Great games last night, but tonight is THE night. In most of my brackets, the winner of the tournament is coming from one of these games. Let's take a look at the tale of the tape.
7:07pm EST - Arizona vs. Louisville - Yes, I was surprised that Arizona made the tournament, but once they were in, I knew they'd mess up some people's brackets. These guys have talent and actually started playing well late in the season and they look like the team that many thought they would be throughout the year. They have their own big 3 in Budinger, Hill, and Wise. These guys have NBA talent and they are scary.
Louisville has the best coach to ever wear a white suit and a few guys that will just flat out out play you. Terrance Williams is possibly the best all around player in the tournament and when you add Clark and Samuels to the mix, that makes this pressing and running team tough to beat. I have Louisville in the title game, so there should be no question about which team I pick.
Projected Winner: Louisville
Syracuse vs. Oklahoma - The team on the roll against the team with the National Player of the Year (yes let's just go ahead and give it to Blake Griffin, no one even close). The Cuse as we all have seen (whoever stayed up to watch that 6 OT game against UCONN) have been playing well. They have one of the best point guards in the country in Jonny Flynn. Along with Flynn they have 4 other guys that average 10+ points a game. To me that means that any of these guys could go off on you at any time. Dangerous team.
Oklahoma is led by Griffin. Blake Griffin. He's a double double machine and he just seems to command attention. The Syracuse 2-3 zone will help limit his touches where he's most dangerous, in the paint. Oklahoma is going to have to hope their guards can hit those 3's. So, with that said, Austin Johnson is going to have to be hitting on all cylinders.
Projected Winner: Syracuse
Kansas vs. Michigan State - Big Ten vs. Big 12. This Kansas team is dangerous because they are deep. Bill Self might play 12 people tonight. Sherron Collins is the cog in the wheel, but this team is balanced and they play a good team game. Aldrich already had a big game, can he do it again?
Michigan State is led by Kalin Lucas and Raymar Morgan. But this Spartan team is also balanced and they push the ball pretty well. Coach Izzo has his team poised to make some noise this year, and I think they take care of Kansas.
Projected Winner: Michigan State
Gonzaga vs. North Carolina - Never has a big toe caused such a stir. Ty Lawson has said he will play and everyone wearing Carolina blue is praying for his toe to heal. If Lawson is at full strength, I don't see anyone beating them. They have too many horses in Ellington, Hansbrough, Green, Thompson, and Frasor. Without Lawson, the Heels will have problems with Gonzaga.
Gonzaga is playing well and they look to be a tough out. I am going to say that I am a Josh Heytvelt fan. This guy hustles and he can stretch the floor with his shooting range. He's a forward but plays mostly center for this team. Austin Daye gives the Bulldogs a Twin Towers look. Although Daye is probably 100 pounds wet with weights on, he throws his body around on the boards and has a decent mid range game for a big. You throw in Bouldin and Pargo and you got a chance for an upset.
Projected Winner: UNC
Ok, I did go with the ACC with my picks, but I think they pull this whole thing off. Can Gonzaga beat UNC? Do you see any other upsets happening?