Bracket Series pt. 2 (West Region)

Bracket Series 2- West Region

By: Dwayne D.

So yesterday, we took a look at the Midwest Region in the first part of the Bracket Series, today we are going out west to take a look at the Midwest Region. Here are the first round matchups.

1. Connecticut vs. 16. Chattanooga

– UConn has Big East co-Player of the Year Hasheem Thabeet, A.J. Price, Jeff Adrien, and a huge supporting cast that can get up and down the court, and play good solid defense. Thabeet is a blocking machine, and even when he is either out or in foul trouble, the game does not change too much. Although the Mocs are 27-4 entering the tournament, the SoCon champs have three solid scorers in Stephen McDowell, Nicchaeus Doaks, and Kevin Goffney. Unfortunately for them, they got an unlucky draw. I expect this to be the closest 1 vs 16 game, but I will not be surprised if it’s a UConn runaway

8. BYU vs. 9. Texas A&M

– BYU is one of the toughest teams out of the Mountain West Conference. These guys won a share of the Mountain West regular season championship ( along with Utah and New Mexico.  Lee Cummard (16.8 PPG), Jimmer Fredette (16.2 PPG), and Jonathan Tavernari (15.9 PPG) can all get hot at anytime and can shoot the 3. As for A&M, Josh Carter is the heart and soul of the Aggies, when he goes, this team goes. If BYU can shut him down, it will be a pretty easy day for the Cougars.

5.  Purdue vs. 12. Northern Iowa

– Purdue won the Big Ten championship, and they are riding a nice wave of momentum. Robbie Hummel is one of the tougher players in college hoops, and his heart is what the Boilermakers need in this tournament. I see a good game from the Missouri Valley champion Panthers, but it will be too much Purdue in this one.

4. Washington vs. 13. Mississippi State

– The Huskies won the Pac-10 regular season championship, but struggled down the stretch, and they are facing a Mississippi State team that was not even supposed to be in the tournament, but they played their way through the SEC tournament to secure the automatic bid… Keep an eye on Jarvis Varnado for Mississippi State, if  comes up big like he did in the SEC Tournament, expect an upset win from the Bulldogs.

6. Marquette vs. 11. Utah State

– Marquette is not the same team without Dominic James. The Golden Eagles rotation is already very thin, and with James’ injury, it’s even thinner.  Jerel McNeal, Lazar Hayward, and Wesley Matthews are the guys that make this team go. The good thing for Marquette is that Utah is probably the worst of the 11 seeds, despite their 30-4 record. One player to watch is Gary Wilkinson, who averages 17.1 PPG and 6.9 RPG. Marquette’s experience and toughness will prevail over Stu Morrill’s bunch in this one.

3. Missouri vs 14. Cornell

– This is a potential upset alert, as Cornell has a pretty good player in Ryan Wittman (son of former T’Wolves coach Randy Wittman). The best way to beat Missouri is simply by beating their pressure. However, Mike Anderson has done a phenomenal job with the Tigers and bringing them back to prominence culminating with a Big 12 Tournament championship. Expect DeMarre Carroll to lead the charge for the Tigers as he has done all season. I am going with Mizzou on this one.

7. California vs. 10. Maryland

– This is a major upset alert. I see this as the Hot & Cold matchup because both teams are hot and cold. Greivis Vasquez is the key, if he gets overly emotional, Maryland will lose, but if Jerome Randle continues to produce like he has done all season with his 18 PPG and 46% 3-point shooting, Cal is definitely moving on. It’s all going to depend on which team is hot and which team is cold.

2. Memphis vs. 15. Cal State-Northridge

– The Big West Champions taking on the dominant C-USA Champions. I have a few names here: Evans, Dozier, Anderson, Taggart. Need I say more. Along with the fact that John Calipari is going to motivate this team by talking about how they got snubbed from a #1 seed. Sorry Matadors, but this one is going to Memphis.

Tomorrow in Bracket Series pt. 3, we will go to the other side of the bracket and talk about the East Region, and on Wednesday, the play-in game will be analyzed along with a look of the matchups in the South Region.

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    • ChRiS
    • March 17th, 2009

    Im Def. Wit u on the Arizona upset, but i think Maryland will pull that one off too.

  1. yOu kNoW i HATE sPoRtS BUT i HaD tO cOme SuPPoRt mY BoY D!

    GOOD JOB…

    Your blog could use some color or pix or something… = ) it’ll keep sports lames (me) entertained!

    ♥ Alex

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