Murray State lost to Cal by just five, 75-70, at the start of the season. The Bears, it turned out, were overrated, but that game at least showed the Racers can hoop with five players averaging 10 points a game.
Coach Billy Kennedy has developed a reputation for recruiting very good players. Murray State (30-4) has five of the top six players in the OVC and led the conference in scoring offense and scoring defense.
Gonzaga … again. West Coast basketball is in a slump and this is one of the best teams out there in the wild blue yonder. Is this team much different than the squad that was trounced by North Carolina in 2009? The names have changed, but these guys lost to Duke, 76-41. The 8-seed Zags (26-6) lost by 19 to St. Mary’s. Yuck.
Most likely first-round upset
Vanderbilt did not look very good in the SEC Tournament, especially against Mississippi State. The fourth-seed Commodores could be taken out if they don’t use their size advantage to pound Murray inside.
We have heard tales back east — and down south — of this shooting phenom at BYU called Jimmer Fredette. He can shoot it, we’re told. Forty-nine against Arizona State. The guy fills up the basket from just over the half-court line. Syracuse recruited him, along with West Virginia and Wake Forest.
The Cougars will take care of Florida in the first round and then we’ll see if he can get his shot off against Kansas State, which plays defense as if its hair is on fire. A stellar defense against a hot-shooting team? Love it.
If Jimmer can get loose for 25 against the Wildcats then, yes, he should skip right to the NBA.
It has to be Syracuse big man Arinze Onuaku. How injured is he? The Orange have a terrific record, but their talent is not as spectacular as the record makes it look.
There is not a lot of depth, unless you consider coach Jim Boeheim as a terrific sixth man. If Onuaku does not get back, the Orange will be leaving the tournament early. Boeheim said his beefy center might or might not play the first two rounds in Buffalo.
Syracuse wins. We think.
Second-seed Kansas State is not a threat. Take away the easy baskets, which the Orange will do if they match up with the Wildcats, and K-State doesn’t score enough. Syracuse’s length will hem in Denis Clemente, the K-State guard. That’s if the Wildcats get to the finals.
Pitt or Xavier could win the Elite Eight game against K-State and get to the regional final. Fine with me. The Frank Martin cat won’t be missed. The sideline abuse he shells out is getting old. Who wants to keep seeing that on TV?
Duke coach said that after winning his second gold medal in men's basketball would be his Team USA finale. That may not be the case anymore.
CBT: Turning the page on the Mike Rice scandal, Rutgers hired Louisville's Julie Hermann as athletic director on Wednesday. But, Hermann has a prior scandal of her own.
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