College Basketball

Fan-i Bracketology: South Region

The South region is probably one of the weakest on the bracket. Not to many intriguing matchups and it looks like it could be an easy road for the top seeds. Only thing is I think there will be some 1st round shockers to come out of this region. 

(courtesy of ESPN.com)

(courtesy of ESPN.com)

Duke is the only #1 seed out of the four regions to not win their conference title, in fact, they didn't even make it to the Finals. Duke still is one of the best teams in the county, just couldn't get over the Irish hump. All 4 of their losses came against conference foes, twice to Notre Dame. The Blue Devils also have two diaper dandies in Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Young. Of course Okafor is the best player on the team but I think Tyus is the key to them making it to the title game. Despite being a Freshman, Tyus has had some of his best games this season in the biggest games, @Wisconsin, @UVA, and against Carolina in overtime. 

His last game was a bad one though, along with Quinn Cook, combined shooting 6-25 from the field in the ACC Semifinal against Notre Dame. Coach K can't afford to have both of his stellar guards to have bad shooting nights. 

After being snubbed last season, SMU made it to the tournament, thanks to their AAC tournament run, defeating UConn in the finals. SMU didn't do well in their 8 tournament games, finishing 3-5, 2 of those losses coming against Cincinnati.

A lot of people are jumping on the Iowa State bandwagon and rightfully so. They are the BIG 12 champs and has won 8 out of their last ten. A lot of their hype is coming from them being in the overrated BIG 12 because they do have two non-conference losses to Maryland and South Carolina, while going 12-6 in the Big 12. I actually do like Iowa State because they play good team basketball and can put up points. They can score with the best of them but they do show signs of inconsistency. 

I think this may be one of Gonzaga's best teams ever. With Kyle Wiltjer, the former Kentucky Wildcat who was apart of that 2012 championship team, they have a player who has been through the fire already. For the NCAA Tournament, you need that player that can just take over games, usually it's a guard, but I think Wiltjer is that kind of player. Plus they have depth and in both front court and back court, with some size. This could be the year the Zags finally get over the hump. 

Sleepers 

The one thing I find intriguing about this region is, it has some legitimate potential upsets.

  • Eastern Washington over Georgetown wouldn't be a bad pick. EWU has the nation's leading scorer in Tyler Harvey, and is 2-1 vs tournament teams, one of which coming on the road at Indiana. 
  • Then you have Stephen F. Austin, who defeated VCU last year in the first round and they are returning 6 players from that game, 3 of which being starters. 
  • North Dakota State, also was victorious last season in the first round as the 12th seed, defeating Oklahoma. Only three players return from that team one which being Lawrence Alexander who averages 19 points a game. I think they will need to play the perfect game in order to beat the Zags though.. 

Players to Watch 

Possible Matchups

  • #1 Duke v. #9 St. Johns, Third Round - I think the Johnnie's could give the Blue Devils a good run but their inconsistency leaves a big question mark. Duke beat St. Johns earlier this season 77-68. 
  • #3 Iowa State v. #2 Gonzaga, Sweet 16 - The matchup between Niang and Wiltjer should be very fun to watch. 
  • #1 Duke v. #2 Gonzaga, Elite 8 - If this does in fact happen, I think this will be the best game of the tournament. 

 

 

 

College Hoops Fan-i 12: Week 2

Welcome to the 2nd week of the Fan-i 12, where we rank the 12 best college basketball teams in the country. We decided to rank 12 teams because, one, it's a lot more convenient and quicker than 25, and two, this is an indication of who we think will be the top seeds come tourney time. So lets get the ranking.

Here is the AP rankings so you can compare the two. 

(courtesy of NCAA.com)

(courtesy of NCAA.com)

Fan-I 12 

  1. Kentucky (22-0) LW 1 - The Wildcats went through the week 2-0, defeating Georgia and Florida. The Gators gave the Wildcats problems, fighting to the finish, but the Wildcats pulled it out 68-61. 

  2. Virginia (21-1) LW 2 - The Cavaliers went 2-0 last week, defeating Louisville and North Carolina. UVA might have the best defense in the country, similar to last season. Against Louisville, they held the Cardinals scoreless for the final 10 minutes of the first half, Cards only scoring a total 13 points in the half. 

  3. Gonzaga (24-1) LW 3 - Not much competition for the Zags last week, defeating Santa Clara and San Francisco, both of whom are under .500 ball. 

  4. Duke (21-3) LW 4 - Duke finished the week 3-0 defeating Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, and Florida State Monday night. Their 30-point victory over Notre Dame was most impressive, redeeming their loss to the Irish January 28th. Justice Winslow and Jahlil Okafor combined for 49 points and 21 rebounds.

  5. Wisconsin (21-2) LW 5 - The Badgers continues to be one of the more consistent teams in the country. They defeated Indiana and Northwestern by large margins. 

  6. Villanova (21-2) LW 6 - Nova finished last week 2-0, defeating Marquette and Georgetown, both at home. Their victory over Georgetown revenged a 20-point loss to Georgetown January 19th. 

  7. Louisville (19-4) LW 8 - The Cards went 1-1 last week, defeating Miami and losing to UVA, both games on the road. Prior to their loss to UVA, Cardinals were on a 4 game win streak. 

  8. Arizona (20-3) LW 7 - In their only game this past week, the Wildcats loss to rival Arizona State on the road for the 2nd straight year. 

  9. Kansas (19-4) LW 10 - The Jayhawks moved ahead of Notre Dame, despite going 1-1 last week, defeating Iowa State and up-setted by Oklahoma State on the road.

  10. Notre Dame (21-4) LW 9 - The Irish went 1-1 last week, defeating Boston College and losing to Duke. The 30-point to Duke loss is one of the worst in school history. 

  11. Northern Iowa (22-2) LW 12 - The Panthers go 2-0 last week, moving up in the rankings due to West Virginia going 0-2. 

  12. Oklahoma (17-7) - The Sooners enters the 12 as one of the hottest teams right now, going 3-0 this past week, defeating two teams in the top 15, Iowa State and West Virginia. 

With West Virginia on a two game losing streak, it opened up a spot for another Big 12 team. Big 12 has 5 teams ranked in the top ten, not including Kansas, creating a log jam for 2nd place in the conference. 

 

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