Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Preseason Bracket: Minneapolis

The preseason bracket unveiling marches on in its third of four installments. The final region (Oakland) comes tomorrow.

Minneapolis Bracket
Games in Auburn Hills, MI
1. Michigan State
16. Northwestern State

8. Miami-FL
9. Old Dominion

Games in San Diego, CA (I love lamp.)
5. Iowa State
12. Pittsburgh

4. Stanford
13. Oral Roberts

Games in Greensboro, NC
6. Nevada
11. Ohio

3. Louisville
14. Winthrop

Games in Dallas, TX
7. LSU
10. Ohio State

2. Oklahoma
15. Manhattan

If Michigan State can indeed secure a one seed, Auburn Hills is quite a nice fit for them as a first round locale. They will need solid PG play from Drew Neitzel and a big year from C Paul Davis to achieve that lofty goal...ODU returns four of their top five scores from last year including Colonial POY C Alex Loughton. The Monarchs have major potential...Curtis Stinson from Iowa State is one of my favorite players. The do-it-all guard lays it on the line on every possession and can score, drive, dish, and plays great defense...Carl Krauser's return keeps Pitt in the bracket, but they have serious holes to fill in the vicious Big East...This may be a tad high for Nevada, but they should win a TON of games and the long and gangly Nick Fazekas is difficult to keep in check...Louisville has MANY question marks and will have to replace the "guts" of its team. SR's Larry O'Bannon, Ellis Myles, and Otis George were dirty work players that came up big in clutch situations and F/G Francisco Garcia was their most talented player. If the Cards newcomers do not deliver, they could be much lower...Winthrop is going to get someone one of these years. They slugged it out toe-to-toe with Gonzaga in the first round last year and return much of that team...This may be a year early for Ohio State, but they return Terrance Dials and a good supporting cast from a team that won twenty games last year...Oklahoma will have one of the most formidable frontcourts in the country, but the exodus of PG Drew Lavender will have them relying on unexperienced guard play, which is always dangerous.