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LCB Hoops Picks: Bracket Buster Weekend

February 19, 2010



Myself and Berndon take a look at the biggest games this weekend on the college landscape, giving you our picks for bracket buster weekend. The picks are after the jump.
Siena vs. (18) Butler @ 11:00 am on ESPN2 (Saturday) :
Langston:  There has been a lot of talk about expanding the NCAA tournament to 96 teams from the current total of 64. This is a terrible idea. The only reason coaches are pulling for this, is because NCAA tourney berths bring job security. If you add 32 more teams, your just diluting an already great product and in-turn, providing more lop-sided games. If the committee really wants a better product, they should give the automatic berths to regular season champs instead of awarding teams who play good for one week in the conference tournament.

Before you say anything, I understand the reasoning behind giving tourney champs the bid. It gives the fans better games, each team a realistic shot of making the big dance, and brings in more money for the conferences. But allow me to get hypothetical for a moment. Let's say, after going unbeaten in the regular season, Siena loses to Canisius in the conference finals. Are we really supposed to believe they are less deserving of a bid than a team with a current record of 12-15?

If the NCAA tournament committee really wants to make the tournament better, give the teams who performed the best, over the entire season, the bid. Oh and Butler wins, 65-59.

Berndon: I go back and forth on whether or not to expand the tourney. I honestly would be ok with it though. It would give me a chance to send my myself into gambling rehab by 2015 instead of in 2020. Seriously though, the teams that make the NIT usually are pretty close in ability to the last teams that make the dance. Give the top 32 teams a bye, let the next 64 teams play one game, then presto, you're back to the normal tourney. If you're not a top 8 seed, chances are you aren't going to win it all anyway, so if you should have to win an extra game if you make it that far. It would bring in more revenue and generate more excitement at 32 schools that normally would be trying to get excited about a tournament that doesn't matter. The regular season would still matter, because even with 96 teams, there would be controversy about who gets in. Plus, teams would want to put themselves in position to still get higher seeds and get that bye.

I'm also going to go with Butler here. I watched part of the game when Siena lost to Niagara, and they looked like shit. While they've won games in the dance the last two seasons, Butler is playing at home, and Gordon Hayward and Matt Howard will be too much for the Saints to handle in the low post. Butler gets the dub, 72-65.

(9) Ohio State vs (11) Michigan State @ 12:00 on Big Ten Network (Sunday):
Langston: While in high school, I worked as a field attendant for the local parks and rec. department. The main duty of the job was to watch out for injuries, when a kid was injured I would rush over to them to assess the situation so I could decide whether I gave them first aid or called for an ambulance. This job meant I had to watch a ton of games involving kids who weren't good enough to play for their middle or high school, making the games pretty tough to watch. The worst I ever witnessed was a 12 year-old girls game, where the final score was 12 to 7. Even worse, all but two points were scored with free throws.

When I watch Big 10 basketball, this is the vision that pops into my head. It's just a lot of pushing and shoving with a flood of free throws to follow, making the game tough to enjoy. But each season there is a team or two with the right mix of talent and Big 10 fundamentals that allow you to forget about conference allegiances and enjoy the game. This season, these are the two teams. They are both highly efficient, fun to watch, and about as evenly matched as you can get. But who do you go with? Sparty led by the talented Kalin Lucas or the Bucks and future lottery pick, Evan Turner? Me, I'm going with the team from Columbus, because you have to pull for the guy who returns from a broken back to lay waste to the competition. OSU 68, MSU 65.

Berndon: I will piggyback off of what Langston just said, and also give the nod to Ohio St. The teams are relatively evenly matched, but Turner is,  and will be the best player on the floor. This Chicago native is the best player in the Big 10, and maybe in the whole country. Michigan St. isn't as strong defensively and on the boards this year, which will allow the Buckeyes to play on the perimeter and hurt Sparty from deep. OSU wins, 69-61.

Berndon's Upset Special: The Commodores of Nashville will beat my pick to cut the nets down in Nashville. I think even though they are going to be the best when it's all said and done, the Wildcats still are going to lose a game or two along the way. Vandy's been hot lately, and they're playing at home. Look for them to win 82-79.


2 comments:

berndon4 said...

Vandy almost had me 2-2 on upset picks.....i was getting ready to move to vegas and everything

February 21, 2010 at 3:30 AM
Langston said...

After the game, Coach Calipari said "I've had 25 texts already that said, 'Great football game." It was ugly, but a great game nonetheless.

February 21, 2010 at 11:17 AM

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