Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Preaseason Bracket: Oakland

This is the final preseason regional bracket. Now you can print these out, save them for March, and come back here and prove how wrong I was. Good times. Although, I must say that this will be the only bracket until the end of the non-conference season. This one is just for kicks and giggles. Shortly after Christmas, I will build a bracket based on what teams did in November and December.

Tomorrow, a preview the Sun Belt East Division is on tap.

Oakland Bracket
Games in Dallas, TX
1. Texas
16. Montana State

8. Indiana
9. Northern Iowa

Games in Salt Lake City, UT
5. Maryland
12. Georgetown

4. Iowa
13. San Diego State

Games in Salt Lake City, UT
6. Alabama
11. Western Kentucky

3. Gonzaga
14. Pacific

Games in Philadelphia, PA
7. Kansas
10. North Carolina

2. UConn
15. Boston U.

On paper, Texas looks like a terrifying team. P.J. Tucker, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Brad Buckman pack some serious beef up front and all are capable scorers. PG Daniel Gibson may be the best PG in America. G Kenton Paulino will be asked to step up his perimeter production. If the Horns get consistent outside shooting, they will be a monstrosity...Dickie V, Andy Katz, and Athlon all have IU in the top 20 and Yoni Cohen has the Hoosiers at #23. Can they all be wrong? The Hoosiers have NCAA talent, so this could be their comeback year. It's do or die for Davis...Northern Iowa plays the role of favorite for a change in the MVC this year. Creighton will challenge and SIU always seems to find a way, but the Panthers have the strongest club on paper. They return all five starters from last year's NCAA at-large club. Check out sharpshooter Ben Jacobsen when you get a chance...Georgetown back in the bracket; conjures up images of Michael Jackson (no, the other one), David Wingate, Reggie Williams, and company...San Diego State has the most talent in the Mountain West, but they are coached by Steve Fisher. That does not inspire confidence, but perennial power Utah and defending tourney champ New Mexico look to be down...I know that you think WKU's inclusion is coming from bias, but nearly everyone is picking the Tops to win the SBC. UL-Lafayette and Denver will challenge from the West, but the Sun Belt Tourney is in Murfreesboro, TN, just a mere 1.5 hours away from WKU. There will be a BIG home court advantage for the Tops against everyone save MTSU in the Belt tourney...What would your reaction have been to this statement ten years ago? "By 2005, Gonzaga University will be a mainstay as a 2/3 seed in the NCAA tournament." Yeah--me, too. All things are possible...UConn, Kansas, and North Carolina--all in the same pod? KU and UNC were decimated by graduation, transfers, and the NBA. UConn has had issues of its own (stolen computers anyone?), but return super big men in Josh Boone and Rudy Gay. If Marcus Williams can stay clean, the Huskies will be just fine.