View Full Version : Vegas Insider Sweet 16 Predictions

11-02-2009, 05:31 AM
Taken from Brian Edwards blog @ http://www.vegasinsider.com/college-basketball/story.cfm/story/915395

(formatting errors are mine)

Sweet 16 Preseason Rankings

1 Kansas - When Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins opted to return to school, there was no doubt the Jayhawks would be the nation’s pre-season No. 1. KU returns everybody from last year’s squad that lost to Michigan St. in the Sweet 16.

2 Purdue - This team won 27 games even though Robbie Hummel struggled all season with a fractured vertebrae. The Boilers lost to UConn in the Sweet 16, but they look like a Final Four squad with studs like Hummel, JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore, not to mention perfect role players such as Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant.

3 Michigan State - Tom Izzo once again demonstrated why he’s one of the best coaches in NCAA Tournament history by guiding last year’s club to a runner-up finish behind North Carolina. The Spartans should be even better this time around thanks to veterans Kalin Lucas and Raymar Morgan.

4 Kentucky - Just win, baby. That’s what the people in Kentucky want from John Calipari, the only coach to ever have a pair of Final Four teams taken out of the record books. His move from Memphis to UK netted elite recruits like John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins for the Wildcats. Couple those freshmen with Patrick Patterson and Perry Stevenson and you have a viable national-title contender.

5 Texas - Rick Barnes has eight of his top 10 scorers returning, in addition to a stellar recruiting class that includes Avery Bradley, who many pegged as the country’s top recruit. Florida transfer Jai Lucas will also join the mix. Senior swingman Damion James (15.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG) is the heart and soul of this team and is on the cusp of becoming the third player in program history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds.

6 Villanova - After its first trip to the Final Four since 1985, Villanova has three starters returning, including senior guard Scottie Reynolds and his 1,620 career points. Jay Wright brought in a recruiting haul that was considered one of the nation’s best and Duke transfer Taylor King is now eligible.

7 North Carolina - The defending champs lost four starters but the cupboard isn’t bare by any means. In fact, UNC might have the country’s best frontcourt with senior Deon Thompson, sophomore Ed Davis and sophomore Tyler Zeller. Marcus Ginyard is now healthy and is one of the ACC’s premier defenders on the perimeter. The biggest question is who will emerge as the starting point guard.

8 West Virginia - With Da’Sean Butler (17.1 PPG) and Devin Ebanks (10.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG), Bob Huggins’ team has the potential to beat anybody on a given night. Joe Mazzulla is now healthy and juco sensation Casey Mitchell is ready to start right away.

9 Connecticut - The Huskies lost a bunch of talent, but sophomore guard Kemba Walker is poised for a breakout campaign. Jerome Dyson is a savvy veteran that’s healthy after going down with a knee injury last year. Stanley Robinson is a stud in the paint and will get help from freshman Alex Oriakhi.

10 Butler - Brad Stevens returns his entire team that won 26 games in 2008-2009. Matt Howard was the Horizon League’s Player of the Year and should only be better in his junior season. Ditto for swingman Gordon Hayward, who averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a freshman. The Bulldogs are stacked and will be this season’s best mid-major squad.

11 Duke - This ranking might be a tad high for the Blue Devils because they have major questions in the backcourt. However, Kyle Singler is one of the ACC’s premier players and we know Coach K is one of the country’s best coaches. Add Jon Scheyer to the mix along with freshman Ryan Kelly and Duke has as good a shot as most to get out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

12 Mississippi State - All five starters are back for the defending SEC Tournament champs. If freshman Renardo Sidney gets cleared by the NCAA, this ranking might not be high enough. Jarvis Varnado is 19 blocked shots away from breaking Shaq’s SEC career record. Rick Stansbury has a plethora of 3-point shooters, including long-range specialist Ravern Johnson, whose high-arching jumper reminds me of World B. Free.

13 Michigan - This just in: John Beilein can coach. Following a 11-year hiatus from the Big Dance, the Wolverines finally made it back last season. They won’t miss out again anytime soon. Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims pose one of the best inside-outside combos in the Big Ten.

14 California - Other than center Jordan Wilkes, Mike Montgomery’s squad returns intact. Jerome Randle is arguably the best guard in the Pac 10, while Theo Robertson and Patrick Christopher are also big-time scorers.

15 Washington - Lorenzo Romar must find a way to replace post presence Jon Brockman and his 14.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. However, he has explosive point guard Isaiah Thomas back to run the show, in addition to senior forward Quincy Pondexter.

16 Mississippi - Nothing went right for the Rebels in 2008-2009 when they saw three starters go down with season-ending injuries. But this allowed Terrico White to develop and he’s now joined by Chris Warren and Eniel Polynice in what will be a dynamic backcourt. Andy Kennedy once again landed the best prep player in Memphis and Reginald Buckner should contribute right away.


Seems to me there are one or two teams listed above that GU should be able to beat if all of our new recruits live up to their advance billing. Here's hoping that GU takes a spot away from one of the listed teams, and that GU is still playing in late March!

And don't forget, there is still time for you to go down and sell a couple quarts of plasma at the blood bank and put the money on GU to win the National Championship at 100:1 odds. Don't wait!

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

11-02-2009, 07:09 AM
<< And don't forget, there is still time for you to go down and sell a couple quarts of plasma at the blood bank and put the money on GU to win the National Championship at 100:1 odds. Don't wait!>>

I'm thinking of parlaying my sub prime loan documents for this deal !

11-02-2009, 07:26 AM
I still cant figure out why Washington is getting so much love.

11-02-2009, 07:38 AM
Seriously, hooter...I'm with you. Pretty good back court, but the loss of Brockman is huge. "Over-rated" clap clap clap clap clap "Over-rated"....

Go Zags!!