Rock Chalk Talk NCAA Tournament Roundtable

The real tournament tips this morning, or perhaps early afternoon depending on your timezone, but it kicks off nonetheless in true first round fashion with Clemson and West Virginia.

Before we get things going with all day basketball action we're tossing around a few tournament related questions as a part of our first roundtable with the new crew in full.  Feel free to chime in with your thoughts or just mock ours.  But whatever you do, don't ignore these last minute words of wisdom to help you second guess those bracket selections before the deadline. Today's questions:

  1. Which region is the most difficult and why?
  2. What's your top first round upset pick?
  3. Top seed that bows out first?
  4. Big 12 record after the first weekend?
  5. Sleeper Final Four team?
  6. Final Four picks?
  1. Which region is the most difficult and why?

Owen :

I'll get it going and say the obvious pick at the moment which is the East.  UNC at #2, Kentucky at a #4 and Syracuse at a #3 gives you three teams that know how to win in March and obviously the top seed Ohio State is in that mix.  Looking even deeper you have three lower seeds coming from major conferences and two from the Big East.  Either the Big East falls on it's face or it's going to prove battle tested, if it's proves to be as strong as everyone thinks then this is a tough draw with plenty of stumbling blocks and a strong group of high seeds.

Fetch:

Yeah I think it's the East as well. But to play Devil's Advocate a bit (no pun intended), I'll stick up for Duke and their road. Having to potentially play San Diego State in Anaheim is no fun, and that's if they even get there. Texas-Duke is a very tight Sweet 16 game, especially since Dogus Balbay should be able to defend Nolan Smith pretty well, and I think the Michigan/Tennessee winner has enough to give Duke a bit of a game as well.

Warden:

I've got Texas in the Final Four out of that one.  They were so good early in the year and Duke has no answer for Tristan Thompson.

Owen:

I took Texas out of that region too, but the potential addition of Kyrie Irving is a bit intriguing.  Duke was pretty damn good with him early in the year but he's been sitting for nearly four months, that has to mess with chemistry at this point one would think.

Hip:

To answer the original question, I'd lean the east, simply because of how well Kentucky has been playing.  The West is no slouch, but I'm just not a believer in SDSU. I had originally leaned Texas there, but if UCONN gets it going again, it matches up well for them too.  And like you all, I'll be very anxious to see how Irving looks. When I saw Duke with him at the CBE, I knew we were all looking up at them this year. But he can't possibly be that effective now, can he?

 

  1. What's your top first round upset pick?



Owen:

I'll go Belmont over Wisky.  The Sconies scored 33 points in their loss to Penn State in the Big 10 tourney.  Belmont can beat em. They are the 9th best shooting team in the country and  #19 in terms of defensive efficiency.

Fetch:

Belmont does seem like the obvious pick, so I'll go a little off board and I'm going to say Oakland over Texas. Texas is swooning a bit here late in the season and Keith Benson is the real deal. Oakland is also the 2nd best two point shooting team in the country, so it should be interesting seeing them matched up with Texas. I also tentatively like Morehead State over Louisville.

Warden:

Obviously disagree with fetch since I've got Texas making it to Houston.  I'm taking Richmond over Vanderbilt.  The 12-5 matchup and I'm tempted to say Utah State but just have trouble going against Kansas State that early.  Last year was very light on upsets, I think this year we're going to see lower seeded teams winning often.

Owen:

Northern Colorado over SDSU?  Make it so!  Doubtful but I just think it'd be fun for Colorado college bball fans since they've had a bit of a rough week.

Hip:

For variety's sake, I'll go Utah state over KState. They can guard you, and KState's offense can get ugly in a hurry if they aren't on a roll. If they keep the Cats off the offensive glass, I think they're in great shape.

 

  1. Top seed that bows out first?

Owen:

Duke.  First off they play the Thursday/Saturday docket on the second weekend so that puts them out in front since Kansas and Ohio State play Friday/Sunday.  Throw in a second round matchup against Michigan or Tennessee and a Sweet Sixteen game against Texas as a possibility and that leads me to believe that the defending champs won't be playing in the Elite Eight this year.

Fetch:

Even though they look to have the easiest road, I'm going to say Pitt. They have a history of struggles in the tournament and while it's unfair to pin that on this team they don't defend terribly well, and whomever comes out of the Wisky/Belmont/Utah State/K State pod is going to be tough in the Sweet 16.

Warden:

Duke, Texas is going to get them and send them home.  I can also see Pittsburgh losing to Wisconsin.  Think both of those would be Sweet Sixteen losses.  Kansas is going to win it all (obviously) and Ohio State's going to the Final Four, so those teams are out.

Owen:  

Similar to my mention up top but would Kyrie Irving change your opinion?  I think I'd stick with Duke but Pitt would probably be my second.

Hip:

Right now, Duke is the only 1 seed I don't have in the FF, but I'll still say Pitt here, because of the chance they lose to Butler. they might have the easiest road, but I trust them the least.

 

  1. Big 12 record after the first weekend?

Owen:

5-3.  KU (2-0), Texas (2-0), A&M (1-1), Missouri (1-1), KSU (0-1).  I'm sure I'll whiff on K-State but everyone is all over them right now and while I think they are good, I do think they are over-hyped again and that could backfire.

Fetch:

I'm going out on a limb and I am going to say 8-2. I think Kansas and Mizzou  get out of the first weekend and I think K State and A&M go 1-1, though to be honest I wouldn't be shocked if both A&M and K State make it out of the first weekend as well.

Warden:

Hmm, I think Missouri is out the first weekend.  They were so bad offensively at the end of the season, that just kills them.  Can't get into their press when they don't score, I'll be shocked if they can win two games.  Guess I'm at 5-3 with Owen; Missouri, A&M, and K-State are all home before the second weekend.

Hip:

5-3, with only KU and Texas getting through.

 

  1. Sleeper Final Four team?

Owen:

I'll go Texas at a #4.  They need Thompson to be a factor but I think they have challenged themselves this year and while some of that has been a struggle of late, they are still a pretty good team.

Fetch:

Gotta be Kentucky for me. They're ranked 7th in KenPom and if they can overcome the fact that they rely a lot on Freshmen and have a terrible game coach I like their ability to make a run, even though they're in Ohio State's bracket.

Warden:

Texas, again.  How they became a 4 is beyond me, so I'm not even sure if they should count.  Wisconsin is my other pick, IF they can get by Belmont.  They have the ability to control games and betting against a player like Jordan Taylor in the tournament just seems like an awful idea.

Hip:

Texas is the lowest seed I have there, but that's not a pick I trust at all anyway. So I'll say, Gonzaga. And believe me, that's not a team I'm high on. But they have a winnable draw, particularly if Pitt gets knocked off. SJU lost their post presence, so did BYU. And Florida's not all that good, even if they get past Mich St/UCLA. To be honest, I won't be surprised with a single team from the bottom of that bracket (outside if Wofford and UCSB).

 

  1. Final Four picks?

Owen:

Kansas, Syracuse, Pitt, Texas

Fetch:

Ohio State, BYU, San Diego State, Purdue

Warden:

Kansas, Ohio State, Texas, Wisconsin

Owen:

Fetch must REALLY love the Mountain West.  You sure you don't want to stick UNLV in there since you're picking against Kansas anyway?  What happened to that whole "we're the best team" deal you've been preaching for months?

Hip:

Ohio State, Kansas, Pitt, Texas. To piggyback on Owen's point, what was the last MWC team to make the sweet 16, let alone the FF?

Fetch:

I do think we're the best team. I also know that the tournament is a one game elimination scenario and so that terrifies me. We were the best team last year too, KenPom be damned, but we were undone by effort issues, and that is our one weakness this year as well.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Rock Chalk Talk

You must be a member of Rock Chalk Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rock Chalk Talk. You should read them.

Join Rock Chalk Talk

You must be a member of Rock Chalk Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rock Chalk Talk. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker