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LCB Hoops Picks: Conference Tourney Finals

March 14, 2010



Myself and Berndon preview the SEC and ACC tourney finals, taking quick looks at the match-ups between Georgia Tech/Duke and UK/Miss. State. 




Georgia Tech v. (4) Duke @ 1:00 on Raycom/ESPN:
Langston: Watching the GT-N.C. State game yesterday, I actually started to root for Sidney Lowe and his cast of alsorans. I really don't know what came over me. Maybe it's because the Wreck should have lost in the quarters, or maybe it's just Sidney Lowe's hypnotic sport jackets and like a bull I'm entranced by that all that red. Either way, State just didn't have enough to pull it off against Gani Lawal and his teammates. With the win, Tech became the third ACC team to make the final by playing in the first round, four games four days. They have the opportunity to become the first of those three to win the whole thing, which would make Paul Hewitt the first African-American coach to win the ACC tournament. Yet to pull it all off they have to play against Duke, who has won eight of the last eleven tourney titles and is all but guaranteed a one seed. Add it all up and it's a talk task for the Jackets. In all honestly, I would love to see Glen Rice Jr. go nova as if his name was, well, Glen Rice Sr., but much like Tech winning this game it's not going to happen. Scheyer has his goofy/scary gameface ready and Duke will roll. Duke 72, GT 60.

Berndon: The thing to bet on would probably be that I will get at least one of these games wrong. I've done horribly so far in picking the conference tourney games, and hopefully this is not a precursor for yet another failed bracket or 15 in my future. As for this one, I really haven't caught much of this tournament due to not living in Virginia anymore. Granted, games were on ESPN/ESPN2, but I've mostly just watched the Big East games. I do know they don't call this the "Duke Invitational" because they lose games here, and I have my doubts whether an inexperienced GT squad can play well for the 4th game in a row. Duke wins 77-68.


Miss. St vs. (2)Kentucky @ 1:00 on ABC:
Langston: Out of the potential match-ups of the four teams in the SEC semi's, this one is the worst. If we have UT-Vandy or UK-Vandy, you get two teams that really don't like each other. If you get UT-Miss St, you get a rematch of last years finals and two teams who almost brawled last week. But no, we're left with two teams where the biggest story line is how Bulldog fans called DeMarcus Cousins encouraging him to destroy their favorite team. Which isn't bad, it just could have been so much better.

Now when it comes to this game, we have two totally different teams. One is a solid one seed, the other is stuck on the bubble. One is loaded with talent, the other has the best shot blocker in college basketball and not a whole lot else. Miss. State needs this game to erase any doubt of missing the tournament, while the only thing UK gains is another SEC banner they won't hang. And even with that added inspiration for the team from Starkville, I still don't know if it's enough to win this game. UK is so good, even when they don't have any real interest in a game they can coast to a win, and when focused I don't think there is a team in the country that can stop them. But do they even care about this one? I'm not sure, though I'll take them anyway. UK 86, Miss. St. 78.

Berndon: The key with Kentucky right now is despite the fact that DeMarcus Cousins is becoming less and less predictable as the season draws to a close, Patrick Patterson is playing consistently well on a nightly basis. These two down low will be too much for Jarvis Varnado to handle by himself. MSU played the Cats close in the two teams only meeting, but it looks as though Kentucky is on a mission. They will only lose if they somehow implode emotionally. Kentucky wins it, 83-72.

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