Conference Tourney Predictions
BIG TEN- #1 Indiana over #2 Michigan State- Indiana could run into some trouble against the Michigan-Wisconsin winner, bu they are clearly the most talented team in this tournament. Michigan State has the physicality to make it to the finals and to give IU problems, but the combination of Oladipo and Zeller should put them over the top.
BIG EAST- #2 Louisville over #5 Syracuse- Syracuse will score a couple of upsets after their recent 1-4 run, since they should have a slight advantage playing in the Garden. This is a talented team and Jim Boeheim always has his squad ready to play in the postseason. I also think Pitt and even Georgetown are vulnerable this year. Louisville, however, with a ton of experience on their roster and their 7-game winning streak, are primed to take this tournament by storm.
ACC- #2 Duke over #1 Miami- It's hard to argue that Duke hasn't been the best team in the ACC recently, and they are the consensus favorite. I think that the rest of the top teams in this conference are too weak and inconsistent (UNC, NCST, UVA) to take out Miami and Duke, so the only real challenge for the winner will likely come in the final game. Duke has been here before and Miami has not, and after seeing their last match-up, a strong Duke performance, I think the Blue Devils will take care of business.
BIG 12- #1 Kansas over #3 Oklahoma State- OK State and the dynamic freshman, Marcus Smart, are a popular pick to upset both the Kansas schools and win this thing, but I think Coach Self, Jeff Withey, and the rest of the experienced players on this squad will make sure that their superior talent will shine through. K-State is solid, but not talented enough. Watch out for Baylor, a talented and dangerous team desperate to secure a bid and coming off an 81-58 throttling of Kansas.
SEC- #1 Florida over #2 Kentucky- None of these teams are consistent enough for me to feel good about getting on board with them, but Florida and Kentucky are the most talented teams in this tournament and I think Florida will continue to do what they did to get this #1 seed and they will come out on top of this ugly conference.
Pac 12- #1 UCLA over #2 Cal- I don't trust Arizona and I think UCLA will be just fine against them if they meet in the semi-finals. Oregon has a good record, but they have had trouble getting wins over good teams, so I think the top seeds will make the championship, where the Bruins, with freshman duo Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson will bring back the conference title.
Mountain West- #3 UNLV over #1 New Mexico- UNLV has a lot of talent, particular in the form of freshman forward Anthony Bennett, but the supporting cast of Anthony Marshall, Mike Moser, and Khem Birch will overpower anyone else in this tournament. New Mexico has been very solid this year and has taken care of weaker teams, but UNLV has what it takes to knock them off.
Atlantic 10- #2 VCU over #4 LaSalle- St. Louis has been the most solid team of late in this loaded conference, but I think LaSalle is a team that doesn't get its due. They will pull off the upset in the semifinals after knocking off Butler, but Shaka Smart's VCU team will show up, as it always does in March, and win this conference.
Liked the write up, man. I would maybe take Pittsburgh for the final of the Big East over Syracuse, as the Orange have been terribly inconsistent as of late, though really anything can happen. Also would roll with Missouri to get to the SEC Finals against Florida. The ACC should be epic and your Pac-12 looks legit, though Arizona could surprise (Oregon has just been to inconsistent of late, though we did beat both Zona/UCLA, not to mention only lost our last game to Cal on a buzzer beater).
Also feel UNLV has been injury stricken and playing well below their capability. If there is any time to turn it around it is now, just know that Air Force and Colorado State have given them tough games. I would say San Diego State is my sleeper to win the Mountain West. Regardless, liked your write up, good job!
i hope your right about the big east cause that would mean cuse beats gtown. and i would love to see them get 1 win against them
There have been so many upsets in the ACC, I think you underestimate the parity in the conference. I wouldn't be surprised if any of the three teams you mentioned and even the lower seeded schools end up winning it. It's not a predetermined Duke Miami game like you set it out to be.
this is true and I have felt that the most dangerous team going into the tourny is NC State. that is a team that can beat any given team on any given night and thats who I would bet on if it came down to it. I am a UNC guy but UNC cant hang with Duke. Duke struggles with several teams in the ACC as well. Miami is the best team, but NC State couldve been tied for # 1 if not for Brown's injury and some mental lapses. They shouldve been the first team to defeat Miami but didnt block out Reggie Johnson and lost on last second tip-in, which incidentally they did the same thing to Maryland. State should not have lost those 2 games and should not have lost to Wake. I pick State or Miami to take the tourney.
The ACC in my opinion is wide open. I could see Miami, Duke, UNC, Nc State, Virginia, Maryland, or even FSU taking it. The only thing consistant about the ACC is their inconsistency. It should be a very interesting tourney. I hate them, but I have my money on Duke. They seem to take it another level in the ACC tourney. However if the good Miami team shows up I think they are the best in the ACC. If UNC's Bullock and Hairston are on they might be the hardest team to guard. If CJ Leslie doesn't play like a 10 year old he is the hardest player to guard in the ACC and could put NC State on his shoulders. UVA is a tough defensive team and if they can dictate the pace of the game they almost always win. If Maryland was to figure out that Alex Len can score at will on the block they could make a deep run and FSU seems to be hitting their stride and always plays physically.
I think that the fact that most teams in the ACC haven't played against Duke with Ryan Kelly in the lineup will help Duke immensely