Friday, March 19, 2010

NCAA Second Round Preview: Saturday's Games


3:35, Providence71.2 possessions
14 Ohio27.0%66.043.721.328.633.1
6 Tennessee73.0%73.750.619.031.224.4
Not to make apologies for Georgetown's poor play, but no matter how bad your defense is--and Georgetown's wasn't good on Thursday night--you don't give up a 70% eFG without the other team just being incredibly hot from the field. The Bearcats showed no ability defensively to stop Georgetown from doing whatever they wanted to do, so unless the hot shooting continues Tennessee should advance here.

5:40, Oklahoma City60.6 possessions
9 Northern Iowa18.6%56.642.217.428.622.7
1 Kansas81.4%67.153.617.630.626.3
Confession time: I've only watched about 5 minutes of Kansas basketball this year. I have little doubt that they're the best team in the country, and don't really have anything against them. They just seem sorta boring. I guess I'll have to get to know them more over the next couple weeks.


3:20, San Jose64.3 possessions
13 Murray St.39.2%64.650.722.230.628.0
5 Butler60.8%67.849.720.333.235.0
Murray State is going to have to shoot the lights out to win this one.

8:10, Oklahoma City74.8 possessions
7 BYU60.9%
2 Kansas St.39.1%77.549.220.234.633.4
This is the only matchup of the day in which the seeds held. That alone isn't really evidence that the Committee did a bad job seeding the Tournament, but the fact that only one of the upsets on Thursday was any more than a mild surprise certainly is. East-coast bias and John Wall hype will probably conspire to keep this game off of most of the televisions in America, but this is going to be one of the more entertaining games of the whole Tournament. Crank up the MMOD!


5:50, San Jose73.8 possessions
11 Washington55.4%80.049.816.431.929.6
3 New Mexico44.6%78.247.717.133.838.6
Marquette wasn't able to exploit Washington's tendency to send opponents to the free throw line, and if New Mexico can't get to the line effectively they'll be in trouble.

8:15, New Orleans71.5 possessions
9 Wake Forest26.8%67.642.920.536.824.8
1 Kentucky73.2%75.447.418.938.830.6
Ish Smith sealed his place as one of the all-time clutch players at Wake Forest with his game-winner at the buzzer last night. I can think of at least two other winners he's hit--from the exact same spot on the floor--in games against Maryland and Virginia Tech throughout his career, and anecdotally, at least, he seems to hit a disproportionate number of shots late in close games. But if he's that good in the clutch, why is he such a mediocre shooter the rest of the time? If Smith displayed half the concentration for the first 36 minutes of games that he did in the clutch, Wake would have been a much better team over the last few years.


1:05, Providence72.5 possessions
10 St. Mary's32.9%78.852.419.430.333.7
2 Villanova67.1%84.651.813.533.631.1
An interesting matchup in that each team's defensive weak point (forcing turnovers for St. Mary's, sending the opponent to the free throw line for 'Nova) corresponds with the chink in the other's offensive game.

5:45, New Orleans61.5 possessions
11 Old Dominion38.0%
3 Baylor62.0%65.653.121.933.627.4
Aren't the games supposed to get more interesting as the Tournament moves forward? A Thursday of great games looks like it might lead to a Saturday filled with snoozers.

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