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.
No real objection to the Watkins pick for Cleveland in the 3rd, but if there is an olinemen there worthy of the pick it should be that. We need olinemen in a bad way. Also we are getting Desmond Bryant back and have Shelton, modern, and Nassib who is a promising prospect