#7 W. VIRGINIA MOUNTINSTUFF vs #3 XAVIER MUSKETSTUFF (+1)
While Huggins has done a remarkable job in his 1st season at WV, I’ll take the coach that knows his veteran players better than I know Kobe Tai’s birthmarks. With six veteran players averaging double figures, nobody in the country has a more balanced, efficient attack than my Homeboys from Xavier. Featuring a Sr. backcourt of 5-7 playmaker Drew Lavender (Tourney: 16 ppg, 6 apg, 50-3pt%) and arguable the best perimeter defender in the country Stanley Burrell, a frontcourt duo of 6-9 sharpshooter Josh Duncan (12 ppg, 5 rpg, 42 3pt%) and 6-8 banger Derrick Brown (11 ppg, 7 rpg, 60-fg%), an athletic slasher in 6-6 C.J. Anderson (11 ppg, 6 rpg, 52-fg%), and 6-6 6th man named M*tha F*ckin B.J. (10 ppg, 41 3pt%), I’m surprised the line doesn’t favor the kids from Cincinnati. Obviously, the Mountaineers victory ova Duke has Vegas buzzing, but watching the tiny, no-frontcourt Blue Devils all year…they had no chance to stop a player like 6-8 Jr. Joe Alexander (17 ppg, 6 rpg). Even if one of Xavier’s bigs gets in foul-trouble...
Even if one of Xavier’s bigs gets in foul-trouble, brilliant little headmaster Sean Miller has 6-9 255 lbs So. Jason “the other” Love (6 ppg, 5 rpg, 57-fg%) to throw at ‘em. Not to mention, WV’s lethal outside threat Alex Rouff (7-12 from 3-pt in tourney) will be blanketed by Mr. Burrell and 6-7 So. Da’Sean Butler (13 ppg, 6 rpg) will have to work hard for his buckets against Mr. Anderson…yeah, say it like those Matrix BEETACHES, Mr. Anderson Baby!…XAVIER WINS
#2 TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS vs #3 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (-2.5)
I know this is a dangerous game to touch, but so were some of the things I touched in college and I turned out O.K. To start, I just think the Cardinals are more battle-tested from their contests in the mighty Big East compared to the awful SEC. Secondly, while Bruce Pearl is an unbelievable recruiter and motivator, Rick Pitino is somewhat of a Godfather figure in my eyes when it comes to college basketball and hands-down is a better coach. Next, with a legit 9-man rotation that has seen a different cat carry the squad for almost every game, the Cardinals just have more options if one of their top scorers is off. Fourthly (never used that word before), in the Volunteers last 4 games they’ve struggled mightily for huge stretches against some very average teams (South Carolina, American, & Butler), while Louisville has looked absolutely dominate since the tourney began beating a solid Boise St squad by 18 and blowing out Oklahoma by 30. And finally, the Volunteers leading scoring 6-2 Sr. Chris Lofton is having the worst season of his career, and has opened the tourney even worse with an abysmal 4-18 display and more turnovers than assists. Maybe he bounces back, but more likely, my Homeboy Edgar M*tha F*ckin Sosa & Jerry “Sweet Porn Stache” Smith will give him even more trouble…Cardinals by 6-10 points
NCAA TOURNEY TEASER
Not cause I luv it...cause I have a problem & have to play every game!
#12 W. KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS vs #1 UCLA BRUINS (teased -7.5)
Having played Drake and San Diego so far, the Hilltoppers have been able to hide their weakness inside against opponents in a similar situation. With a starting frontcourt of 6-9 Fr. D.J. MAGLEY (5 ppg, 3 rpg) and 6-9 190 lb So. Jeremy Evans (6 ppg, 5 rpg), Western Kentucky is in bigger trouble than Kurt Russell in Little China with 6-10 270 lb Kevin Love (tourney: 20 ppg, 10 rpg, 6 bpg) in the middle. In addition, the Hilltoppers entire offense revolves around the speedy playmaking ability of 6-0 Sr. Ty Brazelton (14 ppg, 4 apg) and 6-5 do-everything sharpshooter Courtney Lee (21 ppg, 5 rpg). With the speedy Darren Collison & Russell Westbrook to handle Brazelton and the athletic duo of Josh Shipp & Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to pester Lee, I expect Western Kentucky to struggle to find other scoring options against a defense that is giving up only 39 ppg so far in the tourney…Bruins by 14-18 points
#4 WST COUGARS (teased +13.5) vs #1 UNC TAR HEELS
Besides the Wisconsin Badgers, the Cougars are the most methodical team left in the tourney, and combined with their veteran experience, will do everything they can to keep Ty Lawson from running up-n-down the floor. In the half-court, the Tar Heels offensive has struggled all season outside of the dump-down to Tyler Hansbrough, and tonight, he’ll be trying to maneuver against the duo of 6-10 270 lb Jr. Aron Baynes (tourney: 13 ppg, 10 rpg) and 6-10 215 lb Sr. Robbie Cowgill (tourney: 13 ppg, 6 rpg). While their far from dominate defensively, they have the size to disrupt Psycho T and are smart enough to draw a few charges. As for Washington St. on O, while they’ll surely struggle at times, 6-6 Sr. Kyle Weaver can do a little bit of everything (12 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg), 6-2 Sr. Derrick Low (14 ppg) has made at least two 3s in every game ova his last 12, and Jr. PG Taylor Rochestie (11 ppg, 5 apg, 44 3pt%) is perfect running coach Tony Bennett’s system (17 assists to only 4 TOs in the tourney). Plus, who doesn’t luv to bet on an underdog or a coach named Tony MFin Bennett!...Tar Heels by 5-9 points
PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS @ GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (OVA 208)
In the Warriors last 8 games, as well as 13 of the last 14, the total points scored has been ova 214. And speak of the devil, these two teams played on March 2 and scored exactly 214. While some will say with Brandon Roy & LaMarcus Aldridge out tonight the total will be less, yours truly believes that without Roy running the show the Blazers will be casting from deep more than normal (James Jones 47-3pt%, Martell Webster 39-3pt%, Steve Blake 41-3pt%) and probably will get caught-up in Nellie’s crazy pace…Warriors/Blazers 214-220 points