Over the next two days, your favorite miscreants here at tBBC will be taking a deeper look at the path that leads to Atlanta, because people from Ohio know all about getting to Atlanta.
Hopefully, this will help you as you fill out your brackets in this year’s Tournament Challenge- the game locks on Thursday, so sign up now!
Regional Favorite- I’m not really going out on a limb here by saying that Louisville is the team to beat in this region. They’re the overall #1 seed, they’ll be playing in front of home fans that choose to make the trip up I-65, and are firing on all cylinders at this point in the season, as is typical of Pitino teams. Their athleticism, full court press, and having a coach that’s been there before makes them huge favorites not only to come out of Indy, but to win the whole thing. In addition, I’m not sold on Duke or Michigan State being able to make deep runs this year, particularly after what we saw in the ACC/B1G tournaments. St. Louis looks threatening, but I believe that this one is the Cardinals’ to lose.
Which they can do if they find themselves not mentally in the game. As unlikely as that is, Louisville has seen it’s share of moments where it seems to be taking it’s time figuring out what its game plan is. While the story of the Big East final was certainly the enormous run that they went on to blow the doors off of Syracuse, the fact that they found themselves in a hole to begin with can’t be overlooked. The problem, as I see it, is that they won’t face teams able to take advantage of that until they’re already in Indianapolis for the Sweet 16.
Cinderella- For the purposes of this exercise, we’re picking an eight seed or lower that will make a deep run in the tournament. In the Midwest, that’s got to be the Oregon Ducks. Read More
Earlier this week on Wednesday night the Duke Blue Devils faced off against the Maryland Terrapins in an ACC game coming just before the halfway point of conference play for both teams. Maryland had already lost once to Duke on the season, a 71-64 final in Durham back on January 9th. For Maryland, Wednesday night’s game represented a chance for a little revenge, not to mention a marquee win to bolster the team’s tournament resume. For the Blue Devils, a victory would count as another quality road win and further solidify Duke’s place as one of the elite teams in the country despite looking vulnerable after picking up their second loss of the season just a few days prior at St. John’s.
Duke came into this season looking like the runaway team of the year, highlighted by the stellar play of freshman point guard Kyrie Irving. However, after a toe injury sidelined Irving (he just got his cast off on Thursday), Duke suddenly became mortal again, and expectations for a run to a second straight national championship diminished somewhat. It still looked like the Blue Devils would run away with the conference title in a relatively weak ACC this year (and it still does), but there would probably be some bumps on the road. Maryland has played Duke as tough as any ACC team over the past decade, and the fans at College Park were chomping at the bit for another shot at their pedigree rival from the South. Read More