Thinking about the first round -- and Saint Mary's
Updated: March 20, 2009, 9:15 PM ETBy Jay Bilas
American Guts: American guards Derrick Mercer and Garrison Carr are barely tall enough to get on the rides at Disney World, but they played with great heart and courage against Villanova. Carr is a great shooter coming off screens and spotting up in transition, and Mercer is a great leader on the floor. It was really fun watching them compete. American runs a good offense and really moves the ball. Like most smaller conference teams, the Eagles are just as skilled, but smaller. Their hearts, however, are just as big. Villanova Strength: In the first half against American, Villanova played right into the hands of the Eagles. American wanted to make the game into a shooting contest, and Villanova obliged. Half of Villanova's shots in the first half were 3-pointers, and the Wildcats did not get to the free throw line. In the second half, trailing by 14 points, Villanova started to drive the ball, punching it inside to Dante Cunningham and crashing the offensive glass. In the second half, the game was about the free throw line. Villanova was able to get American in foul trouble and shot a ton of free throws, which was the difference in Villanova's 13-point victory.
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