Friday, March 20, 2009

March Madness Midwest Region Part 1

No. 1 seed Louisville Cardinals

Why they will win it all: The Cardinals enter the tournament as the number 1 overall seed after winning the Big East Tournament and regular season title. They are led by their three forwards senior Terrence Williams, junior Earl Clark and freshman Samardo Samuels. Clark and Williams are among the best players in the Big East. Both are very athletic two-way players that can take over a game. Clark is especially frustrating for opposing teams to guard given his size and strength. Though built like a forward Clark is as quick as a guard and blows by opposing forwards on the way to the basket. They have a very talented eight man rotation that give them quality minutes. All eight of their players are a threat to score. Louisville is one of the more balanced teams in the league with depth at both guard and forward.

Why they won't win it all: Louisville played well against their Big East competition beating Villanova, Syracuse and West Virginia twice and Marquette and Pittsburgh once apiece. They struggled though against teams they should have beaten losing to Notre Dame, UNLV, Western Kentucky and Minnesota. The Cardinals are also not a great shooting team hitting just 45.1% from the field. Louisville is one of the worse free throw shooting teams in this tournament, hitting just 64% from the line. While Louisville is a good defensive team they don't always rebound well despite having the size and athletic ability.

Player to watch: Terrence Williams. Williams is a great all around player, he can score from the perimeter or inside, an excellent rebounder and defender, and he leads the team in assists. He is an unselfish player who consistently finds the open shooter. He is so athletic and strong that he can guard players of any size with ease.

Prediction: Louisville should make it out of the Midwest region and in to the Final Four with some ease. They will likely face a strong challenge from Wake Forrest in the Sweet Sixteen but have the athleticism to match-up with them. Look for Kansas and Michigan State to get knocked out early leaving, leaving the Cardinals to face a West Virginia team they've already beaten twice.

1st round upset: 14th seed North Dakota State over 3rd Kansas:
This isn't the same Jayhawks team that won the National Championship a year ago. They are young and untested and they don't play great defense. If Kansas can't defend the perimeter they will have a long day as the Bison are one of the top 5 3-point shooting teams in the nation, hitting over 41% of their shots. North Dakota State is a very veteran team and seniors Ben Woodside and Brett Winkelman both are excellent shooters and can score at will.

No comments:

Post a Comment