Tuesday, March 25, 2008

(Sweet) Sixteen Candles

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…)

I’ll give the East and Midwest their just-due late tonight, while the South and West will get theirs in 24 hours or so.

East Region

North Carolina wishes they could dictate the pace, up tempo and basket-to-basket running, right from the start. While a replay of their Arkansas game is unlikely, it’s essential that Ty Lawson gets going as early as possible on the offensive side of the ball (especially his jumper).
Translation: Ty Lawson making shots early.

Washington State wishes Wayne Ellington wouldn’t be able to consistently knock down his outside shot. It’d be put more pressure on Green, Lawson, and Ginyard to make the big play outside the paint. Ellington also might then struggle to get to the hoop and effectively aid in breaking down the Cougar attack.
Translation: Don’t let Wayne Ellington bury you from behind the arc.

Louisville wishes Edgar Sosa could play heady-basketball 100% of his on-court playing time. Rather than having to sit him after a few early mistakes (i.e. Oklahoma game), Coach Pitino needs his most talented shotmaker to remain both consistent and careful with the basketball.
Translation: Edgar Sosa…BEHAVE!

Tennessee wishes senior shooting guard Chris Lofton would put on a shooting exhibition. Rather than let the game come to Lofton, the Vols need their senior leader to take charge and knock down early shots. Without it, they will struggle mightily, especially down the stretch matching 3s with the Cardinals.
Translation: Chris Lofton needs to be a better Chris Lofton.

Midwest Region

Kansas wishes they’d realize early in their game that Villanova was a 12-seed for a reason and run them out of the gym before halftime. Exploiting Villanova’s lack of depth and their complete dependence on Scottie Reynolds should allow the Jayhawks to run'n'gun for 40 minutes.
Translation: Run, Chalk, Open Shot, Three is Good, Jayhawk.

Villanova wishes they’d push Kansas to the brink by making their free throws, limiting transition buckets for the Jayhawks, and forcing Kansas into tough decisions with little time on the shot and game clock.
Translation: Make Kansas out-coach and out-execute you in the final minutes.

Wisconsin wishes they would continue to allow the 3-point shot to be an effective part of their offensive arsenal. An above-average 3-point shooting team most of the season, the Badgers were lights out in both halves against the Beasleys. It’s essential the Badgers use this shot – alongside their interior game and the slashing ability of their guards – to have an effective three-pronged attack against resilient Davidson.
Translation: It isn’t just Stephen Curry who needs to make threes early and often.

Davidson wishes Wisconsin would keep the game close throughout the first half. The Wildcats have shown time and time again in this tournament (okay, it’s only been two games) that they aren’t scared of their opponent or any second-half deficit they might face. With that being said, it’s not a good idea to fall behind big to the Badgers. Especially with their suffocating defensive attack and slow-down offense pace being Bo Ryan stalwarts.
Translation: The halftime score better not be approaching double-digits.

See you soon with the South and West regions.
Maybe this post should've been called Eight Candles.

John Hughes would not be happy.

Until next time…

1 comment:

Paymon said...

Danny Green is the key for the Tar Heels. When he is providing energy off the bench and productive on offense, UNC is near unstoppable. Quentin Thomas may see limited playing time, because he lacks the lateral quickness to compete defensively with Rochestie/Low.

If Tony Bennett resorts to having Kyle Weaver (one of the nation's premier defenders) cover Ty Lawson, how will Washington State adjust to a potential mismatch (Ellington v. either the shorter Low or Rochestie)? Though I do not think this will happen, part of Bennett's success early in his career has been due to his ability to avoid the conventional.

This is such an interesting and hopefully one that will be decided (for my sake) before the under-12 media timeout in the second half.