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Thursday, June 26, 2014

2014 NBA Mock Draft Rivals Competition

The 2014 NBA Draft is expected to be a very exciting one. This draft has been hyped up for years, as it is considered very deep and very talented. Well-known college guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, international guys like Dante Exum, and shooters like Doug McDermott make this draft one of the more talented in recent years.

MotleySports NBA Draft analysts Michael Schneid and Jordan Rappaport attempt to project how this year's draft will unfold. These two return after Michael correctly projected 4 picks while Jordan got 2 in their 2013 Mock Draft competition.

The "rivals" will attempt to outdo each other again this time while focusing on the draft for various reasons. Michael has to be happy the Knicks have TWO second round draft picks right now, while also praying former Cincinnati Bearcats classmate Sean Kilpatrick hears his name called, more likely in the 45-60 range in round 2. Jordan, meanwhile, will be focused on his fellow Hoosiers. How quickly will Noah Vonleh hear his name called? Will Will "Threehey" Sheehey hear his name called?

Expect a lot of trades, expect a lot of shocking picks. Two of the league's top players - Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony, are free agents beginning next week. So tonight is only step 1 to what will be a very wild and unpredictable off-season.




Michael Schneid Jordan Rappaport
# Team Player Player
1  Cleveland Andrew Wiggins Andrew Wiggins
2  Milwaukee Jabari Parker Dante Exum
3  *Philadelphia Dante Exum Jabari Parker
4  Orlando Noah Vonleh Marcus Smart
5  Utah Aaron Gordon Noah Vonleh
6  *Boston Joel Embiid Julius Randle
7  LA Lakers Marcus Smart Joel Embiid
8  Sacramento Elfrid Payton Aaron Gordon
9  *Charlotte Doug McDermott Doug McDermott
10  *Philadelphia Julius Randle Kyle Anderson
11  *Denver Rodney Hood Rodney Hood
12  *Orlando Zach LaVine TJ Warren
13  *Minnesota Gary Harris Zach LaVine
14  *Phoenix James Young Glenn Robinson III
15  *Atlanta Kyle Anderson Tyler Ennis
16  Chicago Nik Stauskas Elfrid Payton
17  *Boston Jordan Adams Gary Harris
18  *Phoenix Cleanthony Early Adreian Payne
19  Chicago Adreian Payna Cleanthony Early
20  Toronto Tyler Ennis Nik Stauskas
21  *Oklahoma Cty Dario Saric Shabazz Napier
22  Memphis Jarnell Stokes James Young
23  *Utah KJ McDaneils Walter Tavares
24  *Charlotte Mitch McGary Jusuf Nurkic
25  Houston TJ Warren PJ Hairston
26  Miami Shabazz Napier Jordan Clarkson
27  *Phoenix Jusef Nurkic CJ Wilcox
28  LA Clippers Glenn Robinson Markel Brown
29  Oklahoma Cty Jordan Clarkson Bogdan Bogdanovic
30  San Antonio Clint Capella Thanasis Antetokounmpo

2014 NBA Mock Draft - Hoosier Edition

Former Indiana Hoosier basketball legend (and rising KanJam star) Jordan Rappaport, predicts picks 1-30 for tonight's NBA Draft and provides some very unique commentary.

# Team Player P School C Rappaport Comments
1  Cleveland Andrew Wiggins SF Kansas Fr. Because he's the best prospect in decades, right? Doesn't matter who ends up with the first pick. 
2  Milwaukee Dante Exum PG/SG Australia Intl. Pass on Parker as they aren't in win-now mode
3  *Philadelphia Jabari Parker SF/PF Duke Fr. Because he tanked in Cleveland, but is actually the best
4  Orlando Marcus Smart PG Oklahoma State So. All they need is a PG now….
5  Utah Noah Vonleh PF Indiana Fr. Steal at 5
6  *Boston Julius Randle PF Kentucky Fr. Slips from injury, but pairs great with Olynyk in the low post. Fills "grit" hole never replaced by The Truth
7  LA Lakers Joel Embiid C Kansas Fr. Lakers can afford to take a year to rebuild Embiid before losing Gasol
8  Sacramento Aaron Gordon PF Arizona Fr. Kings go for athlete instead of size, with Cousins handling the middle they can go small at the 4 and play above the rim
9  *Charlotte Doug McDermott SF Creighton Sr. Seems like a great "Charlotte guy" to replace McRoberts. That's all I'll say about that. 
10  *Philadelphia Kyle Anderson SF UCLA So. Slo-Mo another lengthy piece of the puzzle. Sixers could play unstoppable 2-3 zone in 2016
11  *Denver Rodney Hood SF Duke So. Experience and leadership, not Denver's forte in the past, maybe in the future?
12  *Orlando TJ Warren SF NC State So. ACC POY pairs nicely, similar fit to what Tony Snell did for the Bulls
13  *Minnesota Zach LaVine PG/SG UCLA Fr. This backcourt needs shooting, quickly. Lavine could be their guy. 
14  *Phoenix Glenn Robinson III SF Michigan So. The name plays big here. Should've gone Cleanthony Early
15  *Atlanta Tyler Ennis PG Syracuse Fr. Hawks need leadership. Ennis brings it all
16  Chicago Elfrid Payton PG Louisiana Laf... Jr. Marquise Teague didn't work out. D-Rose can't be trusted. Payton is best available PG
17  *Boston Gary Harris SG Michigan St. So. Harris slips due to size, but fits in nicely with need and best available
18  *Phoenix Adreian Payne PF Michigan St. Sr. Concerns from mono and limited workout, but could be a franchise player or at minimum a great fit similar to former teamate Draymond Green in SF
19  Chicago Cleanthony Early SF/PF Wichita State Sr. Thibs loves D, but how could you pass on Early here??
20  Toronto Nik Stauskas SG Michigan So. Oh yea, forgot about him. Overrated, Toronto will think they stole the B10 POY here though
21  *Oklahoma Cty Shabazz Napier PG UConn Sr. Napier can babysit Westbrook and distribute all day to KD
22  Memphis James Young SG Kentucky Fr. An actual steal at 22, Young is one of the best shooters in the draft
23  *Utah Walter Tavares C Spain Intl. BIG MAN REACH AT 23! But Utah has to roll the dice here
24  *Charlotte Jusuf Nurkic C Bosnia & Herz... Intl. Excellent Int'l reach valueat 24 for the Bosnian center. This position seems to be making a comeback
25  Houston PJ Hairston SG USA Jr.
26  Miami Jordan Clarkson PG/SG Missouri Jr. A strong combo-guard role player for a team that needs deep bench value
27  *Phoenix CJ Wilcox SG Washington Sr. With the Sun's 18th first rounder…. Experience and great shooting play well
28  LA Clippers Markel Brown SG Oklahoma State Sr. Lob City… meet Markel Brown….your new highest vertical leaper
29  Oklahoma Cty Bogdan Bogdanovic SG Serbia
International reach to store for the future. No immediate value to plug in remaining
30  San Antonio Thanasis Antetok... SF Greece Intl. Spurs know what they are doing, I won't question it. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 NBA Mock Draft (v2)

By Michael Schneid




1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas

2. Milwaukee Bucks - Jabari Parker, F, Duke

3. Philadelphia 76ers - Dante Exum, G, Australia

4. Orlando Magic -Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana

5. Utah Jazz - Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona

6. Boston Celtics - Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

7. Los Angeles Lakers - Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State

8. Sacramento Kings - Elfrid Payton, G, Louisiana-Lafayette

9. Charlotte Hornets  - Doug McDermott, F, Creighton

10. Philadelphia 76ers - Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky

11. Denver Nuggets - Rodney Hood, F, Duke

12. Orlando Magic - Zach LaVine, G, UCLA

13. Minnesota Timberwolves - Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

14. Phoenix Suns - James Young, G, Kentucky

15. Atlanta Hawks -Kyle Anderson, F, UCLA

16. Chicago Bulls - Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan

17. Boston Celtics -  Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA


18 Phoenix Suns - Cleanthony Early, F, VCU

19. Chicago Bulls - Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State

20. Toronto Raptors - Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse

21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Dario Saric

22. Memphis Grizzles - Jarnell Stokes

23. Utah Jazz - KJ McDaniels, G/F, Clemson

24. Charlotte Hornets - Mitch McGary, F, Michigan


25. Houston Rockets -  TJ Warren, F, NC St

26. Miami Heat - Shabazz Napier, G, Uconn

27. Phoenix Suns - Jusef Nurkic, C, Bosnia

28. Los Angeles Clippers - Glenn Robinson III, F, Michigan

29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Jordan Clarkson, G, Missouri

30. San Antonio Spurs - Clint Capella, F, Switzerland

34. New York Knicks - Patric Young, F/C, Florida

51. New York Knicks - Sean Kilpatrick, G, Cincinnati 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2014 NBA Mock Draft

By Michael Schneid

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas
Wiggins arguably has the most upside in this draft and should be a future all star. The Cavs have been in desperate need for a go-to scorer and small forward since "he" left and Wiggins would be a perfect compliment with Kyrie Irving.

2. Milwaukee Bucks - Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
The Kansas teammates go 1-2. Bucks can go with Anteknelpo at SF, Larry Sanders at PF and Embiid at center. That would make for a very strong defense.

3. Philadelphia 76ers - Dante Exum, G, Australia
There are some reports that Philly "loves" Exum. The NBA is a guard's league and Exum and Michael Carter-Williams in the same backcourt would be very dynamic. Exum is a great shooter

4. Orlando Magic - Jabari Parker, F, Duke
Magic didn't win the lottery but end up with arguably the top player, or one of the top players, in the draft. Parker will come in immediately and start and speed up Orlando's rebuilding process. 

5. Utah Jazz - Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana
Utah supposedly loves Vonleh and new coach Quin Snyder loves running pick-and-rolls and Vonleh will be the perfect project for that. 

6. Boston Celtics - Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State
Rajon Rondo is on his way out of Boston sooner than later and the Celtics have a new for a second guard regardless.

7. Los Angeles Lakers - Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona
Gordon is from LA and the Lakers, regardless of who they pursue in free agency or high as a head coach, need youth and athleticism. Gordon is an excellent defender and can make highlight plays.

8. Sacramento Kings - Zach LaVine, G, UCLA
Lavine is very athletic and can replace Isiaih Thomas at PG if Thomas departs via free agency.

9. Charlotte Hornets  - Nick Stauskas, G, Michigan
The Hornets biggest issue last year  was shooting and Stauskas is among the draft's top scorers. 

10. Philadelphia 76ers - Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky

11. Denver Nuggets - Dario Saric, F, Croatia
One year after drafting Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, the Sixers draft another Kentucky big man, who can have a big immediate impact.

12. Orlando Magic - James Young, G Kentucky
Young can play next to Oladipo and allow the Magic to trade Aaron Afflalo for more assets. 

13. Minnesota Timberwolves - Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

14. Phoenix Suns - Doug McDermott, F, Creighton

15. Atlanta Hawks - Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA

16. Chicago Bulls - Rodney Hood, F, Duke

17. Boston Celtics - Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State

18 Phoenix Suns - Cleanthony Early, F, VCU

19. Chicago Bulls - Jarnell Stokes, F, Tennessee

20. Toronto Raptors - Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse

21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Jordan Clarkson, G, Missouri

22. Memphis Grizzles - Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse

23. Utah Jazz - KJ McDaniels, G/F, Clemson

24. Charlotte Hornets - Elfrid Payton, G, Louisiana-Lafayette

25. Houston Rockets - TJ Warren, G, North Carolina State

26. Miami Heat - Shabazz Napier, G, Uconn

27. Phoenix Suns - Walter Tavares, C, Spain

28. Los Angeles Clippers - Glenn Robinson, F, Michigan

29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Mitch McGary, PF, Michigan

30. San Antonio Spurs - Clint Capella, F, Switzerland

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft

By Michael Schneid

Two men are synonymous with NFL draft talk - Mel Kiper Jr and Todd McShay. The two "experts" are constantly bickering back and forth with one another over a wide range of draft topics.

Here is how the two "experts" did in comparison to our draft "experts"

2013:
MotleySports: 23 First Rounders Right, 4 Right Spot, 12 Right Team
Todd McShay went 1 for 32 and Mel Kiper went 2 for 32.

2012:
MotleySports: 26 First Rounders Right, 7 Right Spot, 7 Right Team
Todd McShay: 26 First Rounders Right, 4 Right Spot, 7 Right Team



1. Texans - Jadaveon Clowney, OLB/DE, South Carolina
2. Rams (via Redskins) - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
3. Jaguars - Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
4. Browns -Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
5. Raiders - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
6. Falcons - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
7. Buccaneers - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
8. Vikings - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
9. Bills - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
10. Lions - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
11. Titans - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
12. Giants - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
13. Rams - Ha Ha Clinton Dix, S, Alabama
14. Bears - Tim Jernigan, DE, Florida St
15. Steelers - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
16. Cowboys - Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
17. Ravens - Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
18. Jets - Odell Beckum, WR, LSU
19. Dolphins - Zach Martin, OG, Notre Dame
20. Cardinals - Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
21. Packers - Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
22. Eagles - Brandon Cooks, WR, Oregon State
23. Chiefs - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
24. Bengals - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
25. Chargers - Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
26. Bowns (via Colts) -Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
27. Saints - Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
28. Panthers - Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
29. Patriots - CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
30. 49ers -Demarcus Lawrence, DE/LB, Boise State
31. Broncos - Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
32. Seahawks - Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

ROUND 2

33. Texans - Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
34. Redskins - Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama:
35. Browns - Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
36. Raiders - Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
37. Falcons - Joel Bitonio, OG, Nevada
38. Buccaneers - Marquise Lee, WR, USC
39. Jaguars - Jimmy Garappolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
40. Vikings - Xavier Su'a Filo, OG, UCLA
41. Bills - JaWuan James, OT, Tennessee

42. Titans - Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
43. Giants - Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
44. Rams - Lamrcus Joyner, CB, Florida State
45. Lions - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
46. Steelers - Stephen Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame
47. Cowboys - Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
48. Ravens - Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin
49. Jets - Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
50. Dolphins - Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
51. Bears - Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford
52. Cardinals - Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
53. Packers - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
54. Eagles - Scott Chrichton, DE, Oregon State
55. Bengals - Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington
56. 49ers - Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
57. Chargers - Carl Bradford, LB, Arizona State
58. Saints - Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
59. Colts - Marcus Martin, G/C, USC
60. Panthers - Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
61. 49ers - Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
62. Patriots - Will Sutton, DT, 49ers
63. Broncos - Keith McGill, CB, Utah
64. Seahawks - Trent Murphy, DE/LB, Stanford


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Non-NCAA Tournament Teams' Record vs Tournament Teams

By Michael Schneid

We did some research and some math to see which non-tournament teams have the best records against tournament teams. In parenthesis, we put which tourney teams each team beat. Teams are also listed in order of winning percentage. List also includes teams with 3 or more wins.

UAB 3-2 (Wins over Nebraska, Tulsa)
Missouri 4-4  (Wins over UCLA, Western Michigan, NC State, Tennessee)
Georgetown 6-7 (Wins - Michigan State, Kansas State, VCU, Creighton, Xavier, Providence)
SMU 4-5 (Wins - Cincinnati, Memphis, Uconn twice)
Arkansas 3-4 (Wins over Louisiana-Lafayette, Kentucky twice)
Green Bay 3-4 (Wins over Virginia, Tulsa, Milwaukee)
Utah 4-7 (Wins over BYU, Arizona State, UCLA, Colorado)
Penn State 4-7 (Wins over Mount Saint Mary's, Nebraska, Ohio State twice)
Washington 4-7 (Wins over Arizona St, Stanford, Colorado, Oregon)
Oregon State 4-7 (Wins over UCLA, Oregon, Arizona St, Stanford)
Minnesota 5-9 (Coastal Carolina, Wofford, Ohio St, Wisconsin, Iowa)
West Virginia 6-12 (Wins over Mount Saint Mary's, Baylor, Kansas St, Oklahoma, Iowa St, Kansas)
Seton Hall 4-8 (Wins over Xavier twice, Providence, Villanova)
Indiana 4-8 (Wins over Wisconsin, Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan)
Richmond 4-9 (Wins over Delaware, Dayton, UMass, Saint Joe's)
St. Bonaventure 3-7 (Wins over Delaware, UMass, Saint Louis) 
Clemson 3-7 (Wins over Coastal Carolina, Duke, NC State)
California 4-10 (Wins over Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, Colorado)
Texas Tech 5-14 (Wins over Mount Saint Mary's, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas)
Florida State 3-9 (Wins - VCU, UMass, Pitt)
Wake Forest 3-10 (Wins over UNC, Duke, NC State)
Marquette 3-12 (Wins - George Washington, Providence, Xavier)
Northwestern 3-13 (Wins over Western Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa)
 

What Bruce Pearl Hire Means for Auburn

By Michael Schneid

The Auburn Tigers hired Bruce Pearl as their new head coach today.

Pearl replaces Tony Barbee, who went 49-75 in four seasons, and never won more than 6 SEC games and never played in the postseason. His .390 win percentage is the lowest of any coach with more than two seasons of experience in school history.

Bruce Pearl was most recently at Tennessee and has a lot of postseason experience and success. Pearl went 145-61 in six seasons from 2005-2011 and made the NCAA tournament all six years.

Auburn hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 2003 and is primarily known for its football more than basketball. The same can be said for Tennessee, which doesn't have a rich history of basketball.

Pearl can recruit. He can promote. He can win. It will take some time as Auburn lacks the talent to win right now but the SEC is not a huge power conference in basketball, like it is in football. It may not be easy to win the conference, with Florida and Kentucky annually on top, but the rest of the conference is fairly average. Auburn has a chance to be the best of the middle of the pick, which this year included Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, LSU.

Bruce Pearl is a very loud and outspoken coach. He did a great job promoting Tennessee basketball and was all over the community and national media trying to sell the program. He should be able to do the same with Auburn, who has a very passionate fan base. Wins bring in fans and Pearl can do that.

Charles Barkley is Auburn's most famous basketball alum. Who wouldn't love to see Pearl and Barkley run around promoting the school and giving interviews together?

This is a great spot for Pearl to come back into coaching and rehab his image. There won't be any immediate pressure on Pearl, given the school's love for football. With all eyes and money on the national runner ups, Pearl can go under the radar and quietly and slowly start to rebuild the program. 

Given his previous experience in the SEC and where Auburn is now, the hiring of Bruce Pearl has a chance to be a huge success. 


2014 NCAA Tournament Predictions

By Michael Schneid


SOUTH REGION:

Sweet 16: 1. Florida vs 12. Stephen F Austin, 6. Ohio State vs 2. Kansas
Elite 8: 1. Florida vs 2. Kansas
Final Four: 1. Florida

Notable Upsets: 12. Stephen F Austin over 5. VCU, 12. Stephen F Austin over 4. UCLA in round of 32

Potential Sleeper:  7. New Mexico
The Lobos were a trendy final four pick one year ago and flamed out in the first round. But this year have a good draw to make a deep run.

Notes: Florida and Stephen F. Austin have two of the nation's longest winning streaks (SFA at 28, Florida at 26)


EAST REGION:

Sweet 16: 1. Virginia vs 4. Michigan State, 3. Iowa State vs. 7. Uconn
Elite 8: 4. Michigan State vs. 3. Iowa State
Final Four: 4. Michigan State

Notable Upsets: 11. Providence over 6. North Carolina in round of 64, 7. Uconn over Villanova in round of 32

Potential Sleeper: 7. Uconn
Does Shabazz Napier have any Kemba Walker in him? Uconn has St. Joe's first and potentially Villanova in round of 32, a team they are familiar with. If they get to MSG, they will have home court advantage with their fans traveling. 

Notes: The east is loaded with conference tournament champions - Big Ten, Big East, Big 12, Atlantic 10, ACC... Does Uconn's Shabazz Napier have any Kemba Walker magic in him?...The Cyclones and Spartans are two of the hottest teams in the country....Despite Harvard being a trendy upset pick, look at Cincinnati as a potential sleeper in this region


WEST REGION:

Sweet 16: 1. Arizona vs. 4. San Diego State, 3. Creighton vs. 2. Wisconsin
Elite 8: 1. Arizona vs. 2. Wisconsin
Final Four: 1. Arizona

Notable Upsets: 12. North Dakota State over 5. Oklahoma in round of 64

Potential Sleeper:  9. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys have a tough first round game with Gonzaga and than Arizona in round of 32, but with a scorer like Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State has a chance to go as far as their All-American guard will take them.

Notes: Arizona arguably has the easiest path to the Final Four of any 1 seed...Creighton vs. Wisconsin would be a really good game


MIDWEST REGION:

Sweet 16: 1. Wichita State vs. 4. Louisville, 3. Duke vs. 2. Michigan
Elite 8: 4. Louisville vs. 2. Michigan
Final Four: 4. Louisville

Notable Upsets: 12. NC State (beats Xavier in play-in game) over Saint Louis

Potential Sleeper: 8. Kentucky
The Wildcats had a disappointing season but they still have a high level of talent and a coach with championship experience. The Wildcats can knock off Wichita and than a rematch with Louisville, who they already beat.

Notes: This is arguably the toughest region...Three of the 2013 Final Four teams are in the midwest (Michigan, Louisville, Wichita State) and the Elite 8 offers a potential rematch of last year's national championship


FINAL FOUR:  Florida vs. Michigan State, Arizona vs. Louisville
NATIONAL CHAMPION: Florida
  • Florida has been the best team all season, despite no one talking about them. They enter the tournament with 26 straight wins and ran the table in the SEC. They lost the second game of the season at Wisconsin and lost at Connecticut on a crazy buzzer beater. 
  • Michigan State was ranked top 5 to start the season but injuries plagued them all year. The Spartans are healthy and clicking at the right time. 
  • Arizona lost four games including the Pac-12 championship game. Two of the other three came on dramatic buzzer beaters and controversy. The Wildcats have a chance to get to the Final Four in a relatively weak region. 
  • Louisville has won 13 of 14 games, one of the hottest teams in the country. They have blown out almost all of their opponents, including a 61 point win over Rutgers in the AAC tournament.

NIT, CBI, and CIT Predictions

By Michael Schneid

The NCAA tournament is the goal of every college program and is focus of the next three weeks. But some teams that aren't good enough or didn't get selected as one of the 68 teams will still get a chance to play in the postseason.

The NIT (National Invitational Tournament) is the most recognizable of the other postseason tournaments. Teams that finish first place in their conference regular season but don't win the conference tournaments are automatically entered into the NIT. The bubble teams who didn't make the tourney play in the NIT but motivation is often a question.

The CBI (College Basketball Invitational) began in 2007 and doesn't carry the same weight as the NIT. Many ignore the CBI and some schools consider it a joke. Indiana and Marquette for example, were passed over for the NIT and opted not to play in the CBI.

The CIT (CollegeInsider.com Tournament) is for mid-low major schools only. It is a great way for schools to continue their season and get postseason experience.


NIT Predictions:

Final Four: SMU vs. Green Bay, Minnesota vs. Louisiana Tech
Championship: SMU

SMU and St. John's might have the two most talented teams in the tournament. St John's is unlikely to be motivated whereas SMU might play with chip on their shoulder and should make a deep run into the tournament. Minnesota is a good young team that can benefit from this tournament too.



CBI Predictions:

Penn State might have the best team in the tournament. Led by an experienced backcourt featuring DJ Newbill and Tim Frazier, we expect Penn State to win the CBI.

It's hard to do a CBI bracket as they reseed after each round, but Penn State and UTEP are the top two teams and Wyoming and South Dakota State can also make a run. 


CIT Predictions:

Look at for Murray State, Towson and Canisius. Canisius is led by one of the nation's most profilific scorers, Billy Baron. Baron averages 24.2 points per game. Meanwhile, Towson went 23-10 and is led by Jerrelle Benimon. Benimon averages 19 ppg and 11.5 rpg.

Our pick to win the CIT is Towson, who should be an NCAA tournament team in 2015.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3/12: Conference Tournament Previews

By Michael Schneid 

What to watch for as several major conference tournaments begin today....


AAC:

Temple vs UCF (Winner plays Cincinnati)
Rutgers vs South Florida (Winner plays Louisville)

Temple might be the best team of these four, despite finishing last in the conference. Dalton Pepper can score. Central Florida has a significant size advantage over Temple.... A South Florida loss probably spells the end of Stan Heath's days in South Florida. Rutgers has the talent to win but haven't played a complete game all year. Neither team stands much of a chance to pull off an upset in tomorrow's games. The biggest question is how many people will show up in Memphis tonight to watch these four teams?


ACC

Wake Forest vs Notre Dame (Winner plays Pittsburgh)
Miami vs Virginia Tech (Winner plays NC State)
Georgia Tech vs Boston College (Winner plays Clemson)

Notre Dame makes their ACC tournament debut against a team that beat Duke, UNC, and NC State yet still finished 12th. Whoever wins that first matchup can beat Pittsburgh tomorrow...Miami won this tournament last year but probably does not have the magic to do it again. They should beat the Hokies today though.... GT and BC represent two teams who had very disappointing seasons. GT coach Brian Gregory said his team needs more toughness in the future. BC played a brutal schedule despite having some talent. Give the nod to BC and maybe they upset Clemson tomorrow.


Big 12

Oklahoma State vs Texas Tech (Winner plays Kansas)
Baylor vs TCU (Winner plays Oklahoma)

Both Oklahoma State and Baylor were on the bubble a few weeks ago, but both teams seem to be solidly in the field of 68 for now. The return of Marcus Smart has been key for the Cowboys turnaround and they face the team Smart got suspended against. In our conference championship predictions we picked Oklahoma State to beat Baylor in the finals... both teams should win with relative ease today and than move on to the top two teams tomorrow.


Big East

Butler vs Seton Hall (Winner plays Villanova)
Depaul vs Georgetown (Winner plays Creighton)

Remember when the Big East tournament was the greatest? These kind of games used to happen Tuesday night and than there would be games all day Wednesday and Thursday. Now Thursday afternoon are the only day games, and that includes the "home" team St. John's (at 2:30). This night is saved by the possibility that Seton Hall and Georgetown has fans at MSG tonight. Butler makes their Big East tournament debut but Fuqan Edwin will be too much as Seton Hall should get the win. Georgetown should easily take care of Depaul, who has only won one Big East tournament game in their nine years in the conference (against Cincinnati). Georgetown could give Creighton trouble tomorrow, with the Blue Jays unfamiliar with the bright lights of NYC and MSG.


PAC-12

Utah vs Washington (Winner plays Arizona)
Colorado vs USC (Winner plays California)
Oregon vs Oregon State (Winner plays UCLA)
Stanford vs Washington State (Winner plays Arizona State)


The PAC-12 is the only major conference today with major bubble ramifications as the ACC, AAC and SEC have no likely tournament teams playing today and the Big East only has one very long shot and the Big 12 has two. Three of the PAC-12's four games feature tournament-hopeful teams.
Utah had a good season and Washington was disappointing. Expect Washington to end the season with a thud and for Utah to get the win, before losing to Arizona tomorrow.... Andy Enfeld did not have an immediate impact on USC, as the Trojans still finished last in the PAC-12. Colorado should and needs to win to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive... Oregon is likely in the field of 68 after beating Arizona over the weekend but a loss to their rival Beavers could put them right back on the bubble...Stanford should beat the Cougars in another must win. We project Stanford and Oregon to pull off upsets tomorrow over Arizona State and UCLA respectively.



SEC

Auburn vs South Carolina (Winner plays Arkansas)
Vanderbilt vs Mississippi State (Winner plays Ole Miss)

The Auburn/South Carolina game can go either way. Both teams have been very disappointing but USC recently beat Kentucky and Frank Martin, despite his faults, can coach....Kevin Stallings at Vanderbilt can also coach. He has played most of this year with one of his pre-season projected starting 5 and managed to win 7 SEC games. I would say the 'Dores get another SEC win and could pull off the upset tomorrow over Marshall Henderson.


Bonus - Atlantic 10

One of the most piuzzling tournament set ups is the Atlantic 10, which takes place in Brooklyn, NY. Tonight, George Mason plays Fordham in the 12 vs 13 matchup. The winner will play 5th seeded Dayton tomorrow. Luckily for the conference committee, Fordham is in NYC and might get fans there. But there probably is no need to play one game tonight. They could have played this on campus Monday night with the winner advancing to Brooklyn. Or they could have found a way to re-format the tourney so that more than 1 game takes place on day 1. The Atlantic 10 tournament does start tonight but it is a very unusual and uneventful (with all due respect to George Mason and Fordham) start.

BetOWI