This is the first of what will be six mini statistical previews of the major conferences. Each one includes projected starting lineups, projected stats for each player, and a short comment.
G Tyrese Rice - 19, 3, 5
G Biko Paris - 6, 2, 4
F Rakim Sanders - 7, 4, 2
F Shamari Spears - 9, 5, 1
C John Oates - 8, 5, 1
6 Tyrelle Blair - 4, 6, 0
This lineup is by no means certain. If Paris doesn't perform, Rice could simply handle point guard duties. Blair also could get the minutes over Oates due to his defensive presence.
Well, the Final Four is set, and with three of my picks still alive (Memphis was the other), bracket entry "rjaymoose will not win" indeed has a shot to take first place. All I need is for Florida to beat Georgetown next Monday, but both have their work cut out for them before the even get to that point. While the games were going on, there were two stories involving hoops on Tobacco Road that caught my attention.
Wow.. simply wow. College basketball is fun. You can take your Super Bowls and endless weeks of repetitive buildup.. I'll take college basketball any day of the week. Just so happens Saturday is the best day of the week though.. and yesterday was about as wild as it gets. Lets begin our journey..
Florida is crazy good. The Gators have been blowing away the SEC, East or West, home or away, with ease. The Gators are 8-0 in league play, 2 full games ahead of 2nd place Kentucky. These two teams meet next week in Lexington.. but I just don't see the Wildcats winning.
The Gators are one of four teams around the country that are still perfect in conference play. Holy Cross is 9-0 in the Patriot, Winthrop is 9-0 in the Big South, and Memphis is 9-0 in the CUSA.
Last year, when I had more time on my hands, I tried to predict just about every game during the week. I just went with my guy, and quickly picked all the winners regardless of the spread, and I'd usually come out with a 75-80% success rate. Saturday was the type of day that made predicting games so fun. 21 of the Top 25 teams are in action.. not to mention dozens of other great games.
Even though its only noon here in the Central Time Zone, there's already one major upset in the works. CAA leading Hofstra is losing to 4-12 Northeastern by 10 with 10 minutes to go. The Pride are coming off a huge overtime win at Drexel, their biggest win of the year. Hofstra's struggled away from home all year, but apparently they thrive in Philly, as they've beaten both Drexel and St. Joseph's. With VCU hosting a very beatable Towson team, the Pride could fall a game back in the standings.
Chris Lofton looked like he was ready to beat Memphis one on five. Tennessee's sharpshooter had 21 points at the half while the #17 team in the country had just 22. Lofton ended with 34 points, including 6 threes, often of the fade-away, off-balance variety. Prior to this game, the Vols had lost to UNC and Butler and their best win of the season was arguably at home over Fordham. This win puts them back in the thick of the nationl picture, though the Top 25 is still probably out of reach.
On a night busy with Top 25 action, everyone else advanced with relative ease. #2 Pittsburgh, #7 Florida, #9 Duke, #10 UCONN, #14 Butler, #22 Maryland, #23 Air Force, and #25 Michigan State all won by double digits.