Folks, we made it. It's March. It's the NCAA Tournament. We have the Barstool Sportsbook live in a handful of states and there's no better time to download it than this month. What I plan on doing on the blog each day is this preview. Everything you need to know. Schedule, storylines, picks, if you want something different let me know and I'll adjust. It's March. It's all about adjustments in order to survive and advance. Let's get into it.
Weirdest Elite Eight of all time. 15 seed, 10 seed, 8 seed, only one 1 seed. Just mayhem everywhere.
Storylines for each game
1. Coach K's last run keeps going - I mean as I said before, this is the story of the NCAA Tournament. Everyone is going to talk about if he wins or who beats him. But let's just focus on this matchup with Arkansas. I actually think Jaylin Williams matches up as well as you can against Paolo. The problem is Arkansas doesn't really have a match for Mark Williams. We saw Muss throw a bunch of different looks in how he doubled Timme and blitzed Nembhard on screens. You have to do that again, but with Williams on Paolo as much as possible. On the flip side, Duke went 2-3 against Texas Tech and I'd bet we see that again. Arkansas is actually a worse shooting team than Tech and we know they live and die with JD Notae out there. We also know that's a way to hide Duke's defense against a decent offense. Then for Duke there's Jeremy Roach. I still can't believe he's a large reason as to why they beat Texas Tech. He was …. not great to put it lightly to start his career. But he's somehow turned back into WCAC legend Jeremy Roach. At the same time Trevor Keels has sort of turned back into a role player that hasn't done much. I'm curious to see if these keeps growing and how Arkansas develops the gameplan defensively to take away the post and Roach if he starts cooking.
2. Kelvin Sampson vs Jay Wright - This is an elite, ELITE coaching matchup. I still can't stress how ridiculous it is what Sampson did with this Houston program, especially after losing Mark/Sasser this year. They rely on this ball pressure and defensive mentality along with just crashing the hell out of the glass. Now the weird thing is Houston will give up a ton of looks from the 3pt line, but they contest them. Nova is going to have to make those quick knockdown shots because they won't really be able to invert the offense like they tend to like to. You can't put your guards in the post against this Houston lineup. Now within the game two biggest things for me. How healthy is Collin Gillespie after tweaking his knee in the last game? Then how is the game called. If it's called tight, Nova has a huge advantage. They are the best free throwing shooting team in the country while Houston is 327th.
18-9-1 in the NCAA Tournament
Arkansas/Duke over 147.5