Don’t Sleep on the 7-10 Winners

West Virginia struck on Saturday, driving the stake through Duke’s heart that Belmont put in place Thursday night. Three more two seeds take the floor today, don’t be surprised if another finds itself campus bound before the weekend is out. 15 times since 2000, and each year since 1996, at least one seven or ten winner lived to play on the second week. Bob Huggins Mountaineers already ensured the streak will continue, that does not put Georgetown, Texas, or Tennessee out of the woods.

The Volunteers, thought to have the toughest draw staring a path that includes Louisville and UNC in Tar Heel land, still has to get through Butler. AJ Graves and Mike Green form one of the top five backcourt tandems in the nation to lead a veteran Bulldog team, arguably under-rated as a 7-seed. Butler dismantled South Alabama Friday, and have the moxie to stand up to the Volunteers high tempo pressure attack. Before preparing for arguably the best #3 and #1 seeds in this year’s tournament, Tennessee has to deal with the best 7 seed, with a chip on its shoulder.

Georgetown and Texas face two of the most prolific scorers in the tournament, each coming off vintage opening round performances. Stephon Curry will be hard pressed to mimic Friday’s shooting performance against the defensive minded Hoya defense, who will throw a trio of more athletic guards geared to stop the one man wrecking crew. Davidson gave a number of big name teams all it could handle earlier this season, and has the talent to hang with Georgetown, but someone other than Curry must step up.  Expect JT III to have Curry marked all game. Relying on one player more than any other team, Davidson appears the least likely to pull the trick.

Out of the ACC, Miami is no stranger to playing big games, facing DUke and UNC twice a year every year. As with Curry, another 38-point effort from Jack McClinton is asking too much for the ‘Canes star, but if the supporting cast steps to the plate they have more weapons to spread the attack with than Davidson. Texas finished strong, DJ Augustin and AJ Abram are both big-time players, but Rick Barnes checkered tournament past leave question marks in the back of everyone’s mind until he proves otherwise. A Final Four trip this season goes a long way to quieting the critics. McClinton proved anything’s possible in one game, but if the same Miami team that Virginia Tech blew out in the ACC tournament shows up, Texas rolls into the regionals with  home court advantage. If I’m a betting man, look to Butler for the upset.

It’s hard to see UNC or Memphis tripping up today. A pair of 12-13 matchups in Tampa will produce two Cinderalla stories for next weekend. Villanova’s resume reads 12-seed, the talent and Big East presence does not. Expect the ‘Cats to end Siena’s magical ride, while Western Kentucky played better Friday in its win than San Diego, who benefited from the AJ Price injury and an inconsistent UConn performance. Brazelton and Lee give the Hilltoppers a formidable scoring duo, probably too much for the Terrero’s to contend with.  Bluegrass state basketball fans still have an interest in the tournament, just not Ashley Judd.

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One Response

  1. I hope I’M wrong but I see Wisconsin beating Davidson by about 10 points. It would be nice to see the score reversed but the odds are not in Davidson’s favor.

    This is an excellent small college with their student atheletes having far above average intelligence but the spoils don’t always go to the smartest ones.

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