Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Big East Tourney - Quarterfinal round preview

Four games. 4-0 record. I should have bet on these games instead of throwing money at the $390M Mega Millions jackpot.

Since I had such success today, I will temp fate and put my perfect record on the line by looking at tomorrow's matchups at Mono Sodium Glutenate, er, Madison Square Garden.

Game 5: Villanova vs. Georgetown. Yet another matchup against these historic rivals. G'Town has lived up to expectations for this season after barely losing to eventual National Champion Florida in last year's NCAAs. Villanova defeated DePaul today, but two disturbing trends emerged: (a) only Reynolds and Sumpter are reliable scorers; (b) the Wildcats interior defense is truly awful. DePaul drove the lane at will. These teams met twice this season, each winning a nailbiter on the other teams' home court. Prediction: My heart's with the Cats, but my $$ is on the Hoyas.

Game 6: Syracuse vs. Notre Dame. The Irish never could quite get off the bubble in the last two years. Good enough to make the NCAA, they were left at the altar twice. Not this year. Picked to finish 11th in the conference, they are instead the #16 team in the land. Syracuse clinched a trip to the Big Dance by dismissing UConn in the first round. The teams did not meet during the regular season. Prediction: Syracuse has not lost a conference tournament game since 2004. That streak ends at the hands of the Irish.

Game 7: West Virginia vs. Louisville. Mountaineers set a conference record by hitting 17 threes in their dismantling of the Providence Friars in the opening round. These teams didn't meet during the regular season, either. WVU will try to light it up from outside again. Louisville has some slasher-style scorers and is more athletic than the Mountaineers. Should be a good game. Prediction: My disgust for Rick Pitino knows no bounds. Mountaineers prevail on GP.

Game 8: Marquette vs. Pittsburgh. The Warriors survived a gutty Red Men effort to advance out of the opening round. Pittsburgh awaits with some huge 7-foot white guy who's actually pretty good. The teams met twice this year, Marquette won both by a total of 7 points. I think this will be the best game of Day 2. Prediction: It is extremely difficult to beat a team three times in one season. My aversion to the Panthers finds its roots in Sean Miller's teams, but the third time is a charm here. Pitt advances.

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