Tuesday, March 25, 2008

(Sweet) Sixteen Candles: Part II

Don’t worry, I’m not here to reminisce about THIS (Anthony Michael Hall was a complete bad*** though).

Instead, there’s 1 thing each of the remaining tournament teams is just DYING for (or is that just me?).

What might those things be?

Lucky for you…I KNOW!!! (If only I could grant a wish or two…)

The East and Midwest got there pub already, so now let’s move on to the South and West.

South Region

Memphis wishes their depth would be simply too much for the Spartans to handle. One of the major reasons Drew Neitzel was finally able to get his shot going was the extreme fatigue on Ronald Ramon’s legs from chasing him. Fortunately for the Tigers, their rotation is athletic from top to bottom. They’ll be able to run and run … and run as the Big Ten’s Spartans try their best to slow the game down.
Translation: Run, run and run some more!

Michigan State wishes Memphis would continue their terrible performance from the free throw line (15-for-32 against Mississippi State). While it may not be enough to single-handedly take out the Tigers, missing front ends of 1-and-1s in both halves can afford the Spartans an opportunity to further milk the clock and reduce possessions for both teams.
Translation: FOUL FOUL FOUL...whenever necessary.

Stanford wishes the Lopez twins could duplicate their efforts against Marquette for the next
40 minutes of playing time. Despite Texas’s guard-play advantage, the Longhorns don’t have
the bigs up front, much like Marquette, to take away the advantages that the Lopez twins give the Cardinal. Feed them down low early and often and hope their combined 14+-feet can detract Longhorn slashers from attacking the hoop.

West Region

UCLA wishes Kevin Love enjoyed blocking 7 shots against Texas A&M, as they need him to continue his dominance for their interior defense. Due to the incredible proficiency from behind the arc, Western Kentucky can’t be allowed to accumulate easy buckets and second-chance points off of offensive rebounds (long and short). Without Love avoiding ticky-tack fouls and clogging the paint with his long arms, the Bruins might be in for a long night inside and outside of the 3-point line.

Western Kentucky wishes Courtney Lee would have one of those nights that could propel him into the NBA Lottery. A likely first-rounder, Lee would be well off to have a near-40 point night for a variety of reasons. The Hilltoppers need their star to be as good as he can be, if only to open up high-percentage opportunities for his teammates (as well as himself). It’s time for a star to shine out of the Sun Belt.

Xavier wishes they’ll be able to find a lockdown defender to toil with West Virginia’s Joe Alexander. While Xavier’s Stanley Burrell may be the best perimeter defender in the tournament, he isn’t likely to draw Alexander (who can be found all over the court). This means that guys like Josh Duncan and Derrick Brown better have fresh legs and short memories when drawing a scoring talent like Alexander .

West Virginia wishes it could see phenomenal play out of more of its bench. While the Mountaineers relied on 4 of their 5 starters to carry them against Arizona in the first round (68 of their 75 points), without the play of Joe Mazzulla (13, 11, and 8), WVU would’ve had little chance of upsetting the 2-seeded Blue Devils. Problem is, outside of Mazzulla, is there a reliable Mountaineer reserve? That’s why they’re wishing.

And there we have it.

Of course, you may have a wish or two of your own for March Madness. Or an answer or two.

Either way, LET US KNOW!

Until next time…

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