Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Is it time to panic?

As B. Anthony stated, things are certainly heating up. Teams on the bubble are stepping up with signature wins, like West Virginia and Louisville. They will still need to more as these big wins are not going to carry them to the Dance. They will help, but there is still some more meat on those bones. Alternatively, these losses won’t hurt Pitt or UCLA much at all. UCLA was without Collison, which is the bigger concern, as he is the grease that makes this wheel spin.

I do have a difference of opinion from B, when it comes to the top teams as well as the group that is not included. I agree with B’s 4 teams, but I think this total is closer to 7, maybe even 8. And I believe the fringe teams (capable of making a good run) are closer to 40, than 20. The sweet 16 will be peppered with all kinds of upsets.

Money’s Great 8 (in no particular order)

Florida – Great team. They play defense, can run and shoot. Their only flaw is their depth.

Wisconsin – Solid team with a great “go-to” guy in Tucker. Tough to get to the final four without a guy like Tucker. My biggest concern is their home court advantage and how well they will do outside of Madison. They are 6-1 on the road and 1-1 at neutral sites, so this is not a huge concern at this point.

Ohio State – They have won 9 in a row and playing great now. I do worry about this team being young and how they will handle the pressure in a close game.

North Carolina – Great talent, playing extremely well now. Their youth and their expansive rotation are the things concerning me at this point.

Kansas- This is my current flavor of the month. I like this team a lot, although they burn us every year, usually in the first round. Not this year.

Texas A&M – We all know how great they are defensively, but now they putting up some gaudy (at least for them) numbers offensively with a more balanced attack.

UCLA – When you are speaking about the top teams in the country you have to include the Bruins. I discount the loss to West Virginia, but I am worried about their frontcourt. Their success will be dictated by their match-ups and an early exit would not surprise me.

Memphis – This is team that B. Anthony has been pimping and I am getting on board. Big, fast and athletic. Yes, they have not played anyone, but the same could be said last year too and they made it to the Great 8. They lost some talented guards, but have replaced them with young bucks and seem to be playing better as a team. They route Gonzaga on Saturday.

Just missed: Georgetown and Washington state. Oh, here come the Wildcats (Arizona) too. Don’t discount them either.

We do have a couple of “Panic button” games tonite and I believe there are some good betting opportunities.

GEORGIA TECH +3.5 @ Florida State.
The loser of this game will likely be out of the tournament. The Yellow Jackets are such a good sleeper team; it would be a shame for them to not make the tournament. They win and keep their tournament hopes rolling.

MICHIGAN +8 @ Michigan state.
While I don’t predict a Michigan win, I do think this game will be close. Tom Izzo has to win this game as they have lost 4 in a row. They do win, but just barely.

TENNESSEE -3 vs. Kentucky
The Volunteers are really playing well of late. Chris Lofton is healthy again. Coincidence? I think not. They hand the Wildcats another tough loss.


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