever team’s role players step up will win.

Final Four Sleeper (5 or lower):(Vanderbilt) –The Commodores just won the SEC conference tournament beating the best team in the country the Kentucky Wildcats. Vanderbilt was ranked a top 10 in the preseason polls but they had some speed bumps throughout the season. They have the talent to make a deep run. John Jenkins is the best shooter in all of college basketball. Jeffery Taylor is one of the most versatile players on their team. The key for Vanderbilt is the play of center Festus Ezeli; he has the talent to play better. Vanderbilt has lost their first couple of games the last two years hopefully they can break that trend.

Sweet 16 Sleeper (10 or lower): (Montana)- They Grizzlies started the season 5-5 but since then they have won 20 of 21 games. The Grizzlies have a very talented back court. Leading the way is Kareem Jamar who hit 5 threes in the conference championship game. Will Cherry leads the Grizzlies in scoring at the point guard position? Cherry is also one of the best defenders in the country. Montana also has 7-footer not bad for a mid-major. The problem for Montana could be depth.

Winner : Stay tuned for my picks later in the week

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