Saturday, March 28, 2009

NCAA Tournament...Big East Elite Eight Preview

Well, the dream is over. Oklahoma did its best to make sure the Big East wouldn’t own the Final Four. However, there is still the possibility of three out of the four…which is pretty damn impressive. Can the conference continue to dominate? Let’s take a look at the picks.

Last Round: 3-2

Overall: 16-3

(3) Missouri vs. (1) UConn: The Huskies didn’t show signs of being distracted by the recruiting scandal. Jim Calhoun seems to have done a good job in putting a barrier between the allegations and his kids. UConn also continues to roll. Purdue just couldn’t match the physicality. Now it’s a battle of two high-scoring teams. Both squads are averaging over 90 points a game. This will be the toughest test so far for UConn. Expect the Huskies to get more from the perimeter, especially if the school can break the press. This will be a close one, but the Huskies will be too tough.

Prediction: 86-80 UConn

(3) Villanova vs. (1) Pittsburgh: Another game, another escape job by Pitt. However, a win is a win…especially this late in the season. Meanwhile, Nova comes in after destroying Duke (and the free world can once again rest easy). The Wildcats continue to run teams into the ground with straight athleticism. No team is more athletic defensively than Nova…which could be an issue for Pitt. The Panthers need more consistent scoring, which could be difficult against the Cats. DeJaun Blair needs to be a major factor. This means staying out of foul trouble, which could be tough. There is no doubt that Nova will drive at him all night. Pitt can’t afford to get out of the box slowly. If they do, this game will be over by halftime.

Prediction: 75-68 Villanova

(2) Michigan State vs. (1) Louisville: The Cardinals certainly looked like the number one overall seed last night. The Ville dismantled Arizona like a 16-seed. This team is just too deep, too athletic, and too well coached to not be a final four team. The Spartans are a good story. Tom Izzo has an experienced team playing well, at the right time. But MSU just won’t match the Ville’s intensity.

Prediction: 71-58 Louisville



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