No. 1E Ohio State vs. No. 1W Duke
Some may say these are the top two teams in the country. But who's going to win? Let's check the tale of the tape:
Offense: Ohio State (1) over Duke (6).
Defense: Duke (6) over Ohio State (10).
Margin of Victory: Ohio State (17.1) over Duke (16.8).
Conference Blowouts: Duke (9) over Ohio State (7).
Experience: Duke (defending NCAA Champion) over Ohio State (three freshmen in top six scoring).
Travel: Ohio State (Cleveland, Newark) over Duke (Cleveland, Anaheim).
As you can see, it's pretty even. Two things give Ohio State the edge:
First, many of Duke's numbers are skewed because some of those results happened with Kyrie Irving. And second, the travel comparison is a big deal. Only three teams since 1985 have traveled three timezones and still made the national semifinals.
2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1E Ohio State
No. 1SW Kansas vs. No. 2SE Florida
Unlike the other semi-final, this is a bit more lopsided. Let's check the tale of the tape:
Offense: Kansas (4) over Florida (12).
Defense: Kansas (12) over Florida (36).
Margin of Victory: Kansas (17.1) over Florida (8.5).
Conference Blowouts: Kansas (7) over Florida (3).
I have Florida getting to the Final Four because they're in a very weak bracket. Kansas wins.
2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1SW Kansas
2011 NCAA Tournament: Championship
No. 1E Ohio State vs. No. 1SW Kansas
This is so tough to call. Let's check the tale of the tape:
Offense: Ohio State (1) over Kansas (4).
Defense: Ohio State (10) over Kansas (12).
Margin of Victory: Tie (17.1).
Conference Blowouts: Tie (7).
As you can see, it's pretty even. Both teams are outstanding and could easily win the NCAA Championship.
Both teams have a glaring weakness:
For Ohio State, it's their three freshmen. I don't trust freshmen.
For Kansas, it's their mediocre point guard play. It's not a bad situation, but the Buckeyes have the advantage.
Ultimately though, the Buckeyes' weakness is masked a bit by the strong upperclassmen that complement the talented freshmen.
Ohio State is the best team in the NCAA Tournament, and I'm picking them to win my bracket.
A little late on this par but here goes: Houston -134 and if time available going in the second tier spot the Dodgers either with the high ML or I may go the way of the RL. Another: Colorado -134, two open. Another: Nats -149, two open. Another: Boston -200 (Sale), two open. GL tonight folks.
With every sports outlet picking the Titans, I feel they are overrated. I had them underrated last year but loved their o-line. They keep referencing before Mariota got injured. The thing is they were getting killed by the Jaguars before that injury. They pulled out some huge wins vs KC and GB but also struggled in their own division. I also wonder how Mariota's injury heals for this season as it was late in the season. I think they will be more of a .500 team that keeps games close. Hopefully, that means they cover the spread as underdogs.