Weekend College Basketball Report - Top 16 Seeds In the NCAA
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FORGET THE OLYMPICS, THIS WEEKEND'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL MENU IS WHAT'S REALLY DELICIOUS!
WE PREVIEW SUNDAY'S TOP TILTS BETWEEN #9 MICHIGAN STATE AT WISCONSIN AND CLEMSON AT #1 SYRACUSE ...
PLUS A QUICKIE PEEK AT WHAT WOULD BE OUR TOP FOUR SEEDS IN EACH REGION FOR NEXT MONTH'S NCAA TOURNAMENT
Trust us ...By the end of this weekend we'll already be quite tired of hearing about Sochi, and security and these Winter Olympics.
What you really want to do on this February weekend is concentrate on the college kids:
Okay, so we know here at Jim Sez we told you all not to fret "March Madness" till it gets here, right? Well, so call us phony baloneys but we've come up with what we believe - right here and right now - would be #1-thru-#4 seeds in each bracket and go ahead and see what you think. If the season ended today, this is how our top 16 seeds would look like: Here's the brackets:
- Wichita State
- San Diego State
- Iowa State
- Michigan State
- Oklahoma State
Right now on the "outside looking in" at a #1-thru-#4 seed would be Texas, Saint Louis and Virginia. Stay tuned.
Now, here's a pair of key Sunday games ...
#9 MICHIGAN STATE (20-3, 9-1 Big 10) at WISCONSIN (18-5, 5-5 Big 10) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Hope the Michigan State Spartans have paid up their health care coverage this year! Just when C Adreian Payne made his return to Sparty's lineup in Thursday's 82-67 win/cover against 14-point underdog Penn State, there was no sign of star PG Keith Appling who missed that Big 10 tilt with a wrist injury - and so it goes for Tom Izzo's crew that isn't expected to have Appling on board here.
Hey, the Spartans won't be getting any sympathy cards from the Wisky Badgers who stagger into this game having lost five of their last seven tilts although Bo Ryan's club did get back on the right track with a 75-63 triumph over 4-point home dog Illinois this past Tuesday night.
The Badgers - sparked by 16-point showings from both Sam Dekker and Ben Brust - really thrived from beyond the three-point arc where Wisconsin canned 10-of-23 triple tries and now we'll see whether or not State allows 'em to get spot-up looks at the hoop from deep ... something tells us Wisconsin's gonna have to go inside more for its production and so keep a close eye here on Payne's foul situation for M-State and whether Wisky can get paint points here.
CLEMSON (15-6, 6-3 ACC) at #1 SYRACUSE (22-0, 9-0 ACC) - 6 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Okay, so the "buildup" to this Atlantic Coast Conference game in upstate New York is hardly gonna match the hype from last weekend's major domo showdown when the 'Cuse scored a thrilling 91-89 non-cover win in overtime versus Duke - still, Jim Boeheim's club has plenty to play for here besides the #1 ranking and an undefeated season.
The Orange knows the schedule gets testier in the days/weeks ahead - Syracuse is at #25 Pittsburgh on Wednesday night and don't forget that Duke rematch come Feb. 22nd -- and so the focus must stay on the here-and-now for this team that's only allowing 59.1 points a game to rank eighth nationally in scoring defense - who said that zones are built for "cowards"?
If Syracuse here can get Clemson backed onto the perimeter than it's a win for the Orange - note Clemson's best three-point scorer is K.J. McDaniels and he's made good on only 25-of-79 trifectas or 31.6 percent of his triple tries - yuck!
On the flip side, the Orange may be a team that loves to get up and down the floor but right now fiery G Trevor Cooney is the unmistakable star of this show having drained 68-of-156 treys for a super 43.6 accuracy rate. Cooney often energizes this 'Cuse attack with a bomb from one corner or the other or maybe out on the wing but here look for the likes of lefty C.J. Fair (a team-leading 16.7 ppg to Cooney's 14.1 ppg average) to try and dissect Clemson in the paint where the Tigers like to play muscle ball with many of its foes.
If Fair gets off 15-to-20 FG attempts here and Cooney drops in a half-dozen triples, than the Orange should cruise to yet another twin-figure victory.
In case you hadn't noticed, Syracuse has beaten 14 of its 22 foes by 10-or-more points ... just sayin'.
Are the Orange an unbeatable this year? We won't say that but it looks like most teams will have to play a near-perfect game to beat Boeheim's bunch - something Duke nearly did a week ago in what was and probably will be the "game of the year" in the college hoops world.NOTE: Get all caught up with the weekend wrap-ups plus Monday/Tuesday previews in the very next edition of Jim Sez.
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