There aren’t many teams in the country playing as well as the Dayton Flyers. After last weeks win over Xavier, they can now stake claim to being the best team in a solid Atlantic 10. At 23-3 overall and 9-2 in conference, this could be the best team out of talented crop in the state of Ohio.
The Flyers are a deep and balanced team. Led by Chris Wright in the frontcourt and Marcus Johnson in the backcourt, they could be a sleeper in this year’s tournament. The flyers have a tough stretch of games coming up, but with the aforementioned win over Xavier in addition to a pre-conference victory over Marquette, I expect this team to be a threat this March.
Stock Up: Mountain West Conference. This does my heart good. Five teams have have their sights set on the tournament in this conference (Utah, UNLV, BYU, San Diego St, New Mexico). I miss the old WAC and I’m glad that some of those traditional powers are back contending. Utah looks to be the cream of the crop but BYU and UNLV are both capable of doing damage.
Stock Down: Minnesota. The Gophers are probably still going to make the tournament but losing 5 of 8 isn’t good at all. The Gophers have a “golden” opportunity to finish strong, but with the way they’re playing I don’t expect them to do much other than just get by.
Stock Up: UAB’s At-large chances. The Blazers aren’t in my bracket nor are they among my last four in, however, I see the light for them. The Blazers have six games left including one huge one against Memphis. This team is fully capable of going undefeated. If they do that, they’ll be dancing.
Stock Down: Duke. This is starting to become a recurring theme for the Blue Devils. World beaters November thru January and then the annual February/March swoon. It’s looking as if the Blue Devils may not make out of first weekend of the Big Dance again. Coach K better come up with a way to rally his troops soon because their schedule heading down the stretch is not for the faint of heart.
This week’s Bracket Projections:
Last Four In: Virginia Tech, San Diego St, Penn St, USC
Last Four Out: Miami (FL), Providence, Kansas St, Creighton
This bracket is good for games played thru Sunday, February15, 2009.
1.Oklahoma16.Jacksonville Kansas City, MO
5.Marquette12.San Diego St Minneapolis, MN
6.Arizona St11.Tennessee Miami, FL
7.Dayton10.UNLV Greensboro, NC
1.North Carolina16.Cal St. Northridge Greensboro, NC
5.Xavier12.Penn St Portland, OR
6.LSU11.USC Miami, FL
7.Utah St10.Minnesota Kansas City, MO
2.Memphis15.North Dakota St
1.Pittsburgh16. Alabama St/Radford Dayton, OH
5.Utah12.Siena Boise, ID
6.UCLA11.Florida Boise, ID
7.Florida St10.Syracuse Dayton, OH
2.Michigan St15.Sam Houston St
1.Connecticut16.Morehead St Philadelphia, PA
5.Purdue12.Virginia Tech Portland, OR
6.Ohio St11.BYU Philadelphia, PA
7.Arizona10.Kentucky Minneapolis, MN