Sunday, March 19, 2006

First Weekend Concludes

Today's Games
--11:10: (5) Pittsburgh vs (13) Bradley. The Panthers may be happy that they do not have to face Kansas, but Bradley is playing some of the best basketball in the country. They have won 8 of 9 with wins over SIU, Wichita State, Creighton, Northern Iowa, and Kansas. The post matchup between Aaron Gray and Patrick O'Bryant should be especially fun. Does Pitt have an answer for Marcellus Sommerville?
--1:15: (1) Memphis vs (9) Bucknell. Bucknell's slow, methodical, defensive style (#1 Raw Def Eff) flustered Arkansas and it could give Memphis trouble as well. But, the Tigers have an awful lot of talent to hold down for 40 minutes. The Bison will have to prevent "The Run" all day if they are to have a shot in this one. The Tigers have a stifling defense of their own (#11 Adj Def Eff), although they like things at a MUCH faster pace than do the Bison.
--1:20: (3) North Carolina vs (11) George Mason. The Heels were pushed to the limit on Friday and need to be focused for a tough GMU squad. PG Tony Skinn is back from his one-game suspension and GMU's confidence must be sky high after thoroughly handling Michigan State without Skinn in the lineup.
--1:30: (1) UConn vs (8) Kentucky. The Huskies had their scare for 30 minutes from Albany, so they should be refocused. UK has really struggled against elite teams this season, and UConn is the elite of the elite. The Cats will need another big day for Round One hero Bobby Perry (or some other role player) to have a shot.
--1:40: (6) West Virginia vs (14) Northwestern State. The Demons will go for upset #2 today against a seasoned Mountaineer club. The Eers looked primed for a run after their first round smashing of Southern Illinois, but NW State is playing with house money and with a lot of confidence.
--3:45: (2) Texas vs (10) NC State. The Pack did not look like a team that is ready to pack it in against Cal. They had lost four in a row to close the season, but looked recharged on Friday. Texas had a tough go with Penn before pulling away late. The Horns had better come ready to rumble today.
--3:50: (2) Ohio State vs (7) Georgetown. The Buckeyes and Hoyas both played grueling first round games, so it will be important for both to come out sharp. Terrance Dials and Roy Hibbert should be a fun matchup to watch down in the blocks.
--4:00: (1) Villanova vs (8) Arizona. This is the kind of 8-seed that 1-seeds hate to face. The Cats have underachieved all year, only to come out and destroy Wisconsin and look threatening in the process. Of course, if the regular season is any indicator, Zona may just sleepwalk through this one. Nova played a brutally unattractive game against Monmouth, so they need to clean things up a bit in this one.