1. Kansas University: KU went 30-2 this year and is currently ranked #2 in the polls. Their only losses were to Texas and Kansas State during league play, while having impressive wins over Arizona, Memphis, Mizzou (2x), and Texas A&M. The Jayhawks offensive attack is led by the Morris twins (Marcus 17.3 ppg 7 rpg, Markieff 13.5 ppg, 8rpg). The juniors lead a team that is 5th in the nation in points per contest, while leading the nation in assists and FG%. If they are able to get past their recent battle against Oklahoma St. (63-62) and win the Big 12 tourney, they could be looking at a one seed and an easier path to the Final Four.
2. University of North Carolina: The UNC Tarheels won their last 7 and finished strong with a 24-6 record (14-2 in ACC) and a regular season ACC Championship. In their regular season finale, UNC smashed Duke with an impressive 81-67 victory. This win should give them some confidence going into the ACC tournament this weekend.
They are currently ranked 6th in the polls right behind Duke and could be looking at a 2 seed if they are able to keep up their solid play. The Tarheels are led by junior post presence, Tyler Zeller (14 ppg), freshman sensations, Harrison Barnes (14 ppg), frosh point guard Kendall Marshall (6 assits per game) and defensive specialist, 7 footer John Henson (3 blocks per game). I like this team a lot and their play down the stretch could be good sings for the baby blue as they hope to reach another Final Four.
3. University of Connecticut:
Kemba Walker. Nuff Said. This kid straight balls and has the UConn Huskies playing well at the right time. They beat Pitt today on his buzzer beater following an outrageous crossover in the Garden. He averages 23 point and 4 assists per contest and can single-handedly take over. He is clutch, he is quick and he has the heart of a black mamba. I can’t wait to see what he can do during the month of March.
4. UCLA: I really like this Bruins team. I am choosing them as my darkhouse in this year’s bracket and could see a sweet 16 run in them. They use a balance scoring attack and shouldn’t have any issues getting into the field after finishing second in the Pac-10 and destroying first place Arizona down the stretch. They slipped up and lost their chance at a regular season Pac-10 title, but look to rebound in this weekend’s Pac 10 tournament. They finished 22-9 and 13-5 in conference.
5. Morehead St.: My super-sleeper team this year comes from the Ohio Valley Conference. I don’t know why…probably because I like their name More head. They are led by 6’8 Forward Kenneth Faried who is beasting this year, averaging 17. 6 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. He is an NBA prospect and could lead Morehead St. to an improbable run in March. Most people have them penned in as a 15, but there are hopes that they will get a higher seed.
These are my teams to watch in the upcoming tournament…now I am going to sit back and enjoy the madness.
Posted in: College