2010 NCAA Tournament: Bracket Breakdown – West Bracket

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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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


2010 NCAA Tournament: Bracket Breakdown – West Bracket


Synopsis

For some reason, Syracuse just dropped below Duke and earned the fourth No. 1 seed in the tournament pitting the West Regional against the Midwest Regional in the Final Four. Jim Boeheim has said injured center Arinze Onuaku is NOT expected to play during the first rounds which makes the ‘Cuse more vulnerable. If they survive and Onuaku is back for the second weekend, the Orange are definitely the team to beat. Other than that, there is really nothing surprising about this bracket as most of the seeds went to teams deserving of that spot (except maybe Florida’s 10-seed which was certainly a bit eye-raising when it was announced.)

Best Opening Round Game

#4 Vanderbilt vs. #13 Murray State

Not very often will a 4/13 match-up earn this spot, but the underdog Racers won 30 games this season and are as balanced as a team gets having six players who average between 9.5-10.6 points per game. I haven’t been all that impressed by Vandy this season but they do have a size advantage over Murray State. With the four seeds across the board not being all that intimidating, I think this year’s 4/13 match-up could be what the 5/12 match-up has been to the tourney in recent history.




Early Out

#6 Xavier

Outside of wins against Cincinnati and Florida, Xavier was very beatable in non-conference games by tournament caliber talent; losing to Marquette, Butler, Baylor, Kansas State and Wake Forest. Yes, the Musketeers did put together a successful run in a competitive, but overrated Atlantic 10 Conference. Their first-round opponent is Minnesota, the classic example of a team needing to get hot in the conference tournament to get into the dance and doing so. I think the Gophers’ defensive pressure can cause problems for Xavier in the first round and Minnesota has the size to battle with the Musketeers’ bigs. If they are able to avoid the upset, I don’t see Xavier getting past a very well-coached Pitt team.

Sleeper

#8 Gonzaga

With Onuaku unlikely to play this weekend, the Zags could be poised to send the Orange home early. They are battle tested having played an extremely challenging non-conference schedule including games against Michigan State, Wisconsin, Duke, Wake Forest, Memphis, Illinois, Oklahoma and Cincinnati, so they won’t be afraid of the big bad wolf. Plus, Gonzaga has size and experienced guard play which are two valuable assets for a team looking to make a run in the tourney.




Player to Watch

Jimmer Fredette, #7 BYU

This season, Fredette has dropped single game scoring totals of 49 and 45 points while pouring in at least 30 points in five other games. He is shooting a ridiculous 45 percent from distance and defenses need to account for him as soon as he steps across half-court. If the Cougars get of past the first weekend and make it to Salt Lake City for the Sweet 16, Fredette could be to the 2010 NCAA Tournament what Stephen Curry was to the Big Dance in 2008.

Regional Final

#1 Syracuse over #2 Kansas State

Assuming Onuaku returns for the second weekend, I don’t see ‘Cuse being up-ended in the Sweet 16 or by Kansas State. Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen can chuck it from three, but I am not sold on the surrounding Wildcat talent being able to solve the outstanding Orange 2-3 zone.


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



Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]




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