2007 South Bracket
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Other Brackets:
Credo | Info-Stats | Midwest | West | East | South | Final Four


First Round

Ohio State 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Central Connecticut State 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#1 Ohio State (30-3) vs. #16 Central Connecticut State (22-11)
Central Connecticut State will beat Ohio State. Mark it down. Just checking to see if you were awake. Don't fall asleep on me here.

Winner: #1 Ohio State.


BYU 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Xavier 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#8 BYU (25-8) vs. #9 Xavier (24-8).
BYU and Xavier basically have the same profile: Both teams shoot and make a lot of threes, and both tend to out-rebound their opponents by respectable margins. The difference between the two is that Xavier's guards are superior, while BYU's frontcourt is much more intimidating.

So, we need to find an edge here. If you watched ESPN's Bracketology, you know where I'm going with this. Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale completely trashed Xavier, repeatedly stating that the Musketeers have no business in the Big Dance. Unlike their stance on Arkansas, I have to disagree; the X-Men beat the following tournament-bound teams: Virginia-Commonwealth, Villanova, Illinois, Miami-Ohio and George Washington.

I'd also like to ask ESPN's "experts" why Vegas made Xavier a 1.5-point favorite in this contest. That spread should tell you what the right side of this game is.

Winner: #9 Xavier.


Tennessee 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Long Beach State 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#5 Tennessee (22-10) vs. #12 Long Beach State (24-7).
I have four problems with Tennessee. Yeah, four. Let me present them all.

JuJuan Smith takes way too many threes. He shot more often than Chris Lofton this season, and only hit 34.8 percent, whereas Lofton was at 41.7. How many threes? Try 224 of them. Secondly, the Vols have a freshman point guard (Ramar Smith). He shoots 30.8 percent from beyond the arc. Thirdly, Tennessee was 3-7 in true road games this year. That doesn't bode well for the tournament. And finally, the Vols don't exactly have the best track record in the Big Dance; they struggled against Winthrop and lost to Wichita State last year.

Long Beach State is like the Phoenix Suns of college hoops; the team will run until the cows come home. The 49ers' top seven scorers are all seniors, while four of them shoot better than 36 percent from 3-point land.

Tennessee violates Credo rules 1 and 4.

Winner: #12 Long Beach State.


Virginia 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Albany 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#4 Virginia (20-10) vs. #13 Albany (23-9).
I guess you can say that Virginia has outstanding guards. And... that's about it. Sean Singletary and J.R. Reynolds combine for 36.7 points per game, but there isn't a single offensive option after those two guys.

The Cavaliers, like the Vols, have a problem with jacking up too many treys. Singletary, Reynolds, Mamadi Diane and Adrian Joseph have all heaved more than 100 for the season, and only Singletary is better than 35.7 percent.

Albany, meanwhile, has three guys better than that mark, including Jamar Wilson, who averages 18.6 points per game.

If you think the Great Danes have no shot, remember this: They took Connecticut down to the wire last year, almost becoming the first No. 16 seed to win in the NCAA Tournament. Now they're going up against Virginia, which isn't even close to what the Huskies had in 2006.

Virginia violates Credo rule 4.

Winner: #13 Albany.


Louisville 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Stanford 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#6 Louisville (23-9) vs. #11 Stanford (18-12).
Louisville has balanced scoring, which can be extremely dangerous in a one-and-done situation. Because they have no go-to-guy, the Cardinals are prone to stretches of scoreless minutes. Stanford doesn't have that problem; forward Lawrence Hill (15.9 ppg, 6 rpg) is clearly the best player in this game.

Two more reasons why I like Stanford: The Cardinals have a freshman point guard (Edgar Sosa) and shoot just 33.2 percent from long distance as a team.

Louisville violates Credo rule 1.

Winner: #11 Stanford.


Texas A&M 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Penn 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#3 Texas A&M (25-6) vs. #14 Penn (22-8).
Maybe the Penn players can take out their encyclopedias and chess boards, and really confuse Texas A&M. That's the only shot they've got.

Winner: #3 Texas A&M.


Nevada 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick Creighton 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#7 Nevada (28-4) vs. #10 Creighton (22-10).
I've watched Creighton a few times this year and I have to say that I'm not impressed. The Blue Jays have trouble scoring and do not shoot the three very well. They're not as bad as some the garbage out of the Big Ten, but they're pretty close.

Nevada, on the other hand, averages 10 more points per game and shoots seven percent better from three than Creighton. The Wolfpack have the best player in this game, 6-foot-11 forward Nick Fazekas, who averages 20.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per contest.

The only thing that scares me about Nevada is the lack of success it had in last year's tournament. Seeded fifth, they lost to Montana. I think the Wolfpack will have their problems, but not in this round.

Creighton violates Credo rule 5.

Winner: #7 Nevada.


Memphis 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick North Texas 2007 NCAA Tournament Pick

#2 Memphis (30-3) vs. #15 North Texas (23-10).
Hey look, Memphis can continue its conference schedule! North Texas might as well join Conference USA.

Winner: #2 Memphis.




Second Round



#1 Ohio State vs. #9 Xavier.
I've been thinking long and hard about this, and I've decided that I'm going to pull the trigger. As Dicky V would say, "upset city, baby!" No. 1 Ohio State goes down! Why? I'll give you a few reasons.

I still like the whole disrespected angle Xavier will use. There's no doubt the Musketeers belong in the NCAA Tournament, and I can't believe those talking heads on ESPN had the gall to disrespect them. Xavier is an Elite Eight-caliber team. They have a talented backcourt, the experience, complementary big men, sharp 3-point shooting, depth, solid defense and outstanding free-throw marksmanship.

Ohio State has a freshman point guard, which doesn't really bode well for them. Plus, the team runs a slow, sluggish, lethargic-style system that most Big Ten squads utilize. The X-Men will run the Buckeyes right off the court.

One other angle I like is the revenge factor. Ohio State head coach Thad Matta ran the Musketeers until 2004. Thus, he recruited all of the seniors on Xavier's roster and left them to dry when he took the job in Columbus. Think the veteran X-Men want revenge? It'll validate their entire collegiate careers.

I know a No. 9 hasn't beaten a No. 1 in 10 or more years. But I guess there's a first time for everything.

Ohio State violates Credo rules 1, 5 and 8.

Winner: #9 Xavier.




#12 Long Beach State vs. #13 Albany.
This should be fun. The winner of this battle will represent the mid majors in the Sweet 16.

I'm picking Albany in this spot because I think there's more a chance that the Great Danes will be here than Long Beach State, even though that would require a 13-4 upset. Albany has the experience and can actually defend the three; the 49ers surrender long-distance shots at a 37.2 percent rate.

Winner: #13 Albany.




#3 Texas A&M vs. #11 Stanford.
I didn't get a chance to talk about Texas A&M yet because it had an easy opponent in the first round. Well, I'll mention that Acie Law IV is one of the top two point guards in this tournament. That means Stanford goes from Louisville, a squad with a freshman floor general, to the Aggies, who have a guy who just won't let his team lose. If the clock's running down there's no one I'd rather have than Law to take that shot.

One of the other reasons I liked the Cardinal was Louisville's hideous 3-point shooting; the Cardinals hit just 33.2 percent of their treys. Well, the Aggies are 42.2 percent from long distance. I'll talk about that later.

Winner: #3 Texas A&M.




#2 Memphis vs. #7 Nevada.
This is a tough situation because we don't know how Memphis will respond to playing someone of its own caliber. The Tigers have sleepwalked through their easy conference schedule and now have to go against Nick Fazekas, Marcelus Kemp, Ramon Sessions and Kyle Shiloh.

That said, that may not be the worst thing in the world. After all, the Wolfpack were stunned by No. 12 Montana last year. I don't have much confidence in their ability to advance deep into the Big Dance. Maybe I'm wrong, but I guess it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things; Texas A&M will slaughter the winner of this contest.

Winner: #2 Memphis.




Sweet 16



#9 Xavier vs. #13 Albany.
Xavier and Albany in the Sweet 16? I must have lost my mind. Yet, nearly anything's possible; we all witnessed George Mason, Bradley, Wichita State and others advance to the Sweet 16 last year.

Let me just state that I'm confident Xavier can knock off Ohio State. There's no question Greg Oden's talented, but he just doesn't dominate games yet. If he and Mike Conley Jr. were upperclassmen, the Musketeers would have no shot.

But at the same token, I really like Xavier. They seem to have that inside-outside balance George Mason possessed, while maintaining three sharpshooters who are at least 38 percent from beyond the arc. You can't underestimate the fact that their top five scorers are all upperclassmen.

No one Albany has faced so far has that profile. The disrespected X-Men to the Elite Eight!

Winner: #9 Xavier.




#2 Memphis vs. #3 Texas A&M.
As I alluded to earlier, the winner of the Memphis-Nevada matchup will fall to Texas A&M.

I already talked about Acie Law IV, one of the two most talented point guards, as well as the most-clutch performer in the tournament.

Excluding Law, the Aggies have three other players who average double figures. Joseph Jones, a 6-foot-9 forward, who averages 6.6 rebounds per contest, is a dynamic second option. Even bigger is 6-foot-10 center Antanas Kavaliauskas. Law, Jones and Kavaliauskas are all upperclassmen. The only underclassman in double figures is Josh Carter, who somehow shoots 51.6 percent from long distance. Yep, 51.6 percent!

To top it all off, Texas A&M's defense is extremely suffocating. Those are all reasons I think the Aggies have an outstanding shot at winning the whole thing.

Memphis shouldn't be a problem. The Tigers are athletic, but they're young and they haven't played a quality opponent in about two months. I just don't know how they'll go from the Houstons and the North Texases of the world to Texas A&M.

Winner: #3 Texas A&M.




Elite Eight



#3 Texas A&M vs. #9 Xavier.
Like Southern Illinois, Xavier should be congratulated if it makes it this far. Beating Ohio State won't be an easy task. Taking down Texas A&M? Nearly impossible.

I talked about why I like the Aggies a lot in my Sweet 16 analysis. While the Musketeers are solid in every facet of the game, it seems like Texas A&M is slightly superior in every area. Well, not every area. The Aggies have an extreme advantage at the point guard position, only because Acie Law IV is so talented.

If this game is close -- and I don't see why it wouldn't be -- I have faith that Texas A&M will pull it out. Law taking the last shot is like money in the bank.

Winner: #3 Texas A&M.




NCAA Tournament Picks and Previews


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



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


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