Pooh’s Quick Picks
Tonight’s winners and losers. Who you got?
by Thomas “Pooh” Jones
Tonight should continue the excitement of March Madness that started last weekend. We were treated with some of the best (and worst, if you’re team lost like mine) college basketball that we have seen all year. It was like a buffet of emotions: happy, sad, tense, stressed, frustrated, exhausted, and plenty more I can’t think of at the moment. So lets get down to business, my picks for this slate of games we got tonight.
I have Syracuse over Butler. I’m not concerned with the absence of Arinze Onuaku at this point because Syracuse is still taller and bigger than Butler without him. Now, if they advance and have to face a Kansas St. squad, then that loss becomes a problem. Butler should be able to cause a little trouble if they can make some of their perimeter shots, but I think the length of Syracuse in that match up zone will be a little too much to overcome.
I have Kansas St. over Xavier in that same bracket. I like Xavier; they play tough and they also have Jordan Crawford, the guy that dunked on LeBron, running the wing, but I believe Kansas State’s defense and three point shooting will be too much for Xavier. Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen could possibly be the best backcourt in the nation on the defensive end of the court. They have length to bother you inside and Kansas St. shoots the three like nobody’s business. This will probably be a tough, rough, and tumble game. If you are about physical basketball, keep your eyes on this one.
As much as I wish Cornell would knock out Kentucky, I don’t see it happening. Cornell would have to make a lot of buckets and will need to feel like they have home court advantage in order for this to happen. Kentucky is prone to mistakes, but unless you take advantage of them when they happen, the window of opportunity closes quickly. I usually pick the team with the highest basketball IQ over the team with the most athletes but I believe the athletes will win out when it’s all said and done.
West Virginia can kiss their Final Four dreams goodbye thanks to the unfortunate incident with starting point guard Truck Bryant. He’s a solid on-ball defender, second on the team in three point percentage, and a threat on the offense end, and is out for remainder of NCAA tourney with a broken bone in his foot. They have to go up against a hot Huskie squad with a talented lead guard in Thomas, unless Huggy Bear got a trick up his sleave…it’s over!
I will be back with tomorrow’s games, tomorrow. Enjoy tonight, I know I will.