Thursday, March 25, 2010

Butler Did It.. with a candlestick in the kitchen

Before the Kentucky game and between all the hype of this Cornell squad, there are other games to be played. We'll skip the Kentucky game and save the analysis for the Live Blog tonight.

(5) Butler vs (1) Syracuse (-7): The key to the game is the 3. If Butler is on tonight, they will beat the Orange. Syracuse has struggled with teams that hit jumpers and can beat their zone defense. The 2x3 zone is to the 'Cuse like man-to-man was Billy Clyde Gillispie and Kentucky. Jim Boeheim doesn't play any other defense - meaning this teams zone is stellar. On the other hand, that means the other team only has to prepare for one defensive set. Butler comes into the game as a 7 point dog, I look for them to cover the spread, but the 'Cuse to pull it off.

(11)Washington vs (2) West Virginia (-4): Isiah Thomas, the Huskie's 5'8" point guard is called the 1 man fast break. He'll be going up against Joe Mazzula, the one-time starter at West Virginia that is healed from an earlier shoulder injury. He'll receive the start after Darryl Bryant's tournament ending injury. With the point guards injured and hurting, the Mountaineers key will be keeping Mazzula in the game and taking Thomas out. Look for Washington to win if Thomas can get the transition game going. I'm taking Washington in this game because of the Derrick Jasper principal, a point that isn't a threat on offense is a threat to lose the game.

(6)Xavier vs (2)Kansas State (4.5): The Wildcats' most notable figure is their coach Frank Martin. Martin can often be overheard on the sideline ensuring his players of his displeasure with their actions, and as he puts it, he "doesn't coach to be on cameras". Xavier could be headed to the Elite Eight for the third time since 2004 with a win tonight. Kansas States Jacob Pullen will be the key in the game. The Musketeers probably won't be able to stop Pullen, but if they can slow him down (34 points against BYU in second round), they'll stand a chance. I look for Xavier to advance but it'll be a close one.

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