Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Picking the South region game by game : 2012 NCAA Tournament

Published on March 14, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

2nd Round

Kentucky/ Western Kentucky –For Western Kentucky to make the tournament is a miracle itself because they have a losing record and they fired their coach mid-season. Sorry Hilltoppers no miracle here. Kentucky will destroy WKU on the glass and rest their star players in the second half. Kentucky-100 Western Kentucky-62

Iowa State/ UConn –What a great job Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg has done this season. He has brought a bunch of transfers and made them into a team. Minnesota transfer Royce White does it all for Iowa State; he leads them in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. That being said, I like UConn to win this game because of their size advantage and the play of point guard Shabazz Napier. UConn-67 Iowa State-63

Wichita State/ VCU- This is a matchup between last year’s tournament sweetheart and last year’s NIT champ. This year, though, Wichita State is by far the best team, but that means nothing as we saw by last year’s VCU team. VCU is a quick team that loves to pressure you, but Wichita State has a big advantage inside with Garrett Stutz. The Shockers are +7 on the glass. Wichita State- 70 VCU-64

Indiana/ New Mexico State- Remember this Indiana team has no tournament experience. New Mexico State beat New Mexico, a 5th seed, this season. For a mid-major the Aggies have a ton of size; they feature a 6’11” and 6’10” player. They are the 6th best rebounding team in the nation. Indiana doesn’t have much quality depth inside so foul trouble could cause a problem. However, Indiana has Cody Zeller, and he will be hard for the Aggies to stop. Both teams like to run up and down but the Hoosiers ability to shoot the three will be the difference. Indiana-84 New Mexico State-75

UNLV/ Colorado- The Buffaloes were a NCAA snub last season, but this year they earn their own bid by winning the Pac 12 tournament. Andre Roberson is probably the most underrated double double man out there. Ever since UNLV beat North Carolina early in the season they have been on everyone’s radar. This team is an athletic team that can rebound, defend and shoot the three. UNLV’s Mike Moser and Chace Stanback will have huge games. UNLV-86 Colorado-81

South Dakota St./ Baylor- South Dakota State has the best nickname in the tournament the Jackrabbits. They feature one of the best players in the country; not a lot of people have heard of in Nate Wolters. Wolters is averaging 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. They can score but they are bad on defense; they rank 127 in defense. Baylor’s length and athleticism will be too much for the Jackrabbits. They just don’t face teams like this in their league. Baylor-82 South Dakota State-73

Xavier/ Notre Dame-Xavier was rolling until the ugly brawl with Cincinnati. Star guard Tu Holloway has had a down season. Notre Dame on the other hand played better after their best player went down with a season ending injury. Mike Grey is one of the best coaches in the country. I don’t think the Musketeers will have an answer for Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley inside. Notre Dame-62 Xaiver-56

Duke/ Lehigh- Lehigh features a very explosive scoring guard in C.J. MuCollum. He is a legit NBA prospect. He will create some problems for Duke as the Blue Devils struggle with perimeter defense. However, the difference in this game will be the size advantage for Duke. Yes, the Plumlee brothers will dominate this game. Austin Rivers will also have a field day driving to the basket. Duke-84 Lehigh-67

3rd Round

Kentucky/ UConn – This would feature a game between the favorite to cut down this season Kentucky and last year’s champion UConn. UConn has the talent to make a run in the tournament, but at times they don’t always play up to their potential. The NBA scouts will be in full force at this game. I think guard play in this game will be about even but Kentucky has a huge advantage in the frontcourt. Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Terrence Jones will dominate the Huskies front line. Sometimes, UConn’s frontline struggles to score. Kentucky-82 UConn-71

Wichita State/ Indiana- This game will feature a great post matchup in the Shockers Garret Stutz and the Hoosiers Cody Zeller. Both teams also have solid backcourts and can shoot the three. I gave the slight advantage to Shockers because of Joe Ragland. The toughest match up problem for the Shockers will be Christian Watford. Watford is a versatile player.  Indiana-72 Wichita State-66

UNLV/ Baylor-This game will up and down and back and forth.  In a game like this a team with more depth and better talent usually wins.  That team is Baylor.  Baylor-73 UNLV-68

Notre Dame/ Duke- First to make 15 three pointers wins the game. If you like tons of threes in a game, this is a game for you. I think Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley will get the best of the inside play, but the Blue Devils will get the best in the backcourt. I like Duke’s ability to shoot the three better with Austin Rivers, Seth Curry, and Andre Dawkins. A wildcard is Ryan Kelly if he is healthy. Duke-75 Notre Dame-68

Sweet 16

Kentucky/ Indiana- Before Kentucky lost to Vanderbilt; Indiana was the only team to beat Kentucky. That game was at Indiana this game would be in Atlanta where the Wildcats fans flock.  It’s tough to beat Kentucky once, so I can’t see a team doing it twice. Terrence Jones had a bad game the first time around against Indiana so look for him to a huge game here. It’s scary but Anthony Davis is ten times better than he was when he played Indiana the first time. Point guard Marquis Teague has also grown up. Kentucky-82 Indiana-70

Duke/ Baylor- This year’s Duke team is not a strong defensive team like years past. Here is where I think it comes back to hurt them. Pierre Jackson, the best JUCO transfer player last season, will dominate the Duke guards. Inside the paint Baylor’s Perry Jones III and Quincy Acy will be too athletic for Duke. Look for Brady Heslip to hit some threes. The Blue Devils live and die by the three. If they are not hitting their threes they don’t have enough to get past elite teams. Baylor-70 Duke-64

Elite 8

Baylor/ Kentucky- If all players leave for the NBA draft, this game could feature about 7 first round draft picks. That being said Baylor has at times been very inconsistent this season, while Kentucky has been the most dominating team since the beginning of the season. Why? Well Kentucky plays hard tough defense and Baylor does not always do that. In fact they sometimes play a 2-3 zone. Baylor’s best player Perry Jones III isn’t aggressive all the time and going against Kentucky shot blockers won’t help things. Anthony Davis will dominate; look for a huge game like 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks. The Wildcats roll on to the final four. Kentucky-75 Baylor-64


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