I hope everyone has been watching basketball over the past week. We’ve had plenty of great action from the Caribbean to the Hawaiian Islands. We’ve had some impressive performances and then we’ve had some duds.
Stock Up: Gonzaga. Never before have I thought a Gonzaga team had a better chance to get to the Final Four than this one. I am pleasantly surprised by the offensive firepower the Zags have and they’re finally getting it on the defensive end. If they don’t crack the Final Four this year, they may never do it.
Stock Down: Siena. This is a team that had aspirations of an At-large berth into the NCAA tournament. Those aspirations were dead by Friday. Going 0-3 in Orlando was not what the doctor ordered for the Saints. With Niagra impressing thus far, an automatic bid doesn’t seem like a sure bet either.
Stock Up: Wake Forest. The Deamon Deacons won the 76 tournament out West this weekend and that’s quite an accomplishment for this young team. While, they didn’t necessarily have to play against a loaded field, the win against Baylor was very impressive. They’ll definitely be in the top 3rd of the ACC this year.
Stock Down: Louisville. Oh goodness. Any time the head coach issues a public apology on his website, than you know it’s bad. I have a bad feeling about Louisville; the kind that says this team will do just enough to make it to the tournament, but won’t reach it’s potential.
Stock Up: Kyle McAlarney. It doesn’t matter where he’s at on the floor, you HAVE to guard him. His range is ridiculous. While Luke Harangody was getting his lunch handed to him by Tyler Hansborough, McAlarney was lighting North Carolina up. He’s definitely gotten my attention.
Stock Down: Gary Williams. The natives are restless. Getting crushed Gonzaga is one thing, we saw what the Zags did to Tennessee, but to get destroyed by your cross-town rival in Georgetown might signal the beginning of the end for Gary. Now people may want to downplay it, but look at Georgetown’s roster. They’re killing Maryland in Baltimore and DC. Gary has to stop that bleeding or he’s going to get run out College Park like Herb Sendek was run out of Raleigh.
First bracket of the year below. Few thoughts. I don’t have much to go on. 3-7 games for most teams is way to small of sample to feel comfortable with the bracket, but this is what I do and why not.
1.North Carolina16.Hampton Greensboro, NC
5.Baylor12.Illinois St Boise, ID
6.Wisconsin11.BYU Minneapolis, MN
7.Arizona St10.Nebraska Philadelphia, PA
1.Pittsburgh16.Lamar/Grambling Dayton, OH
8.Florida St9.Washington St
5.Villanova12.George Mason Portland, OR
4.Michigan St13.Long Beach St
6.Davidson11.Minnesota Boise, ID
7.Marquette10.Rhode Island Kansas City, MO
2.Oklahoma15.Mount St. Mary’s
1.Duke16.Oakland Greensboro, NC
5.Georgetown12.Mercer Miami, FL
6.Kansas11.Kentucky Minneapolis, MN
7.Miami(FL)10.Utah Dayton, OH
1.Connecticut16.Cornell Philadelphia, PA
5.Memphis12.Ohio St Miami, FL
6.Wake Forest11.Mississippi Kansas City, MO
7.Seton Hall10.USC Portland, OR