Thursday, December 22, 2011

Road to the Final Four (Week 7)

The last week in college basketball has been very uneventful - no major games, no major shakeups, so really nothing to write about. There are a couple of games this week that feature top 25 teams playing against some stiff competition - so there might be somewhat of an impact on the road to the final four. Click for this week's picks after the jump...

Wednesday, December 21st
Texas @ No. 5 North Carolina (-11), 7 ET - ESPN 2 -W
The Longhorns come into this match up winners of seven straight including an impressive 12-point defeat of the Temple Owls last Saturday in Austin. They start three freshman including the highly touted point guard, Myck "Coco" Kabongo, who poured in 18 points against the Owls. For Texas to stay with UNC in this game they will need to get the most out of their leading scorer J'Covan Brown - the only player with any big game experience. For UNC, they'll clearly have the mismatch down low and should look to dominate inside with their bigs, Tyler Zeller and John Henson. I think UNC will have too much experience and too much firepower for a stingy Texas team - given the mismatch on bigs down low I don't see how UNC doesn't wear down the young front court of the Longhorns. I'll take UNC minus the points to get the win and stay perfect at home.

Thursday, December 22nd
Memphis @ No. 16 Georgetown (-5.5), 7 ET - ESPN2 - W
If this game looks familiar, it's because this is the second time this year that these two teams will meet - the first was a 91-88 Hoyas OT victory in the Maui Invitational. Since their loss to Kansas in Hawaii, the Hoyas have reeled off seven straight including victories over two top 25 teams (Memphis and Alabama). Pretty impressive for a team that many considered would be in a rebuilding year. How have they gotten to this point? Senior G Jason Clark, Senior C Henry Sims, and Junior F Hollis Thompson, have led the offensive output for the Hoyas. Clark scored 26 in against Memphis earlier this year and averages 16 points/gm while Thompson adds 14 points/game and can also shoot the long ball. Overall, the Hoyas are a team that can wear you down defensively and can control the pace of the game against a Memphis team that will look to push the ball at a frenetic pace. I like the Hoyas to win this game and cover the spread at home. 

No. 25 Illinois vs. No. 9 Missouri (-7) (in St. Louis), 9 ET - ESPN2 - W
These are two teams that I admittedly know very little about - which is why I figured I'd click on their team pages, throw out a couple of their stars stats and watch to see if either of these teams will have a chance at making a deep run in this years college basketball season. Plus there's always the monetary incentive of hoping the team I select wins - here goes. First piece of research I found - this game is known as the "Braggin' Rights" game. Isn't every game a Braggin' Rights game? Anyways, Illinois comes in at 11-1 and rely on their inside-outside combo of G D.J. Richardson and C Meyers Leonard. Leonard has the ability to dominate (19 points, 18 rebounds against Cornell) but has had trouble with fouls. Missouri is led by G Marcus Denmon who average 19.6 points/game and can score from just about anywhere on the court. The one thing that's evident about this Tigers team is that they love shooting from deep range. Denmon and Kim English (not sure how I feel about a guy named Kim) average 12 three point attempts per game. That's a lot. Missouri has won the last two contests in this series - and I expect that they'll win again - but I like the Illini to keep this closer than 7. I'll fight with Illinois to cover this neutral site game. 

This Week: 3-0
Season Record: 17-3

No comments:

Post a Comment