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2011 NCAA Tournament Picks: Sweet 16 Redo



2011 NCAA Tournament Picks:
Sweet 16 Redo | East | West | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Winning Tips | 2011 NCAA Tournament Home
2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdowns:
West | East | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Schedule
2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Breakdowns:
West | Southeast |
2011 NCAA Tournament Preview:
ACC | Atlantic 10 | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Mid-Majors | Mountain West | Pac 10 | SEC



2011 NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 Picks Redo


Per request, here are my Sweet 16 picks for those of you re-doing your brackets.

As for the original bracket picks, I'm pretty content with them considering all the madness. If you followed my selections, you still have all your Final Fours, which means you're still in great shape right now.

2011 NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 Redo



No. 1E Ohio State vs. No. 4E Kentucky
I had this matchup in my original bracket, and I picked Ohio State. By the way if you believe the Buckeyes are going to win the whole thing, just bet on them every game. National champions are 26-4 against the spread in the NCAA Tournament dating back to 2006.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1E Ohio State


No. 2E North Carolina vs. No. 11E Marquette
I had Syracuse versus Washington. I'm pretty pissed off about that Huskies game. In fact, I tweeted (@walterfootball), "Dear NCAA: Please officiate games fairly, and don't have West Coast teams play at noon on the East Coast from now on. Thanks."

I liked Washington to upset North Carolina. They didn't get the job done, and I don't think Marquette will either. The Golden Eagles' defense is ranked 63rd. Poor defensive teams usually don't advance far in the NCAA Tournament.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2E North Carolina


No. 1W Duke vs. No. 5W Arizona
I liked Duke over Texas. I still like Duke over Arizona.

Like Marquette, the Wildcats have a pretty bad defense (73rd). Plus, the Blue Devils will be even better with Kyrie Irving having another week of practice.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1W Duke


No. 2W San Diego State vs. No. 3W Connecticut
I had this matchup in my original bracket. Here's the adjusted write-up:

This is essentially a road game for Connecticut, as San Diego State doesn't exactly have to make a long trip up to Anaheim. However, unlike most East Coast coaches, Jim Calhoun thrives out West. I don't think travel will be a problem for his team.

As you can tell, I'm taking the Huskies. I can't bet against Kemba Walker this early.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 3W Connecticut


No. 1SW Kansas vs. No. 12SW Richmond
I had Kansas over Louisville, so I obviously still like Kansas over Richmond.

This has been a great run for the Spiders, but it's coming to an end. They've beaten an overrated SEC team and a lucky mid-major. Battling Kansas is taking it to a whole new level.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1SW Kansas


No. 10SW Florida State vs. No. 11SW Virginia-Commonwealth
I bet Florida State didn't think they'd be wearing their white jerseys during the tournament. I still can't believe they trashed Notre Dame like that. I had the Fighting Irish going out in the Sweet 16 because of their pedestrian defense, but I didn't even think Florida State would make it out of the first round, especially with Chris Singleton being limited.

But that's the problem. Singleton isn't playing much, and if he doesn't have a greater role next weekend, the Seminoles will lose. Virginia-Commonwealth has been demolishing everyone, and I don't want to bet against them. Not in this round, anyway.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 11SW Virginia-Commonwealth


No. 4SE Wisconsin vs. No. 8SE Butler
I had both of these teams losing in the first round, so you probably shouldn't listen to this particular pick. But I'm done betting against Butler. They're awesome.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 8SE Butler


No. 2SE Florida vs. No. 3SE BYU
I had these two teams reaching the Sweet 16 in my original bracket. Here's an adjusted write-up:

I picked BYU in the first two rounds because of Jimmer Fredette. But he can only carry the team so far without an inside presence. The Cougars haven't really beaten anyone thus far, and remember that Fredette couldn't even beat San Diego State in the Mountain West Championship.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2SE Florida





2011 NCAA Tournament: Elite Eight (Sweet 16 Redo)



No. 1E Ohio State vs. No. 2E North Carolina
The Buckeyes are the top team in the nation. I think they're going to win it all. Besides, as great as Kendall Marshall is, a freshman point guard can only take a team so far.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1E Ohio State


No. 1W Duke vs. No. 3W Connecticut
I had this in my original bracket, so here's the adjusted write-up:

Pick your poison: Do you want to go against Nolan Smith or Kemba Walker? It's a tough choice. I really like Jim Calhoun's ability to win on the West Coast, but I love Duke's experience even more.

Connecticut's a really young team. As the ESPN guys said, "It's Kemba Walker and a bunch of freshmen." While it wouldn't surprise me to see the Huskies move on to the Final Four, I'm just not comfortable advancing an inexperienced squad over seasoned Duke.

And one more thing: I'm not really sure how Connecticut's Big East Tournament run will affect them in the Big Dance. We've seen teams that go four games in four days struggle. But five games in five days? That's just insane.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1W Duke


No. 1SW Kansas vs. No. 11SW Virginia-Commonwealth
Florida State doesn't have the offense to beat Kansas. Virginia-Commonwealth doesn't have the defense to beat Kansas. I had the Jayhawks over Purdue in my original Elite Eight, so I'm still taking them to advance to the Final Four.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1SW Kansas


No. 2SE Florida vs. No. 8E Butler
Butler has me nervous that it's going to make another run and knock off Florida, but I'm sticking with my original pick. The Gators are a really good team that, despite popular opinion, definitely deserved its ranking just based on talent.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2SE Florida







2011 NCAA Tournament: Final Four (Sweet 16 Redo)


I'm sticking with my original Final Four picks. Here are the adjusted write-ups:


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 (2) over Duke (4).

Defense: Duke (2) over Ohio State (7).

Margin of Victory: Ohio State (18.0) over Duke (17.1).

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. One thing that gives Ohio State the edge:

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 (5) over Florida (15).

Defense: Kansas (12) over Florida (36).

Margin of Victory: Kansas (17.1) over Florida (9.0).

Conference Blowouts: Kansas (7) over Florida (3).

Experience: Tie.

Travel: Tie.

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: National Championship (Sweet 16 Redo)



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 (2) over Kansas (5).

Defense: Ohio State (7) over Kansas (12).

Margin of Victory: Ohio State (18.0) over Kansas (17.1).

Conference Blowouts: Tie (7).

Experience: Kansas.

Travel: Tie.

As you can see, the Buckeyes have a slight edge. 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.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1E Ohio State



2011 NCAA Tournament Picks:
Sweet 16 Redo | East | West | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Winning Tips | 2011 NCAA Tournament Home
2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdowns:
West | East | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Schedule
2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Breakdowns:
West | Southeast |
2011 NCAA Tournament Preview:
ACC | Atlantic 10 | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Mid-Majors | Mountain West | Pac 10 | SEC






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