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Oh, Sweet Sweet 16

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by user SadlyAJetsFan

Have you regained your normal heartbeat yet? These last four days have been all about upsets, buzzer beaters, and shattered dreams. The best four days of the year? Hard to argue that point.

But now we move on. We are left with what seems to be the top sixteen teams in the nation. Now we may be only getting eight games in two days compared to thirtytwo in two but most of these games should be fun. Here’s a game by game breakdown of the Sweet 16.

                             Atlanta Region
                           (1)Duke vs. (4)LSU

Well, on paper this is the matchup that was supposed to happen (although a lot of people thought it would be Duke/Syracuse). Duke won their first two games over Southern and George Washington by a combined 29 points. But Duke has had trouble against size, something LSU has.

LSU barely squeaked out a win over Texas A&M but will be tougher than most people imagine. If Glen Davis is on, Duke may not be moving on to the Elite 8. Now, on my bracket I have Duke going all the way so of course I will pick them. But I think in order for Duke to win a Josh McRoberts or DeMarcus Nelson will have to step up and help JJ Redick and Sheldon Williams.

                              Atlanta Region
                       (2)Texas vs. (6)West Virginia

It looks like we’re heading on a collision course for a Duke vs. Texas rematch in the Elite 8. I’m sure West Virginia and Kevin Pitsnoogle will have something to say about that.

Both these teams are on a roll. West Virginia dominated surprise 14th seed Northwestern State and Texas destroyed 10th seeded NC State. I think Texas will win this one handily though and move on to the Elite 8.

                             Oakland Region
                     (1)Memphis vs. (13)Bradley

If you want the team that broke my bracket I’ll tell you who it was. Bradley. Not only did they shock people by beating Kansas but they went one step further and beat Pittsburgh. A team I had in the Final Four! Now can they pull off what would probably be the biggest upset of this tournament?

Well Memphis will not roll over and die. How good is Memphis? We besides completely decimating Oral Roberts and Bucknell, winning Conference USA, and having a 32-3 record absolutely nothing. But those things are pretty important. I mean the only other team that has as many wins as them is fellow one seed Duke. Now I’ll be honest. I hadn’t seen a Bradley game before the tournament. Sorry, I don’t have the Missouri Valley Conference channel on my TV.

I think Memphis will edge out Bradley. And I mean edge out. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game went into overtime. So, even though I originally had Memphis losing in this round, now I have them winning but not by much.

                             Oakland Region
                        (2)UCLA vs. (3)Gonzaga

At first when I found out UCLA got a 2 seed I didn’t think they deserved it. And I still don’t. Let’s face it, the Pac-10 isn’t the most dominant conference. Sure the Bruins destroyed Belmont, but they still barely escaped Alabama. But win this game UCLA and you can prove me wrong.

Gonzaga has the leading scorer in the nation in Adam Morrison. Some people had them losing to Indiana but they came through and won. Now they face UCLA. I think Gonzaga will win this game by a good 5-10 points. Morrison will have another 30 point game and the Zags will get to the Elite 8.

                           Washington D.C. Region
                    (1)Connecticut vs. (5)Washington

A lot of people have picked UConn to win the whole tournament but they will be tested by Washington in this round. Washington beat Illinois which I think shocked a lot of people including me.

Connecticut on the other hand has not been dominating their opponents. At one point in their game against Albany it really looked like we were heading for the biggest upset in NCAA history, maybe all of sports. They also then had trouble in their next game against Kentucky. Now I think UConn will pull off the win. But if they’re having troubles with teams like Albany and Kentucky I’m not so sure.

                      Washington D.C. Region
               (7)Wichita State vs. (11)George Mason

Yea, go ahead. Rub your eyes. Let it soak in for a second. Still can’t believe it yet? Well let me tell you that it is pretty hard but it is true. These two teams are in the Sweet 16, and they both definitely deserve it.

First lets start with the favorites….I guess. Did you actually think Wichita State would be the favorites in a game in the Sweet 16? I had these guys losing to Seton Hall. But not only did they beat them, they then went on and beat the #2 seed Tennessee. I’ve got a little secret to share….this team is pretty good.

Now on to George Mason. What else can you say about what they’ve done except amazing? Look at this. They beat #6 seed Michigan State which had everybody shocked already. But then they went one better and beat #3 seed North Carolina! Now really think about this for a second. They eliminated MSU and UNC….that is half of the teams that were in the Final Four. They eliminated the team that won it all last year. Pretty crazy huh? Now sure these teams weren’t as good as last year but they were still pretty good. I think I’ll go with George Mason, although honestly I have no idea who will win.

                        Minneapolis Region
              (1)Villanova vs. (4)Boston College

Villanova got here with wins over Monmouth and Arizona. Boston College got here with a double overtime win over Pacific and a win over Montana. Now none of those teams are overly impressive. But these teams are.

Villanova beat UConn in the regular season. That was a key game. I think this team is underrated as a #1 seed. Now I watched the Villanova/Arizona game and let me tell you something. Allen Ray was a beast. He could not be stopped. If he gets on against Boston College I think Nova will probably win.

Boston College shocked a lot of people in the ACC Tournament with their win over UNC and then almost beating Duke. They impressed me enough that I have them in the Final Four. So I’m not gonna back off, I’ll stick with BC getting the upset here. As long as they have some sort of answer for Ray and Craig and Smith have decent games I think Boston College will go on to the Elite 8.

                         Minneapolis Region
                   (3)Florida vs. (7)Georgetown

The Minneapolis region has been my favorite by far. I have only gotten two games wrong in the whole region and I had both matchups in the Sweet 16. This game should be a good amount of fun.

Georgetown is taking us back to the time when they were a powerhouse. They scored an upset over Ohio State. They were the first team to beat Duke this year. They are a pretty good team.

Unfortunately for them Florida has a guy who I’ll just called Noah. He’s already being talked about in the ranks of Adam Morrison and JJ Redick. Now I don’t think he’s that good but he’s definitely the best inside man in college basketball right now. I think Florida will win this but not without a fight from Georgetown.


So those are all my picks and here is how my Elite 8 is shaping up… Atlanta Region: (1)Duke vs. (2)Texas Oakland Region: (1)Memphis vs. (3)Gonzaga Washington DC Region: (1)Connecticut vs. (11)George Mason Minneapolis Region: (3)Florida vs. (4)Boston College

Now I’m not going to post my predictions for these games. Why? It’ll probably be a waste of time. I’m pretty sure not all eight of these teams will be in the Elite 8. College basketball is so unpredictable that nothing is ever a sure thing anymore. That’s the fun in it. So even though there’s not going to be as many upsets in the Sweet 16, it’ll still be unpredictable fun.



Date

Wed 03/22/06, 1:02 pm EST



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