Attention mid -level managers, you face a double -double
of office productivity threats. Not only
is the dark plague of baseball fantasy drafts looming, but come mid -March, the
You can look it up, the NCAA tournament brings $190
million a year in lost productivity, and after all that, last season's
championship between Butler and UConn was about as inspiring as a John Beck
'Scrappy' Butler turned 'crappy,' only making 12, yes 12 shots the entire game! Not only that, but normally fluid guard Kemba Walker was emblematic of the overall play from both teams as he went 5-19 and UConn played
little better than a rec league basketball team, shooting 34.5 percent from the
floor. 'Hoosiers' this game was not.
However, we sure did love that run from VCU! Poise
under pressure? The team had so much of
it they could have packaged it, sealed it and sold it at wholesale!
So who's going to make the jump to the tournament in
our area? Right now it isn't a big
in Big East. 22-6 overall.) - The
only 'sure-shot' tournament team our area has, the Hoyas under a Princeton
Offense that is based on making back-door cuts, high and wide spacing, and
often has the center and forwards receiving the ball out of the paint near the
key, while other players make back-door cuts to the basketball. Because of this, Georgetown's forwards have
tended to be good passers. We've seen
this is the past from Jeff Green, and we see it this season from Center Henry
Sims who leads the Hoyas with 3. 5
assists, per game
They Hoyas are also lead by Jason Clark, a
tenacious, 6'2 guard who plays just as aggressively on defense as he does
leading the Hoyas on the counter-attack.
The Hoyas are a very deep, well coach team who has
excellent size, a perfect combination for the rough-and-rumble Big East where
smaller, non-athletic teams simply don't have a chance.
With a win on Saturday against Marquette, the Hoyas
would enter the Big East Tournament as a #2 seed. For the far more important NCAA Tournament,
they are a lock to get in, a strong candidate to go far, but could be susceptible
to a good three-point shooting team that has a few forwards who can hang. (See
VCU last season.)
(6-9 in ACC. 16-13 overall.) - The Terps just don't have the experience
and the chops yet to hang late, a downfall that will keep Maryland from the
NCAA tournament unless they can pull off a miracle and win the ACC Tournament. Maryland shot 23.3% in the second half of a
recent loss to Georgia Tech. The numbers were even gaudier in a blowout loss
the Virginia Cavaliers as Maryland made exactly five shots in the
second half and shot 20.4 % in the final twenty minutes of basketball. Not so good.
With Sean Mosely the only Maryland Senior who can
really be relied upon, Terrell Stoglin the only guy who can create his own
shot, and with a 1-8 record on the road in the ACC, a strong ACC tournament
appears to be a distant pipedream.
Virginia (8-7 in ACC. 21-8 overall.) - With a last-second loss on a
three pointer by Ian Miller to give the Seminoles a 63-60 win on a game that
four minutes earlier, the Cavs lead by 11, it was the second straight game that
Virginia could no longer close out a team, as the Cavs missed a number of open
three point shots in the last minute during a 54-51 loss to 7th
ranked North Carolina.
all of a sudden, in what has been a very good season, the
Cavs no longer appear to be a sure lock to make the Tourney if they stop right
don't think they will.
The Cavs under
Tony Bennett are second nationally in team defense, only giving up an average
of 52.2 points per game. The Cavs are also 5th
nationally in three
point defense as other teams shoot on average only at 28.8 percent.
offense, the Cavs have been relying on power forward Mike Scott, (Who has seven
double-doubles already the season.) for a long-long time.
Jontel Evans also gives the Cavs some great outside
range, shooting three pointers at a 45.5 percent clip and leading the Cavs in
At 8-7 in the ACC, the game this Saturday at
Maryland is a must win.
If the Cavs do
win and at least take one game in the ACC Tournament, we expect that they will
finish around a 6th seed in the Tourney. For the first time since 1995, Virginia also
has a decent chance of at least making the Sweet Sixteen if they make it in.
Tech (4-11 in ACC. 15-15 overall.) - After beating number #1
Duke and reaching the ACC Tournament Semifinals, the Hokies should have been
invited to the NCAA Tournament last year.
Maybe Hokies coach Seth Greenberg was being a little melodramatic when
he said of the NCAA selection committee that, "you almost wonder if someone in
that room has their own agenda and that agenda doesn't include Virginia Tech," but
he certainly had a right to be mad.
This year though Greenberg can't make the same
argument. Tech is an abysmal 4-11 in
conference, playing good teams like Duke to overtime and only getting beaten by
1 against #21 Florida State, but they don't give NCAA Tournament bids to teams
whose major accomplishment is not getting blown out.
25-6, 15-3 CAA) Having won 14 of the last 15 games, the
Rams should be a tournament team, especially when you consider the vainglorious
run they went on last season.
However most NCAA tournament insiders expect the perennially
underrated CAA to only have one team make the tournament. That means that VCU or the also deserving George Mason (23-8 overall and 14-4 in
the CAA) likely will have to beat Drexel in the finals of the CAA tournament.
With a shooting percentage of .405, you wouldn't think that VCU would even be in contention for the tournament as this team does not have the 'gunners'
they had last season.
The Rams high
intensity defense though often is the deciding factor in games. In terms of pure thievery, VCU is one of the
best in the nation, averages over 10 steals per game.
On offense, Bradford
Burgess is the most important holdover from the Final Four team of 2010-11.
Burgess is more than capable of 'going off' has the speed and ability to create
his own shot, and if he starts 'feeling it' behind the arc, it's over as
Burgess already has played three games in which he made five or more shots
behind the arc.
Washington (10-19 overall. 5-10 in Atlantic 10.) Not much to see here
and no tournament hopes to speak of as first year head coach Mike Lonergan has
been searching for but been unable to find consistency from his Colonial