First game of the night is the obvious headliner on this site, Michigan vs Tennessee. This game has been analyzed from every angle on this site already. I think the key to this game is foul trouble, specifically concerning the big men. While our bench is good, it is not deep. Tennessee's bench is not good or deep. If either Stokes or Maymon pick up two quick ones, I don't think Tennessee would be able to overcome that. At the same time, Morgan and Horford can't be picking up any cheap ones. Beilfeldt might be able to hold up, but I'd rather not need to find out. It will be important for GR3 to be able to take advantage of his mismatch on the offensive end, as well.
Tipping off shortly after Michigan is UConn vs Iowa State. This is a game dominated by great guard play. UConn is led by Shabazz Napier (who's been so good people are starting to compare him to Kemba, for better or worse) and Ryan Boatright. Iowa State has DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim, who are both very good. Neither team has great big men play, especially with the loss of Niang for ISU. This game likely comes down to which duo has the better game. If either has an off night, that could be all it takes to be sent home.
The second game in the Midwest regional is Kentucky vs Louisville. Kentucky won the first time the two teams played this year, in the regular season. Kentucky played its best game of the season against Wichita St last weekend, but it was in part because of uncharacteristically good outside shooting. If Kentucky IS making its shots, they are just about as good as anyone. Russ Smith played a very poor game the first time the two teams played, so look for him to have a good revenge game.
The last game of the night features Staee taking on ACC champion Virginia. State would appear to have more talent on paper, but Virginia plays fantastic team defense, and their offense is nothing to sneeze at either. I think the key to this game is State's ability to force turnovers and get some easy buckets in transition. If they can't do that, it could be a long night for them trying to generate baskets against Virginia's half court defense.
Michigan 72, Tennessee 65
UConn 79, Iowa State 77
Louisville 66, Kentucky 61
MSU 67, Virginia 64
From what I've read, this is considered to be the deepest draft since the Lebron draft. Perhaps that depth will push McGary and possibly Robinson to return.
Northwestern finished 11th in the Big Ten last year with a 6-12 record. There is no guarantee that they will get any better as they lose some key players. 10th Year senior Drew Crawford finally graduates, and they also lose seniors Nikola Cerina, and James Montgomery the third. Kale Abrahamson, and Chier Ajou also are transferring. Northwestern loses 26% of their assists, 29% of their rebounds, 32% of their minutes, and 34% of their points. They do bring in 4 freshmen so that could be promising.
Here is their projected roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
23 Jershon Cobb 6-5 205 RS.SR. G
Cobb will have to be their go to guy, losing Crawford means a huge void in scoring. Cobb showed the ability last year to take over, he may be able to this year as well. Cobb will be the starting Small Forward.
3 Dave Sobolewski 6-1 180 SR. G
The starting Point Guard, got hurt last year, but will continue to start. Takes A LOT of shots, but does not make many of them.
14 Tre Demps 6-2 193 RS.JR G
Demps was another player that could score in bursts, he will be the starting Shooting Guard and the second go-to scorer.
22 Alex Olah 7-0 265 JR. C
Olah is a foul magnet, but is a large body that hopefully can continue his defensive prowess. The latest installment in the old looking young guy series. Starting Center.
34 Sanjay Lumpkin 6-6 210 RS. SO F
Lumpkin will be the starting Power Forward, and will look to add to his 3.8 points per game. He will most likely add to his points due to the large amounts of minutes he will get.
31 Aaron Liberman 6-10 215 RS.SO C
Liberman did not play much this year, and probably won't play that much this year either.
32 Nathan Taphorn 6-7 190 SO. F
The 6th man, Taphorn averaged 2.5 points last season and he is going to be an important piece going forward.
Victor Law 6-6 185 FR. F
Northwesterns highest touted recruit, a Four star, that could be playing meaningful minutes right away.
Bryant McIntosh 6-3 175 FR. G
A three star, will most likely be the first guard off the bench.
Scott Lindsey 6-5 180 FR. F
Another three star, probably a 8 minute a game kind of guy.
Johnnie Vassar 5-11 175 FR. PG
Most likely a redshirt
Projected Starting Lineup:
Point Guard: Dave Sobolewski
Shooting Guard: Tre Demps
Small Forward: Jershon Cobb
Power Forward: Sanjay Lumpkin
Center: Alex Olah
Northwestern will not be good. I think they will finish 12th in the conference with a 5-13 record. They are very thin, and not uber experienced.
Michigan plays them at Home and Away, which again is very favorable.
Next up... Indiana.
SI updated their NBA draft big board today:
Stauskas' stock continues to rise as he looks more and more like a lottery pick. His only issue is defense - which tons of players coming into the NBA have that issue.
The good news (selfishly for us) is no mention of Robinson or McGary.
In summary - not much here that we didn't already know. Stauskas is likely 95% gone, and Robinson/McGary are probably 50/50.
There was a day when the Sweet Sixteen only reminded me of what a dumpster fire the Michigan basketball program was. This time brought with it only a passing interest in the NCAA tourney after the first day rush, it brought resentment and envy, it brought myself to the brink of actively cheering for Michigan State because at least I knew their player's names and because I was sick of watching Butler and George Mason. Those days are over. Happy Sweet Sixteen Day. I hope I like my present. BEAT THE VOLS.
I vowed to have a wallpaper done for ya'll for tomorrow's game and HERE IT IS! I actually made two, and while I definitely like the first one best, the second actually took me longer to put together. I just was TOO frustrated with my keyboard/mouse combo that I have yet to replace to go any further in refining it. Hope you like them. As always, constructive criticism and/or ideas for future wallpapers are welcome. BEAT THE VOLS! CHARLES WOODSON! 2014!
"Simply Sixteen" Desktop (1920x1080):
"I'll Take That One" Desktop (1920x1080):