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Perfect NCAA Tournament Picks
by: Michael Jeffries - Volume Shooter
March 15, 2006
Itís late in the week, and your NCAA tournament brackets are sloppier than Tara Reid. Your team of consultants includes every print and internet pundit on the face of the earth, your friends, your shrink, and your Magic 8 Ball. Looking for direction in these troubling times can be tough on all of us, but luckily, DraftExpress.com readers now have an ace up their sleeve: me. Itís time to get paid, so dive into your office pool and let me be your water wings. Here are all the NCAA Tournament winners, round by round until the nets are cut down.

Atlanta Region

Round 1: Duke, UNC Wilmington, Texas A&M, LSU, WVU, Iowa, Cal, Texas
No big surprises here, save Texas A&M, who will send the Orange packing in a horribly ugly game. Iím pretty sure Gerry MacNamaraís deal with the Devil only covered him through the Big East Tournament, and Jim Boeheim is the only other guy on the Syracuse bench who can hit a shot from outside of 12 feet. What saddens me isnít that G-Macís career will come to a crashing halt with an upset loss, but that no one has the heart to tell him that his Crayola Crayon chin-strap beard isnít fooling the public any more.

Round 2: Duke, LSU, WVU, Texas
Sorry Iowa, youíve been Pittsnogled. The over under on how many times the announcers mention Kevinís wife and newborn son, Kwincy, during this game is 897,375,780.

Round 3: Duke, Texas
No points for originality here, these two teams are favorites for a reason. LSU doesnít have a quality win since January, and Duke will expose Glen Davis as more of a Baby Oliver Miller than a Baby Shaq. The Texas-West Virginia game will be an absolute classic, but WVU has no answer for the Longhorns inside, where P.J. Tucker and Brad Buckman will out-rebound the entire Mountaineer team.

Bracket Winner: Duke
Coach K is a leader who happens to coach basketball. He is also a leader who happens to have led his team into Austin earlier this season and embarrassed Texas worse than Vince Youngís Wonderlic test score. Everyone is scared to pick the Blue Devils because of Greg Paulusís shaky point guard play, but Dockery is a steady replacement if the freshman loses his head, and the Texas backcourt isnít good enough defensively to exploit Dukeís biggest weakness.

Oakland Region

Round 1: Memphis, Bucknell, Pitt, Kansas, Indiana, Gonzaga, Marquette, UCLA
You would think, after all this time, that Oral Roberts University would just change its name to Roberts. The ďOral sucksĒ chant has to be the lowest hanging fruit on the taunting tree. Of course, we at DraftExpress.com are too classy to pick at such fruit, but Memphis fans will sing it loud and proud after they go up 20 in the first half.

Round 2: Memphis, Kansas, Indiana, UCLA
Since Mike Davis resigned, his team has been playing like a house afire, which leads me to their upset of the Zags, which will happen for 2 reasons. First, theyíll get ball pressure on Derek Raivio, who wants no part of physical tournament play because he has the body of a 14 year old. Second, Davis is no dummy, so heíll get himself ejected early in the game to ensure that he canít sabotage the Hoosiers as they get into crunch time. If the Hoosiers can block everything out, including the coachís directions, they should win by at least 10.

Round 3: Kansas, UCLA
This just in, Kansas is for real. Their freshmen arenít freshmen anymore and theyíve got no weaknesses on either side of the ball. When they won the Big 12 Tournament, Bill Self didnít crack a smile, because he knows how good they are. Rushís draft stock is going to be so high after the Sweet 16, he might skip the rest of the tournament.

Bracket Winner: UCLA
Picking against myself here, because I didnít like UCLAís backcourt chemistry a month ago. I still donít like it, but they donít have to leave the state of California to get to the Final Four, and home court advantage matters as the pressure builds.

Washington, D.C. Region

Round 1: UConn, Kentucky, Utah State, Illinois, Michigan State, UNC, Seton Hall, Tennessee
Iíve never understood why 16 seeds donít forfeit their games. Albany had a landmark win in their conference tournament, and if I were them, Iíd want to skip the game against UConn and end the season on a high note. So take the trip to D.C., go see the monuments, and call it a weekend.
Also of note, George Masonís best player is suspended for their first round game against Michigan State for punching an opponent in the testicles. Just thought Iíd throw that out there.

Round 2: UConn, Illinois, Michigan State, Tennessee
Two of college basketballís great truths emerge here. First, it doesnít matter who or where Michigan State plays, theyíre going to the Sweet 16. Second, it doesnít matter what Bruce Pearlís suit is made of, heís going to sweat right through it. You could get NASA to come to the Tennessee campus and personally outfit Pearl in some anti-matter full body invisible cloak; heíd wear it out like a piece of tissue paper.

Round 3: UConn, Michigan State
This is the round that Rudy Gay wakes up and realizes that sleepwalking through these games might actually be hurting his draft stock. Illinois has a bunch of tough, savvy players who concentrate on defense, but there is no answer for Gay when he decides to turn it on.

Bracket Winner: UConn
Poor Paul Davis. Going up against Boone and Armstrong all night canít be good for his chronic depression and anxiety. It also canít be good for his draft stock, and NBA scouts will notice a lot of Curtis Borchardt in his game when heís matched up with athletes his size. As talented as UConn is, this season should be considered a failure if they donít make it to the Final Four.

Minneapolis Region

Round 1: Villanova, Arizona, Nevada, BC, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgetown, Ohio State
The biggest bone I have to pick with the committee isnít Utah State, or Air Force, which somehow snuck at large in despite playing in dreadful conferences. Arizona getting an 8 seed is without question, the most outrageous development of the college basketball season. The Wildcats were 19-12 overall and 6-6 in their last 12. They beat one ranked opponent all year, and that win was in December. An 8 seed?! Preposterous! They threw their best defender off the team and then reinstated him when Lute Olson realized he couldnít beat Oregon or Oregon State without Rodgersís help. I hope Wisconsin beats the ĎCats to a bloody, overrated pulp, and the committee stops rewarding programs for past glory. Unfortunately, it wonít happen.

Round 2: Villanova, BC, Florida, Ohio State
Hate the players, not the game. Itís no fun picking the top four seeds to go to the Sweet 16, but I just donít see anyone matching up with the talent on these four rosters. If they were in different regions, these teams could all end up in Indianapolis.

Round 3: BC, Florida
The more Billy Donovanís hairline recedes, the more I like the job heís done with Florida this year. Green and Noah have clearly emerged as money players who bring it every night, and the rest of the team knows their roles and plays to win. I donít know how he did it, but Donovan made the basketball Gators more relevant than the football Gators, which is the equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of one of Steve Spurrierís old visor.

Bracket Winner: BC
BC is the best road/neutral site team in the country, and Al Skinner recruits second tier prospects who play with a huge collective chip on their shoulder. The Eagles are going to turn this game into a wrestling match, and in a wrestling match, Iíll take Craig ďTwisted SteelĒ Smith over Joakim ďThe Pony TailĒ Noah any day of the week.

Final Four Winners: Duke; UConn

Once UCLA leaves California and the stands at their games are filled with noticeably fewer aspiring models and actresses, the Bruins will forget what theyíre playing for: attention from chicks. With nothing but basketball to motivate them, Ben Howlandís defense-first tactics will seem less and less appealing with every heartbreaking contested jumper J.J. Redick nails, and Afflalo and Farmar will forget about the game and start daydreaming about the homecoming party in Westwood during the second half. Canít blame them.
UConn vs. Boston College is going to be an absolute war, but I just think the Huskies will shoot it a little better when it counts. This will be the type of game that reminds Al Skinner why he was happy to leave the Big East, and reminds Jim Calhoun why he recruits first and worries about coaching later. Talent counts, and blue chip prospects beat leftovers.

Champions: UConn

Congratulations to the Huskies! Iíve already covered all the reasons UConn is better than the rest, talent, depth, coaching, etc. So let me leave you all with this: If your picks are wrong, you will have lost your money for no reason. If my picks are wrong, I will have lost your money for no reason. This burden, I can bear, so lean on me.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to volumeshooter@gmail.com .

 

Glen Davis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 298 lbs.
Birthday: 01/03/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: University
Previous Team: LSU , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #5 in 2007 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
12.1 Pts, 6.3 Rebs, 1.6 Asts


Oliver Miller
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 318 lbs.
Birthday: 04/06/1970
44 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Fort Worth Southwest
Previous Team: Arkansas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #22 in 1992 Draft
by the Suns
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
2.5 Pts, 2.7 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


Brad Buckman
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 238 lbs.
Birthday: 01/11/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Westlake
Previous Team: Texas , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
11.4 Pts, 6.8 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Greg Paulus
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Birthday: 07/04/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Christian Brothers
Previous Team: Duke , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
4.9 Pts, 1.3 Rebs, 1.3 Asts




Derek Raivio
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 168 lbs.
Birthday: 11/13/1984
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Mountain View
Previous Team: Gonzaga , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
18.6 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 4.3 Asts


Rudy Gay
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 222 lbs.
Birthday: 08/17/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Spalding
Previous Team: Connecticut , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #8 in 2006 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
6.0 Pts, 3.7 Rebs, 1.4 Asts


Paul Davis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 250 lbs.
Birthday: 07/22/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Rochester
Previous Team: Khimki , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #4 in 2006 Draft
by the Clippers
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
10.3 Pts, 4.8 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Curtis Borchardt
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 238 lbs.
Birthday: 09/13/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Eastlake
Previous Team: Stanford , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #18 in 2002 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
8.9 Pts, 7.7 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Billy Donovan
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 171 lbs.
Birthday: 05/30/1965
49 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. Agnes
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 3, Pick #22 in 1987 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
2.4 Pts, 0.6 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Al Skinner
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 06/16/1952
62 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Plymouth
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 9, Pick #16 in 1974 Draft
by the Celtics
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
1.0 Pts, 0.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


J.J. Redick
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 06/25/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cave Spring
Previous Team: Duke , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #11 in 2006 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
15.2 Pts, 2.1 Rebs, 2.3 Asts


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