Monday, March 8, 2010

Championship Week Continues

Four more bids up for grabs tonight, but five teams made it into the tournament with the first upset guaranteeing the first at-large bid.

Colonial: Old Dominion
  • What they do well: They play fundamental ball with good post play and ball movement. They generate most of their offense inside with big men who can face up from the perimeter and drive.
  • Cinderella Watch (out of 10): 4. They could be about a 10-seed and will be one of the favorite upset picks for the first round. I'm not buying it. A mid-major that doesn't shoot from three and can't hit their free throws? That doesn't sound like a successful tournament team to me.

MAAC: Siena

  • What they do well: Defense and balanced offense. All five starters were all-MAAC with three on the first team. Senior point guard Ronald Moore leads the nation in assists with almost eight a game.
  • Cinderella Watch (out of 10): 5. They may not have star Kenny Hasbrouck anymore, but they are very experienced. They've won their first round NCAA game in each of the last two years. The experience showed as they had to come back in each game of the MAAC tourney, culminating in a 15-point comeback tonight to eventually win the game in overtime. Plus, 12-seed, anyone?

Southern: Wofford

  • What they do well: Play defense and score on the inside. They have the ability to pop from outside when necessary.
  • Cinderella Watch (out of 10): 1. They lost relatively close early in the season at Pittsburgh and at Michigan State. They won at Georgia and beat South Carolina. They'll be a 14-seed, so the going will be very tough, but some of the 3-seeds this year could be teams that are playing poorly right now like Villanova. They'll be a crowd favorite as this is the first time Wofford has ever made it into any postseason tournament, much less the NCAA one.

West Coast Conference: St. Mary's

  • What they do well: Omar Samhan is one of the better big men in the country and he controls the middle both offensively and defensively. They don't have the guard play that they had last year when they were the first team left out of the tournament, but their guards can penetrate a little and shoot well from outside.
  • Cinderella Watch (out of 10): 7. They come in hot, having blown out Gonzaga in tonight's championship game. They'll be a 10- or 11-seed, so they'll have at least one winnable game. I'm thinking of Cleveland State out of the Horizon last year who beat a ranked opponent (Butler in their case) in their conference championship game, came into the tourney rolling, and blew out a good team (Wake) in the first round. St. Mary's was on the bubble, so they were a good team to begin with. They are going to be a very tough matchup in the first round.

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