Friday, September 23, 2005

Preseason Bracket: Atlanta

I've been trying to decide the best way to do this preseason bracket thing. I thought about revealing it by seeds, but then readers do not get the bracket effect. So, since this IS the "Bracket Board" and all, I'll reveal one regional bracket each day over the next four posts.

The Final Four will be played in Indianapolis this season. As you may remember from last season, the regional brackets are no longer named by direction (East, West, Midwest, Southeast), but by the regional host city. This year, the host cities are Washington DC, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Oakland. There are eight host cities for the first and second round games and each city hosts two pods consisting of four teams. The 1st and 2nd round hosts are Philadelphia, Greensboro, Jacksonville, Dayton, Dallas, Auburn Hills (MI), San Diego (stay classy), and Salt Lake City. The overall #1 on my S-Curve (see TBB Lexicon) is the ESPN All-Stars (aka Duke), so we will begin in the Atlanta region.


Games played in Greensboro, NC
1. ESPN All-Stars
16. Fairleigh Dickinson

8. Syracuse
9. Texas Tech

Games played in Jacksonville, FL
4. Iowa
13. UW-Milwaukee

5. Washington
12. UAB

Games played in Dayton, OH
6. George Washington
11. Arkansas

3. West Virginia
14. Davidson

Games played in San Diego, CA (thanks for stopping by)
7. Wake Forest
10. Minnesota

2. Arizona
15. Eastern Kentucky

This could be a little low for Syracuse. I have a feeling that they will miss Hakim Warrick a LOT and someone has to lose some games in the Big East. Not all of those teams are going to win a ton of conference games. I may be expecting too much from WVU, but even though they lost two strong frontcourt players, they have some amazing perimeter firepower returning. This is a do-or-die year for Stan Heath at Arkansas and there are no excuses. He has arguably the best player in the conference in Ronnie Brewer and the Hogs only lost one SR from last year's team. What to do with Wake. They still have good talent, but they lost the focal point of their team. They could finish anywhere in the ACC. George Washington is poised for a big, big year with the return of Mike Hall and Pops Mensah-Bonsu from their NBA draft flirtations. Duke is often overrated in the preseason, but not this year. The ESPN All-Stars are clearly the early favorite.

PS--Topper fans, notice the familiar name on UW-Milwaukee's roster. The Massiah has returned.