Bacon Bits: Tournament Predictions

Posted: March 8, 2011 by Bacon in Kentucky Basketball, Louisville Basketball, Outside the Ville

The Mid-Majors have been underway but today starts the power conference tournament. Well at least the Big East started today because they are as large as the NBA they have to start a day early. So even though by the time I finish and post this Bacon Bits entry a couple of games will be finished, don’t worry cause I wasn’t going with Connecticut or any other day one winner in the Big East tournament so it means nothing to me.

ACC Tournament

Since 1997 only Maryland in 2004 has a team not named Duke or North Carolina won the ACC tournament. Duke has won 9 of the last 12 tournaments  North Carolina and Duke are going to be on a path to meet in the finals this year. Florida State could have been a threat but lack of offense and the loss of Chris Singleton is too much to overcome. I love Jordan Williams at Maryland but Garry Williams seems to have given up this season and their guards ar well below average.  A rubber match from the regular season that saw North Carolina fans look like morons storming the court after beating Duke to win the regular season title in their second match-up.  The winner of this game will be in line possibly for a #1 seed. Winner: Duke

Big 12 Conference

Kansas has won 4 of the last 5 Big 12 tournaments.  The Jayhawks should have no trouble returning to the title game again this year as well. The question is will they get a rematch there with Texas or will the Longhorns hit another speed bump of poor defense and choking on the way there as they have the last week or so. Texas has never won this tournament, but of course it’s only been going on since 1997 and Kansas has 7 of those 14 titles. I like some upsets on this tournament. Colorado knocking off Kansas State before losing to Kansas and Missouri over Texas A&M before losing to Texas. In the end this should be a Jayhawk/Longhorn rematch, a game Texas won 74-63 in Lawerance earlier this season. Winner: Kansas 

Big Ten Tournament

This could be a tournament with some surprises. Ohio State is my favorite to win the national title this year ( hope I didn’t blow the surprise when I do my NCAA tournament post later on) but that doesn’t mean they will make it out of this tournament alive.  Michigan State has been a train wreck this year but I really like them to beat Iowa in-game one and then upsetting Purdue in the next round. Wisconsin will end their run though, sorry Izzo fans. On the other end I can’t decide who I like in the Illinois/Michigan match-up, even though I am leaning towards Michigan but either way I like the winner of that game to pull off the upset over the Buckeyes. I will go on record as saying it will be a Michigan/ Wisconsin Big Ten final. The Wolverines have played well the last two months. Losses to Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Illinois but all close games they had a chance to win. John Beilein knows the glass slipper has fit before but sorry Michigan fans, the slipper will shatter. Winner: Wisconsin

Pac-10 Tournament

In a tournament that in its short history that has never had back-to-back winners there is no surprise that this years Pac-10 tournament could be a clusterfu…..well you know. Arizona is your top seed but is not unbeatable. I like the job Sean Miller has done in the desert but I see an upset in their future to the #4th seeded USC Trojans in their second game. Washington may have the most talent on their roster than anyone in the Pac-10, imagine if they could have hung on to Terrence Jones, but I am not a fan of head coach Lorenzo Romar. I am going with a UCLA/USC final here. These two teams split in the regular season. I think Trojan big man Nikola Vucevic  is underrated. He had 20 points in USC’s win vs UCLA earlier this season but I like Howland vs Kevin O’Neal and I think UCLA was just one to many weapons for the Trojans. Winner: UCLA

SEC Tournament

I am starting this prediction off by telling you I see Kentucky rolling through this tournament on their way to the SEC final. They will have no trouble with the Ole Miss/South Carolina winner or will they struggle with Alabama if that is who they (and I think they will) meet. On the other side Vanderbilt will knock off LSU (who hasn’t) and then “upset” Mississippi State, while I expect a nice game between Tennessee and Florida in the quarterfinal. I am not sold on Florida and point guard Walker. I am also not sold on Tennessee when they play a lesser team. Lucky for Vol fans they are considered the underdog here. Tennessee swept in state rivals Vanderbilt in the regular season but their luck will run out here. I see a finals match up between Kentucky and Vandy. A game between one school who has won 28 SEC tournament title vs another who has won one SEC tournament title. Need I really say which is which? This will be a battle, much like these two team previous games this year but I see a number 2 title in someone’s future. Winner: Vanderbilt

Big East Tournament

The only tournament (power conference tournament) that started on Tuesday, has already seen before I finished writing this, UConn winning. The Huskies could and I think will go on and knock off Georgetown as well but their run ends versus Pittsburgh. St. John’s is becoming the trendy upset pick in this tournament and why not? It is played basically in their home court, a court that has seen them beat Duke, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Villanova there the last two months. Picking the winner of this tournament isn’t easy. I will say Notre Dame (overrated) will go down early. Villanova has the talent to do it but haven’t been playing well. Cincinnati  lost to the Irish this season but was won 6 of their last 7, including two wins over Georgetown and a win over Louisville. I see Pittsburgh getting revenge on St. John’s, right after the Red Storm get their revenge in upsetting Syracuse.  Call me a homer but I do like Louisville to get passed West Virginia and then past whoever upsets Notre Dame to meet up with Pittsburgh in the Big East final. The Cardinals and Panthers have won two of the last three tournaments. These two teams fought it out in the Yum! Center earlier in the year with maybe one of the craziest finishes I’ve ever seen but as a Louisville fan it hurts me to say this rematch will not be as sweet a finish for the Cards. Winner: Pittsburgh

 

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