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Saturday, March 17, 2007

3/17/07 - 2nd Round Preview

So after about four days of so-called "experts" and pundits complaining about the Big Ten getting six teams into the Big Dance, I think we can all agree the league proved deserving of those bids and maybe even more. Five of those six teams were victorious in Thursday and Friday's opening round games with Illinois being the only Big Ten team to fall. The story for Big Ten teams in the first round was defense. Note to all those "experts": Just because a league plays defense, doesn't mean the quality of its teams are any less. Only two of the six teams that were matched up against Big Ten teams in the first round scored more than 60 points. Texas A&M-CC (63) against Wisconsin and Arizona (63) against Purdue. And that 63 for Arizona was their 3rd lowest scoring output of the season. So next time you hear Billy Packer and Jim Nantz complaining about the quality of play during the Big Ten Tournament and the lack of any offense, just remember that fewer points are most often caused by great defense, not necessarily poor offense.

Now let's take a look at each remaining Big Ten teams weekend matchups:

Ohio State vs. Xavier
Thad Matta's former team comes calling on Saturday and if the Buckeyes can win they will face the winner of Tennessee and Virginia in the Sweet 16.

Indiana vs. UCLA
After beating Gonzaga in the 1st round 70-57, the Hoosiers now take on the 2-seed UCLA Bruins. The winner of this game will face either Pittsburgh or 11-seed VCU.

Michigan State vs. North Carolina
MSU will need more of the defense they showed in a 61-49 1st round victory over Marquette to knock off 1-seed UNC. If the Spartan's pull off the upset, they will face the winner of USC and Texas.

Wisconsin vs. UNLV
Wisconsin survived a scare against Texas A&M-CC in the 1st round and now face another fast paced offense in UNLV. Should the Badgers win, they would face the Oregon/Wintrhop winner in St. Louis.

Purdue vs. Florida
Purdue held Arizona to only 63 points in their 1st round win over the Wildcats. The Boilermakers will be a significant underdog in their 2nd round game against #1 overall seed and defending champion Florida.

Comments on "3/17/07 - 2nd Round Preview"


Blogger Political Realm said ... (March 18, 2007 at 11:54 PM) : 

I was definitely surprised. They could have been 6/6 even if the refs hadn't swallowed their whistles at the end of the Illinois game.

The Big 10 style is rugged and not much fun to watch, but it can be effective.

Of course, they were also a last minute three pointer away from having all their teams swept out in the second round.


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