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2007 Midwest Bracket

Other Brackets:
Credo | Info-Stats | Midwest | West | East | South | Final Four

First Round

Florida 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Jackson State 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#1 Florida (29-5) vs. #16 Jackson State (21-13).
Has anyone ever heard of Jackson State? I mean, seriously... I think the NCAA just makes up some of these No. 16 seeds. And Jackson State's logo looks like something out of a European soccer league. I guess the only chance they have is if some of their fans throw flares at Joakim Noah and Al Horford.

Winner: #1 Florida.

Arizona 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Purdue 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#8 Arizona (20-10) vs. #9 Purdue (21-11).
This is a pretty tough dilemma. The Wildcats have the talent of an Elite Eight squad. Unfortunately, they have the mental capacity and lethargy of a 8-22 team. Arizona is easily the laziest and dumbest team in the NCAA Tournament. I know plenty of people who've made money betting against them when they've been favored.

Purdue, on the other hand, pretty much sucks. The Boilermakers play sluggish, sloppy basketball that just doesn't fly in the Big Dance. In addition to that, they are horrible on the road.

Purdue violates Credo rules 4, 5 and 8.

Winner: #8 Arizona.

Butler 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Old Dominion 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#5 Butler (27-6) vs. #12 Old Dominion (24-8).
Tons of people are calling for an upset in this game, and I can see why. Both teams have far too many players who shoot ugly threes and don't bury enough of them. However, there is one fundamental difference between Butler and Old Dominion, and that is the Bulldogs are a guard-oriented team, while Old Dominion's backcourt isn't nearly as strong offensively, although they can pretty much shut anyone down on defense.

Butler junior forward Pete Campbell could be the difference in this contest; he's the only solid 3-point shooter on either squad.

This is a tough call for anyone, including Vegas; the oddsmakers made the Bulldogs a slim 2-point favorite. Because I have to choose, I'll say the Butler guards will lead their team to victory, although I'm not doing this with much conviction.

One other note: Both Digger Phelps (ESPN) and Seth Davis (CBS) called an Old Dominion upset. I feel confident going against those two talking heads.

Winner: #5 Butler.

Maryland 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Davidson 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#4 Maryland (24-8) vs. #13 Davidson (29-4).
I can't believe Davidson is a No. 13 seed. Completely ridiculous. How are teams like Long Beach State, Arkansas and Illinois ahead of the Wildcats in the brackets? The selection committee did a horrendous job this year, starting with its exclusion of Drexel and Syracuse. Everyone on this year's committee should be fired immediately.

I liked Davidson to potentially shock some people and reach the Sweet 16. However, this is just too difficult a task for them. The Wildcats love to run up and down the court, and jack up threes at will. Maryland thrives on playing teams like this. Duke attempted to beat the Terps this way and was embarrassed twice. Maryland just has the superior talent and a killer defense; it surrenders just 29.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Winner: #4 Maryland.

Notre Dame 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Winthrop 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#6 Notre Dame (24-7) vs. #11 Winthrop (28-4).
Notre Dame and Winthrop are evenly matched. The Fighting Irish are led by guards Russell Carter (17.2 ppg) and Colin Falls (15.4), both of whom are complemented well by a pair of solid big men. Winthrop's top two scorers are also guards: Michael Jenkins (15.3) and Torrell Martin (14.2), while center Craig Bradshaw takes care of everything in the paint. Notre Dame has three regulars who shoot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc, which is pretty sick. Winthrop has a quartette who are at least 38 percent from 3-point range. Neither defense plays the three very well.

So, who has the advantage? Easy. That's Winthrop. Notre Dame's point guard is a freshman, while all of Winthrop's regulars are upperclassmen, who nearly knocked off Tennessee as a No. 15 seed last year. I'm going with the more experienced bunch.

Notre Dame violates Credo rule 1.

Winner: #11 Winthrop.

Oregon 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Miami of Ohio 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#3 Oregon (26-7) vs. #14 Miami of Ohio (18-14).
It also sickens me that Miami of Ohio is a No. 14 seed. Why are the Redhawks not in the play-in game? They're complete garbage and wouldn't be in the tournament if the timekeeper didn't screw up at the end of the MAC Championship. I'll talk about the Ducks when they're up against a worthy opponent.

Miami of Ohio violates Credo rules 2, 4 and 5.

Winner: #3 Oregon.

UNLV 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Georgia Tech 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#7 UNLV (28-6) vs. #10 Georgia Tech (20-11).
I called Arizona the dumbest team in the NCAA Tournament. If there's a runner up, it's Georgia Tech. This team calls timeouts when it's not supposed to, fouls at inappropriate times and can't hit any free throws (68.3 percent). Thus, it shouldn't surprise you that the Yellow Jackets' top two scorers, one of which is the starting point guard, are both freshmen.

UNLV, despite its barrage of seniors, also has its problems. The Rebels jack up way too many threes for their own good. They only have one regular (Joe Darger) who hits better than 36.5 percent from long distance.

That said, the Yellow Jackets' freshman point guard and inability to win on the road (3-9) will hurt.

Georgia Tech violates Credo rules 1 and 4.

Winner: #7 UNLV.

Wisconsin 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Texas A&M Corpus Christi 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#2 Wisconsin (29-5) vs. #15 Texas A&M Corpus-Christi (26-6).
I'm going to put the following sentence in CAPS so everyone sees it: THERE IS A GREAT CHANCE THAT TEXAS A&M CORPUS-CHRISTI BEATS WISCONSIN.

Corpus-Christi matches up extremely well with Wisconsin. The Badgers play slow, sloppy Big Ten basketball that always seems to lose in the NCAA Tournament. The Islanders are quick, athletic and shoot the three extremely well. In fact, this is an exact duplicate of last year's Iowa-Northwestern State matchup. The Demons upset the Hawkeyes because they were more efficient on offense and hit their long jumpers. Corpus-Christi has an excellent shot at advancing to the Round of 32.

That said, I can't bare to take a 15 over a 2. There have been just two 15-2 upsets in the past 10 years. I would take the points in a single-game bet, however.

Wisconsin violates Credo rules 5 and 8, while Corpus-Christi violates rule 9.

Winner: #2 Wisconsin.

Second Round

#1 Florida vs. #8 Arizona.
In my first-round preview, I said that Arizona is easily the laziest and dumbest team in the NCAA Tournament. Well, that's the case when they're favored; not when they're an underdog. If the Wildcats beat Purdue, they'll come to play against Florida.

Of course, that doesn't really matter. Arizona doesn't have the talent to keep up with the Gators.

Winner: #1 Florida.

#4 Maryland vs. #5 Butler.
Maryland got pretty lucky in the first round, drawing an opponent with a freshman point guard that plays the style of tempo that will feed right into its hands. Butler, on the other hand, has one of the top defenses in the nation, surrendering just 57 points per game. The winner of this contest will have to enforce its rhythm on its opponent; if the game's high-scoring, Maryland will win. If it's a slugfest, Butler will prevail.

So, which team will establish tempo? One enormous advantage the Bulldogs have over the Terps is the fact that the latter has a freshman point guard. Greivis Vasquez is a good player, but like many acne-ridden, awkward, freshmen floor generals before him, he'll fold under the pressure of being in the national spotlight.

Maryland violates Credo rule 1.

Winner: #5 Butler.

#3 Oregon vs. #11 Winthrop.
Like the Maryland-Davidson matchup, this isn't a good one for the mid-major underdog. Both squads love to run up and down the court, and shoot lots of threes. Oregon and Winthrop combine for 48 3-point attempts per contest, so we could be seeing some fireworks on Sunday afternoon.

You can't beat the Ducks by playing their own game. They're too good and it'll only end up in a blowout. And that's exactly what this game will be.

Winner: #3 Oregon.

#2 Wisconsin vs. #7 UNLV.
The UNLV-Georgia Tech-Wisconsin-Corpus Christi square is a litte bizarre. Anything can happen. I can see Corpus Christi pulling off the upset, but I can also see Wisconsin advancing to the Sweet 16, unscathed.

I'll concede that I don't know what'll happen in this contest. There are, however, three things I'm aware of: First, there is a greater chance that the Badgers beat Corpus-Christi than the Rebels beat the Yellow Jackets, based purely off mathematical statistics. Second, whoever wins this game will get blown out against Oregon. Third, UNLV isn't the type of squad that will give Wisconsin a lot of trouble. The Badgers are a slow, methodical team from the Big Ten, but the Rebels aren't exactly that explosive on the offensive end.

Because Wisconsin has a greater chance of being here, I'll pick them to give the Big Ten a rare bid into the Sweet 16. But as I mentioned with the Oregon point, this selection doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Wisconsin violates Credo rules 5 and 8.

Winner: #2 Wisconsin.

Sweet 16

#1 Florida vs. #5 Butler.
Butler has had a great season. As a mid-major, it managed to stay in the Top 25 for the majority of the year and knocked off opponents like Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee, Gonzaga, Purdue and Wright State, all of whom are in the Field of 65. However, none of those squads are as good as Florida.

Before the SEC Tournament, I had my doubts about the Gators. They looked unfocused in a 10-point loss to LSU and appeared as though they were actually trying in a 10-point defeat at Tennessee. But they managed to turn things around. In fact, get this: Florida didn't trail for a single second in the SEC Tournament. Not even 2-0.

Butler isn't the most offensively prolific team in the world. How will it consistently put up points against Florida, a team that brought back all of the players who won the NCAA championship last year? Frankly, I don't think this one is close.

Winner: #1 Florida.

#2 Wisconsin vs. #3 Oregon.
As I mentioned in my analysis of the first two rounds, Wisconsin has a great chance of losing to Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Friday afternoon. Well, if the Badgers manage to sneak by the Islanders and the winner of the 7-10 matchup, they'll get completely destroyed and humiliated in the Sweet 16.

Oregon is just way too fast and athletic for the Badgers. The Ducks will run and gun them to death in what could be a 30- or a 40-point blowout. This is just one of those situations where one team matches up perfectly against the other.

Wisconsin violates Credo rules 5 and 8.

Winner: #3 Oregon.

Elite Eight

#1 Florida vs. #3 Oregon.
I liked Oregon even before the PAC-10 Tournament. The Ducks have five players who average double figures, five players who hit better than 40 percent from 3-point range and Aaron Brooks, who is probably the No. 3 point guard in the nation, right behind Acie Law IV and Darren Collison. Like Law, Brooks is extremely clutch when the game's on the line.

I was hoping the Ducks wouldn't be paired in the same bracket as Florida or UCLA because they were going to be my darkhorse Final Four team. Unfortunately, they'll be forced to play the Gators in the Elite Eight.

Florida's perimeter defense is unparalleled; the team's lean defenders make it difficult for opposing squads to shoot threes, which is why the Gators restrict opponents to less than 30 percent from beyond the arc. If Oregon can't make its threes, it has no chance of winning this game.

Winner: #1 Florida.

NCAA Tournament Picks and Previews

2009 NCAA Tournament Picks
Midwest / West / East / South / Final Four

2008 NCAA Tournament Picks
Midwest / West / East / South / Final Four



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