The Big Ten tournament is in the books and our beloved Buckeyes have won it all. On a roll to close the regular season the Bucks swept into Chicago and took care of Nebraska, Michigan State and Wisconsin to claim the crown. We’ll discuss all things hoops, it’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Another Big Ten tournament has come and gone. Many expected the 2013 version to be a knock down, drag out brawl. Did it live up to the hype and expectations?
The field is set for the men’s 2013 NCAA college basketball tournament. This afternoon we’ll take a look into the East regional that culminates March 30-31 in Washington, DC. If you’ve already filled it out, this will be your chance to review the work you did for our Tournament Challenge this year.
The East regional is topped by the Indiana Hoosiers followed by Miami (Fl), Marquette and Syracuse rounding out the top four seeds. Along with the Hoosiers, the Illinois Fighting Illini will also represent the Big Ten in the region.
The Favorite: Ranked as the top team in the region, the Hoosiers are the obvious favorite to win the region. Despite falling to Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament semi-finals, they were considered by the selection committee as a lock for a number one seed. The Miami Hurricanes are the “sexy” pick by the national pundits to take the region. The ‘Canes are on a roll winning both their regular season conference championship and the ACC tournament. If anyone can take down the Hoosiers, “The U” may be the ones to do it.
Cinderella: While I don’t see a traditional “Cinderella” team, I do see a few that are in the middle of the pack that may very well make some noise.
While seeded 10th, the Colorado Buffaloes come into the tournament on the heels of their third consecutive 20 win season, the first time that has happened in school history. Though they fell in the second round of the PAC-12 tournament to Arizona, confidence is high amongst head coach Tad Boyle’s team that they can be a player in the East region. Read More
The Buckeyes have advanced to the Round of 32 for the third time in three years. This time around their opponent is the 7th seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs, a team that has been to the dance many times in the last decade.
Coach Mark Few is one of the only coaches in the country to regularly put together 20 win seasons. Since he first joined Gonzaga in 1999, his first Head Coaching gig, his teams have not won fewer than 23 games in a season. He and Thad Matta are the only coaches with upwards of a decade of straight 20 win seasons, making this game a particularly interesting matchup of coaching minds.
Gonzaga has also never failed to make the NCAA Tournament while under Few, but have never advanced further than the Sweet 16. The last two seasons have seen the ‘Zags only win their first game in the tournament before being knocked out. That’s a streak the Buckeyes would obviously like to continue this season.
The Bulldogs are surprisingly led in scoring by a freshman this season. Guard Kevin Pangos (6-1, 180) out of Ontario, Canada, is averaging nearly 14 points per game and 3 rebounds. He shoots a cool 40.7% from beyond the arc in 32 minutes per game and will most likely be Aaron Craft’s defensive assignment. He’s more than a scorer, though, and is skilled at feeding his teammates in good positions to score. He’s also good at protecting the basketball, losing control less than twice per game.
The madness continues here at the Buckeye Battle Cry! This has to be one of our favorite times of the year (really, who doesn’t feel that way?) and we love to celebrate by talking about as many teams, games, and players as we can! Joe Dexter was kind enough to get the whole thing kicked off this morning with a preview of the West Region. Now it’s my turn to take a look at the home-favorite East Region. Tomorrow, WVaBuckeye and MaliBuckeye will take a look at the two remaining regions, so that you can have plenty of time to read and peruse your way to what is hopefully a winning bracket!
Make sure you join the BBN’s Bracket Challenge this year! Bragging rights abound!
Favorites: The East region is graced with a few powerful teams that could be poised to make a deep run. The Syracuse Orange obviously stand in the best position of everyone in the region. The Orange hold a 32-2 season record, including non-conference wins over fellow tournament teams Florida and NC State. Seven-footer Fab Melo, a Sophomore out of Brazil, anchors Syracuse in the paint and is assisted by senior forward Kris Joseph, who leads the team in scoring at just under 14 per game, and senior guard Scoop Jardine, who seems to have been at Syracuse for 50 years. The ‘Cuse lost in the semi-finals of the Big East tournament to fellow East Region member Cincinnati, but looks to bounce back in the Big Dance.