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Atlanta Region 2nd Round Preview

2006 Atlanta Region March Madness Preview

NCAA SECOND ROUND ATLANTA MATCH-UPS:

Duke Blue Devils Vs George Washington Colonials

Duke Blue Devils: Duke defeated the Southern University Jaguars 70-54. But two problems surfaced during the game—ball control and team play. The Jags had six more steals than the Blue Devils and four fewer turnovers. The other bad news concerned J.J. Redick and Sheldon Williams, each of whom scored 29 points. The 58-point total equaled almost 83% of Duke’s total points. Coach “K” wants everyone involved. (Need to: The Blue Devils must have more of a team effort and better ball control.)

George Washington Colonials: The difference in this game, which ended 88-85, was the OT. The N.C.-Wilmington Seahawks and Colonials ended each half tied. The Colonials shot only 46% from the floor and had to claw back in the second half as they saw the game slip away from them. Shooting 72% from the foul line gave them a six-point edge over the Seahawks. In the end it came down to four foul shots, which the Colonials made, and two missed foul shots and two missed 3-pointers by NC-Wilmington. (Need to: Play much tougher defense and hit a higher percentage of shots from the floor or else it’s all over.)

Texas A&M Aggies Vs LSU Tigers

Texas A&M Aggies: Twelfth seed Texas A&M stopped the fifth seed Syracuse Orange 66-58. Both teams were cold from the field, hitting 35% and 39% respectively. The difference was at the foul line (86%-66%) and three-point stripe (34%-21%). An injured Gerry McNamara had a terrible game for the Orange, which didn’t hurt Texas at all. (Need to: The team needs to shoot much better from the field, especially inside the three-point mark. They may not get as many second chances in the next round, so first-time accuracy will be much more important.)

LSU Tigers: The Tigers (4th seed) easily beat the Iona Gaels (13th seed) 80-64. They were dominant on the boards and from where ever they shot. Iona led at the end of the first half and it wasn’t until the Tigers tied the game at 38, that they started to turn it on and run away with the game. (Need to: The LSU Tigers were slow out of the box and although they’ve got a lot of talent, their next opponent won’t be as forgiving as their first. This team has to start playing as soon as the game starts.)

Northwestern State Demons Vs West Virginia Mountaineers

Northwestern State Demons: It was defense, 3-pointers and sure ball handling that helped Northwestern State edged the Iowa Hawkeyes, 64-63. Although they were out shot at the foul line and in two-point land, the fourteenth seed Demons managed to bedevil the third seed Hawkeyes. The Demons had 9 steals and forced 18 turnovers, helping to offset Iowa’s 80.8% foul shooting. Northwestern beat the nationally ranked Hawkeyes (15th) on a final-second 3-point prayer by Jermain Wallace. (Need to: with about 8:30 left in the game, the Demons were 17 points down. It will be hard to manufacture that type of comeback a second time. In order to win against sixth seed West Virginia, they will have to keep it close, continue to play good “D,” and hit more than 38.3% from the field.)

West Virginia Mountaineers: The Southern Illinois Salukis were no match for the 22nd ranked Mountaineers as they lost 46-64. West Virginia was ready to go from the beginning and used both the three-pointer and the inside game to their fullest. At 6’11”, Kevin Pittsnogle towered above the Salukis and dumped in 18 points. The Mountaineers used their size to control the boards, out rebounding Southern Illinois 30-22. (Need to: The team has to come out in the Second Round like they did in this first one. The Mountaineers came into the NCAA having lost 5 of their last 7 games. They looked like a new team and will need to be that team again in order to beat the upset-minded Demons.)


North Carolina State Wolfpack Vs Texas Longhorns

North Carolina State Wolfpack: The Wolfpack managed to beat the California Golden Bears by turning on the gas in the second-half, earning a 58-52 victory. N.C. State and California seemed to be an even match throughout the game. California was hitting shots and rebounding right from the start as the Wolfpack missed lay-ups, gave up rebounds, and turned the ball over. N.C. went into the locker room down by four. In the second-half, the Wolfpack went on a 16-4 run. With 33 seconds left, Cameron Bennerman hit a 3-point jumper to help seal the victory. Just ten seconds before, he had missed a lay-up. The game was iced by some free throws at the end. (Need to: N.C. State must come out and make the basic plays or they will be buried. They were lucky to only be down by four at the break; the Longhorns with their stingy defense will bury this team if they aren’t ready to play.)

Texas Longhorns: The second seed Texas Longhorns outplayed the fifteenth seed University of Pennsylvania Quakers in the second-half of their contest. Like so many teams at the higher seed level, the Longhorns had a tough time with their opponents in the first-half. Pennsylvania worked hard and earned a one-point lead at the half. Texas out rebounded the Quakers 34-16 and shot 84% from the foul line. They played a disciplined game, committing only 13 fouls. (Need to: Texas must continue to play a disciplined game on defense and stay away from the 3-pointer. Instead of throwing up threes, they should focus on shooting 2-pointers more accurately; they hit only 42% in the First Round.)

Read up second round previews on the other regions, Oakland, Washington DC, and Minneapolis. Remember that MadduxSports.com is the best in the handicapping world when it comes to March Madness picks. View our March Madness section which includes daily articles and up to date ncaa point spreads. Don't forget to grab your March Madness bracket.

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