Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Big East Tournament

So it's Syracuse. We get a chance to check out the new uniforms in action against the Irish tomorrow after the Orange used a strong 2nd half to beat Connecticut. It could be worse. The shorts could have been spandex as well (actually 'Cuse's version is a lot more like a real basketball uniform).

Also, what is Kobe Bryant's problem? This smack is a little less blatant than the Manu foul, but there is still no reason for that kind of thing.

But back to Notre Dame basketball. Villanova and Syracuse have advanced so far today, setting up 'Nova/G'Town and ND/Syracuse matchups. As far as the Orange go, it's a team we have beaten on the road before. The second matchup will give the underdogs a little advantage in terms of preparation and the 2-3 zone will be a nuisance, but neither is insurmountable.

A win will bump ND up in seeding, but a loss tomorrow should not hurt too badly. The teams you want to watch are Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, and Louisville. All four are 5 seeds in the latest Bracketology. Should they falter and the Irish win tomorrow, ND will get a little bump.
Things to watch for:

1. Two-man offense- Nichols and Devendorf combined for 37 points against Connecticut. No other Syracuse player scored in double figures.

2. Rebounding battle- Darryl Watkins, Terrence Roberts, and frosh Paul Harris each average about 7 boards a game. Harangody and Kurz must extablish an inside presence and provide the Irish with some second chances.

3. Keep Andy Rautins down- The sophomore scored in double figures for each of Syracuse's five straight wins down the stretch. He had five double figure games the rest of the entire season.

4. What you must do, do quickly- ND's problem on the road is getting down early. In the previous matchup, the Irish scored 62 first half points. That's not all needed tomorrow, but Colin Falls and Russell Carter should be able to make some early baskets and get the offense flowing in the opening minutes.

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