Welcome ladies and gents to the Sweet 16 version of the NCAA tournament chat. Quite a ride so far and the matchups are intriguing to say the least starting on Thursday. I'll be in Houston for No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 10 Saint Mary's and No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Purdue. Looks like some good questions already in the que. If you haven't submitted your do so now. Let's get started...
Do you think Butler has a shot against Syracuse? I think if you can pick one player other than Evan Turner to guard Wes Johnson, it would be Butler's Gordon Heyward.
To say Butler doesn't have a shot would be crazy, you have seen Northern Iowa, Saint Mary's, Washington, etc...? Butler is obviously a very sound, well-coached team with some excellent players such as sophomore Gordon Hayward as you mention. At 6-8, 200, Hayward has excellent size and long, rangy arms. Not sure anyone can actually stop Evan Turner, he is such a good player and you saw that in the Big Ten tourney when got Ohio State through. But, what's not to like about Butler, especially in this tournament where the high seeds are doing tremendous damage.
How much longer do I have to wait untill Indiana gets invited to the dance again?
Oh Ben, I feel your pain, but why not just follow Butler? I just did a quick scan of the rosters and Butler has 9 players who hail from Indiana, while the Hoosiers have 7 and two are seniors (I'm not sure on incoming freshmen next year). Now, Tom Crean did a heck of a job at Marquette and he had a mess to clean up after Kelvin Sampson soiled things, so it's going to take time. IU finished 10-21 and 4-14, I mean, ouch, but 11 players were freshmen and sophs, so if there's development going on maybe IU makes a big jump next season. I wonder how hard it is now to recruit to cold-weather places in this day and age, plus Indiana doesn't mean a lot anymore to recruits like it did in the day.
If Saint Mary's and Washington make the elite eight will west coast basketball no longer be looked at as having a bad year this season? I think more and more players that would be going to pac 10 schools are going to Mwest, and WCC. Its not just the pac ten and Gonzaga thats getting quality players any more.
Hey Ryan...no matter what the Pac-10 had a down year, there's no getting around that. Now, Washington won the conference so I don't see that as a huge surprise that they've moved on, and Cal played pretty well. It is crazy to think that as many Pac-10 teams as WCC teams made it to the tourney and Saint Mary's is still dancing. Of course, Omar Sanham called for a Saint Mary's national title run this year and so far he's on target. I don't think WCC schools will ever be perceived like Pac-10 schools, just because of size, history, etc., but I do think with better ball players always coming up, scholarship limitations and greater TV visibility for the smaller schools, even late at night, all help to spread parity throughout basketball and I think you're seeing that happen.
One other note, if I can on that, Ryan, development is key at schools like Saint Mary's. Omar Samhan was not recruited to any other school. And now look at him.
Which College Basketball Players that are currently playing in College will be the top 10 picks of the 2010 NBA Draft?
Chris, thanks for playing...the NBA Draft huh? we haven't even gotten through the Sweet 16 yet. Chad Ford at espn.com does a great job of breaking down the draft and all the prospects. here's a cliff's notes version that I borrowed from Chad's big board (feel free to visit any time). The obvious guys are Ohio State's Even Turner and Kentucky's John Wall. Wall is expected to go No. 1 and Turner No. 2. There's also Demarcus Cousins at Ky, Wesley Johnson at Syr, Al-Farouq Amini at Wake Forest, Ed Davis at UNC, Cole Aldrich at Kansas and Hassan Whiteside at Marshall. Hope that helps. A few of those guys are still ballin' so check them out.
do you see a team winning the championship no one like northern iowa st marys or syracuse to pull an upset this season thanks
Dave, are you including the mighty Orange in the same category as Northern Iowa and Saint Mary's? As far as a non-traditional power winning it all, yes, I think it can happen this season. Why not? The No. 1 overall team, Kansas, couldn't get out of the second round. Kentucky is now considered the best team standing and let's remember that Mississippi State twice took the Wildcats to OT and once on a neutral court. Now, Kentucky is rolling right now, but that's why they play the games. If you look at Saint Mary's, which upset No. 2 Villanova, granted a struggling 'Nova team, is playing tremendous basketball. They have the full package with great guard play, excellent perimeter shooters and a monstrous inside presence with Omar Samhan. He's averaging 30.5 points and nearly 10 boards. He's my tourney MVP so far. They play an equally well-rounded Baylor team, a big-conference school, but hardly a power. That winner faces Duke. Why not an upset there?
JeffSo far this week I've heard many media members discount the Midwest region for not being what it was billed... the region of Death because of who is left. Isn't it a clear sign when 3 of the top 4 seeds don't survive the first weekend that it definitely is the region of death?
Dave, good question. It's funny, the South Region was billed as Duke's to plow through while the Midwest was billed as the toughest and who can argue? Michigan State-No. Iowa and Tennesse-Ohio State are great matchups. The Vols are a funny team, but remember they beat both Kansas and Kentucky in the regular season. Ohio State has the best player in the nation (or at least one of the two with John Wall) and never discount Tom Izzo's teams. It's too bad that the Spartans will be without Kalin Lucas due to injury, but State is always physical and will could well head back to the Final Four in this region. I like the way Tennessee plays and I love Bruce Pearl. So you can't complain just because Kansas lost and G'town lost. That's too bad for them, but opportunities for programs who believe they are as good as where they are.
How do you think Baylor controls Omar Samhan?
Hi Maria, great question. Villanova coach Jay Wright said he tried everything and nothing worked. Baylor will rely on their 2-3 zone with a lot of length on that back line with 7-foot Josh Lomers, 6-10 Anthony Carter and 6-10 Ekpe Udoh. Those guys must meet Omar as soon as he catches the ball and not give him room to operate. He's an excellet back-to-the-basket player. So Baylor will try to swarm him and force him to kick it out. The danger there is Saint Mary's is an excellent shooting team that can stretch the zone. So swarming Omar risks leaving the Gaels for open 3-pointers. It is a conundrum. Saint Mary's is easily the most complete team Baylor has seen in the Tournament. And they might not have seen anyone quite like the 6-11 Samhan even in the Big 12. he is a load and is averaging 30.5 points in the two games. Udoh has to make him work on the defensive end and if lucky draw some early fouls.
I know Ekpe Udoh is an NBA draft prospect, but why isn't Tweety Carter or LaceDarius Dunn considered draft picks?
Ms. Felder, you sound a like a keen observer of college hoops. Udoh is projected as a late lottery pick and is having a tremendous postseason. He had just eight points and four boards in the win over Old Dominion, but was averaging better than 21 points in three postseason games prior (2 Big 12 and 1 ncaa game). Tweety is a tremendous leader, but at about 5-11, he just doesn't have the size or the quickness. he spent his first three years at Baylor mostly at shooting guard and waited his time to take over the point this year. he'll play somewhere, just not sure he's what NBA scouts are looking for. As for Dunn, I love his game. Scouts think he's wild at times and he is. He had 5 or 6 turnovers against Old Dominion and a bunch in the first round. But, he is as exciting a player to watch as anyone left in the tournament. He gets up for dunks and can hit a 3 from just about anywhere beyond the arc. He's also really improved his ability to get to the basket and he'll make his free throws, too. The NBA knock on him is not athletic enough (?), too sloppy with the ball and too one-dimensional, even though he's a very good rebounder. Maybe another year under his belt will change NBA minds.
OK, one more question left, so let's get to it.
Isaiah from NC...a Duke fan...Isaiah, you know that Duke is like the NY Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. As many people watch them to cheer them on as those who watch to see them lose. I agree, this Duke team is very talented. Coach K said the other day that the difference between this team and more recent ones that bowed out early is defense and team size. You have to like them against Purdue, which beat Texas A&M on pure heart, but heart only goes so far. Duke is far more talented, player for player, than A
OK, everybody, thank you for your questions. That was another very fast half-hour. Remember I'll be in Houston so check back at espndallas.com often for constant blog reports and my post-game columns.Enjoy the hoops.