North Carolina vs. Mt. St. Mary’s/Coppin State
Did I ever mention how much I hate the play-in game?
I’m going to assume Mt. St. Mary’s wins the play-in game for my purposes, mostly because I have never seen
Mt. St. Mary’s does have some athleticism. Guys like Goode, Vann, Cajou, the Atupems are all very nice athletes. What they do not have is anybody in their regular rotation who is over 6’7. Even if Goode and Cajou and Vann are successful at slowing Ellington and Lawson and the perimeter crew, they have absolutely no answer for Hansbrough in the middle.
This is not going to be fun to watch, and is not going to be close.
First guess: North Carolina 91 Mt. St. Mary’s 59
The question here is really more about
Supposing the Hoosiers were to care desperately about their first round match-up, they could match up pretty well with the Razorbacks, While Gary Ervin has made some great strides this year, especially in the second half of the season, running up against a tough Hoosier backcourt of Gordon, Crawford and Bassett could be a lot to handle for a point guard who is prone to turning the ball over. Where Arkansas generally makes their hay is in the paint, with big guys like Thomas, Townes and Hill grabbing rebounds and playing tough defense, but Indiana should be able to compete down low with DJ White an All-American caliber talent.
However, this really does come down to the mental aspect, and I’m thinking
The type of teams that give
Notre Dame vs. George Mason
This will feature an interesting match-up down low between Will Thomas and Luke Harangody. Thomas does have the tendency to seemingly disappear at times, but given that the NCAA tournament does bring out the best in George Mason, he should give the ever-ready Harangody a run for his money.
Notre Dame is going to get up and down the court, use its athleticism and 3pt ability to score a lot of points. Mason will want to keep the tempo a little slower, but does have athleticism enough to match up physically with Notre Dame, however beyond Thomas, I don’t know that they have someone that they can count on consistently on the offensive end.
First guess: Notre Dame 79 George Mason 68
St. Joe’s is certainly going to have trouble matching up with Blake Griffin. While they could throw Ahmad Nivins at him (and they very well may do that), doing so would create problems with Longar.
I think St. Joe’s has the edge at the guard position with Tasheed Carr and Darrin Govens, and Calathes can create match-up problems of his own, but I think an incredible physical specimen like Griffin will be too much for the Hawks to handle, in a fairly tight game.
So the Broncos drop back in a zone? Then the Cards put Padgett in the high post and he picks them apart from there.
I’m sure there is a way that
I really have absolutely zero capacity at this point to handicap this game. I can look up some reviews online and some stats and sorta fudge together some kind of guess as to what might transpire, but without having seen the team play, there really ain’t a whole lot I can say about this.
I’ll say this much:
Early guess: Incomplete data. I really can’t make a guess here. I could say something like
I like this American team. Garrison Carr is a fun player to watch, they will scrap and fight and defend and rebound and put up a fight.
And, they’ll lose this game by 20 plus.
Way, way too much athleticism on the Volunteer side. This really isn’t worth going into much depth.