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March 26th, 2013
In a tournament that has been full of excitement and upsets, the East is the only region where all four top seeds advanced to the Sweet 16. Indiana survived a scare against Temple in the second round after routing James Madison in the round of 64. Syracuse handled a tough California squad, Marquette avoided a massive upset against Davidson in the first round and staved off Butler in the second thanks to the heroics of Vander Blue and Miami got a huge performance from Rion Brown to hold off the Fighting Illini. That sets up a big weekend in the nation's
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Michigan
When/where: 7:37 p.m. Friday; Arlington Texas (Cowboys Stadium)
It’s Kansas’ experience against youthful and energetic Michigan. It’s Big 12 vs. Big Ten. It’s lots of turnovers vs. not very many. But above all else, it’s the Sweet 16 – two wins stand in the way of college basketball glory.
#1 Louisville versus #12 Oregon
From March 15th to 17th the Serbian city of Valjevo held the second edition of Luka Stancic tournament, with some of the best youth Balkan teams (Partizan Belgrade, Olimpja Ljubljana, KK Split, Cedevita Zagreb). The winner was Partizan Belgrade in the final against Olimpja Ljubljana, after a close and emotional game. Here it is a list of the prospects that showed the most potential from an NBA perspective.
Dragan Bender (1997, 6’10”, SF/PF, KK Split, Croatia)
If your NCAA Tournament pool bracket had Wichita State, a No. 9 seed in the West Regional, advancing to a Sweet 16 game Thursday night in Los Angeles, take a bow.
While early entry is the norm for most top tier NCAA prospects, in most drafts there are more seniors drafted than any other class of player. In 2012, the first senior chosen was Tyler Zeller at 15. While there were only 4 taken in the first round, 21 were drafted overall, by far the most of any class. There is still great value in choosing a player who has taken their time with the college process. Some players bloom late and some teams can really benefit from a player who has matured mentally as well as physically through 4 years of college experience.
If you're looking for players who will be top ten draft picks, this region probably isn't for you as it doesn't boast top shelf individual talent. However, if you want to see squads that thrive because of superior teamwork, communication, coaching, and intangibles, you're in the right place. There will be plenty of quality big men in the region that could make for some absolute battles in the paint. Any number of teams could win this region and each team presents a unique challenge for its opponents.
The South Region is like an NBA Draft preview tournament. Its star power really rises above the rest of the brackets, including super freshman Ben McLemore of Kansas and national player of the year frontrunners Trey Burke of Michigan and Otto Porter of Georgetown. Don’t forget James Michael-McAdoo of North Carolina, Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA and Nate Wolters of South Dakota State. It’s basically a who’s-who of college basketball, and the team play isn’t too bad, either.
While the consensus is that the Midwest Region is the toughest and that the South has arguably the most NBA ready talent, the East Region has no shortage of intriguing matchups and story lines. As many as five teams have "Final Four talent" with a few others in position to make a Butler-esque Cinderella type run. The East Region features the Big 10, ACC and Big East regular season champs (Marquette is a co-winner with Louisville and Georgetown). With parity in college basketball being the highest it has been in recent years and with no clear cut favorite to be cr