Brock’s Random Thoughts: The NCAA Tournament
We're down to the final 64 teams in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. And there are three, yes three, Michigan teams in the tournament this year. We know Michigan State and Michigan are there, but a nod to Western Michigan for making the field. They won the Mid-American Conference tournament last week in Cleveland over Toledo to qualify for the Big Dance. So let's analyze the first round matchups for all three teams.
Let's start with Michigan State's tilt with Colonial champion Delaware. The Fightin' Blue Hens are 25-9 and are 24th in the nation in scoring with 79.5 points per game. They have five players who average in double figure scoring, which is rare at any level of basketball. They have three players who are 6-9 but no taller than that. I expect State's defense to clamp down and smother Delaware. I'll take the Spartans 72-56.
As for Michigan, they've got the Terriers of Wofford. They won the Southern Conference Tournament after finishing tied for third in the regular season. Karl Cochran is their leading scorer at just under 16 points per game. They are a smaller team, with only 2 players at 6-8. Because of that, I think Michigan is too quick and athletic for them. I like Michigan big, 81-58.
As for the Western Michigan-Syracuse matchup, I think it will be closer than people think. Western is led by 6-4 guard David Brown, who averaged 19.4 points per game this season. With the way Syracuse struggled down the stretch with bad home losses to Boston College and Virginia Tech, plus a first-round ouster in the ACC Tournament. They're coming in on a downer. WMU has nothing to lose and will play that way. I think it's close until the final five or six minutes, and then Syracuse will do enough to put the Broncs away. I've got Syracuse, 62-49.
Let the tournament begin, enjoy the ride folks. It'll be wild on the way to Dallas for Final Four weekend on April 5th. Until next time, this is Brock Palmbos.....signing off.