Thursday, March 10, 2011

Welcome to Bracketville---Conference Tournaments Week Edition, 2.0

My guess is that Villanova will make the Tournament. Having six wins vs. Top-50 RPI teams separates them from the pretenders. If so, Villanova will be the first team since the Tournament went to 64 to get in after losing their last five games.

In their initial 30 games, Florida State leads all Division I teams in the conversion rate allowed on opponents’ field goals with a stellar 36.5 percentage.

Last year Big East teams were 8-8 in the NCAA Tournament. This season the Big East led all conferences with a 29-16 record against other BCS leagues.

When the Big East tournament bracket can’t fit on one screen on ESPN, there is a problem.

51 teams received at least one vote in the ESPN/USA Today preseason Top-25. Notre Dame, currently #4, was not in that group.

Notre Dame’s Ben Hanbrough is having a sensational season…18.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.2 apg. Check these percentages---49.2% from the field, 45.1% from 3-point range and 81.8% from the line.

Watch out for Temple senior Lavoy Allen---in the past five games he’s got 17.6 ppg, 14 rpg, 3 apg and 2 blocks per game.

Temple has won their last 11 conference games. Their only recent blemish was a February 23rd loss at Duke.

Other than a surprising run to the NCAA title game in 2004, Georgia Tech has not had a winning record in ACC play during Paul Hewitt's other 10 seasons in charge.

Whether you have a horse in the race or not, Big East basketball is big fun to watch. It seems every team is tough and unbelievably athletic. I was surprised that UConn and Pitt accumulated just 51 rebounds in today's game…during the season they combined for average of 79.3. Pitt’s #9 and UConn was #11 in rpg during the season. On the other side of the ball, they allowed opponents 64.7 rpg.

UConn’s Kemba Walker took 22 shot and had 24 points in a buzzer-beater over Pitt. On the other side, Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs bagged 27 points on just 13 shots---absolutely spectacular.

In today’s loss to Colorado, Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen needed 19 shots to get 18 points.

Jimmer Fredette (BYU) needed 21 shots to get his 24 points in a six-point victory over TCU (a team with exactly one conference win).

Brandon Triche (Syracuse) and Dwight Hardy (St. John’s) each led their team with 22 points. It took Hardy 17 attempts---Tiche was more efficient, taking 13.

In their one point squeaker over Oklahoma State, Kansas need 64 shot to get 63 points…that’s atrocious.

The iPad has a free app for March Madness on Demand. I loved MMOD last season, and look forward to it once again.

In a little more than a week please get your completed brackets to me. The four play-in games are too much of a headache for me, so I’ll score the brackets on the starting 64.

You can either have “play-in winner” on the bracket line or wait until Thursday the 17th with the four winners. I’m assuming everyone scores a 100% on those four games.

First round correct predictions are worth one point, second round get you two points, etc.

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