Every Single Damn Thing You Need To Get The Juices Flowing For Sunday's Elite Eight Games
Alright, no more blowouts please. I can't do a standalone blowout. Give me more of the FAU/Kansas State game. I said that was peak college basketball. You had big time shots. You had memorable plays. You had the star in Nowell vs Cinderella. You had a lot of dumbass mistakes. That's what makes college basketball great. That's what makes an Elite Eight game great. Not watching UConn beat the everliving shit out of Gonzaga.
Want the juices flowing? Here you go.
A little respect for Carsen Edwards and Markquis Nowell. Two guys who were unreal during the Tournament only to lose in heartbreaking fashion in the Elite Eight. This is who Nowell was during the run. It was fun to watch (minus one game). It's also what makes the NCAA Tournament great. You can have the hot player and then it all comes to an end before the Final Four.
Two spots left.
1. Guard play dominates
I'll keep saying it. You need dominant guards to win in March. Both these teams have them. We saw Miami's guards beat Houston. They beat them by pushing tempo, flying around and Pack hitting seven threes. But they are balanced. I said it after Miami beat them. One game it's Pack, one it's Wong, one it's Miller. They try to exploit the hot hand vs the mismatch. Texas on the other hands exploits the mismatch. They run a bunch of dribble hand offs and some faux motion to get one of their guards Hunter/Rice/Carr on the guy they want to attack. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hunter try to get some downhill motion against Pack. But the biggest question is how does Texas defend, especially without Disu? Remember Disu played a couple minutes against Xavier and then was put in a boot. I doubt he plays. If he does, he isn't playing a lot. They got a massive game from Bishop but the problem is the depth. Instead of Brock Cunningham playing spot minutes and giving guys a breather, he's going to have to play close to 20. Miami just spaces you out and that's where Texas can get caught.
2. Winner of tempo, winner of the game
Another offense vs defense game. We saw SDSU beat Alabama by controlling the game. They mucked it up, hit enough shots to stay close and then punched Alabama in the mouth. They took Brandon Miller out of the game. They dared Quinerly to keep driving and getting blocked at the rim. They made the game ugly. That's what you have to do against Creighton. Yeah, Creighton is fine in the halfcourt and can execute there, but they can get sloppy. We saw Princeton move to that 1-3-1 and aggravate Creighton to at least make it interesting late. The biggest advantage for Creighton though is actually defensively. Mensah simply can't bring Kalkbrenner away from the rim and you have the Big East DPOY that can hang around. We also saw SDSU throw up bricks. That will happen. They look to attack the midrange a lot, which is something I despise. This game is ultimately going to come down to Ryan Nembhard and Trey Alexander handling SDSU's defense. They are going to be aggressive, pressure and try to beat them up. You can't turn it over and give SDSU free points on runouts. If they handle the pressure, the halfcourt offense can be executed and we know Creighton can shoot the hell out of the ball.
116-98-3 (+22.68) on the year on Twitter, mind as well add it to the blog
24-15 (+10.43) in the NCAA Tournament
UConn/Creighton ML +184 (placed last night obviously)