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Minneapolis Region 2nd Round Preview

2006 Minneapolis Region March Madness Preview


Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers Vs Florida Gators

Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers: The Panthers kept their composure throughout their 82-74 upset of the Oklahoma Sooners. This is a ball control team that can run into problems in 3-point land (they hit 30% against Oklahoma). Rob Jeter needs to keep his team focused on patience, working the ball around, and taking the high percentage shot. (Need to: Keep composure against another tough opponent and use 3-pointer less.)

Florida Gators: Florida routed the South Alabama Jaguars (76-50), but the team was slow out of the gate, going into the locker room with only a 6-point lead. Trying too many 3-pointers in the first half while leaving large Florida players simply standing in perfect post positions sent Gators’ coach Billy Donovan into a tirade between periods. The big guys got the message in the second period. (Need to: Come out of the gate using your strength—big guys with a great inside game.)

Montana Grizzlies Vs Boston College Eagles

Montana Grizzlies: Montana, the 12th seed, surprised the Nevada Wolfpack, the 5th seed, by outscoring them 87-79. The Grizzlies played a disciplined game, making only 12 fouls to the Wolfpacks’ 23. The result was 23 points from the penalty stripe for Montana and only 8 for Nevada. That was the difference in the game. Montana was outplayed in offensive rebounds 8-16. That should concern the Grizzlies. (Need to: Montana has to get tough under the boards or they’ll pay for it against the Eagles.)

Boston College Eagles: In a game that had more ups and downs than a Coney Island rollercoaster, the Pacific Tigers took the B.C. Eagles into a second overtime, where the Boston club finally won the game. The Eagles almost lost this contest due to their insistence on turning to 3-pointers, rather than playing their inside game where they had been dominating Pacific. (Need to: Play inside game. Also B.C. must continue to hit free throws; something they did in this game but have not done for much of the season.)

Ohio State Buckeyes Vs Georgetown Hoyas

Ohio State Buckeyes: The second seed Buckeyes started slowly against the fifteenth seed Davidson Wildcats, going into the locker room trailing 25 -29. The second half was a different story with Ohio State outscoring the Wildcats by 12 and winning 70-62. Throughout much of the game, Ohio State did not look like a 2-seed; they were not sharp, only hitting 40% of their field goals and 56.5% from the foul line. They were saved by the play of forward Terence Dials, who poured in the majority of his 19 points after the break and also grabbed a total of 12 rebounds. (Need to: The Buckeyes will have trouble commanding the paint against Georgetown. Ohio State has to hit its shots right from the beginning and be much more consistent throughout the entire second round game. It’ll be tough for them to grab the ball for a second shot. They’ll need to have an unrelenting defense.)

Georgetown Hoyas: The Northern Iowa Panthers lost to the Hoyas in a low scoring 54- 49 contest. The Hoyas were not as sharp as they could have been, hitting only 43.5% from the field. Their foul shooting was better-- 64.3%. This game and win was reminiscent of Ohio State’s earlier victory against Davidson. Northern Iowa led at the half 30-26, mainly on the play of John Little. Little had the Hoyas reeling in the first part of the game as he knocked down 2’s and 3’s at will. But Georgetown got tough on defense in the second-half. Hoyas’ 7-foot, 2-inch, center Roy Hibbert was the one constant for John Thompson III’s team, scoring 17 points and swiping 9 rebounds. Ashanti Cook scored 14 points for the winners. (Need to: Next time out Georgetown must have a full team effort, with contributions from more than just two starters. Although Ohio was in no way stellar against Davidson, they did score 70 points and are capable of much more.)

Villanova Wildcats Vs Arizona Wildcats

Villanova Wildcats: The final score in the Monmouth-Villanova game was 45-58, with the Wildcats winning. Don’t let that score fool you; it was tougher and closer than the margin might indicate. The Monmouth Hawks out shot the number one seed 34.1% to 30.8%. They also hit a dismal 28% from 3-point land. The proof was in the Villanova defense, which out rebounded and caused more turnovers than their opponents. But with 6:22 left in the game the 16th seed Hawks cut Villanova’s lead to 7. With less than 4 minutes remaining, they were within 10. In the final few minutes, Villanova hit some threes and put the game out of reach. (Need to: The Wildcats must shoot much better than 30.8% from the field if they expect to beat the Arizona Wildcats. They like to shoot threes and are good at it, but when they lose the touch—as they did in this contest—they can lose the game.)

Arizona Wildcats: The Arizona Wildcats had a relatively easy time with the Wisconsin Badgers, winning 94-75. The wildcats shot a sound 59.3% from the floor and 82.6 from the free throw line. Arizona was also stronger off the boards, more competent handling the ball, and tougher on defense. The Wildcats were able work the ball around the court, finding the open shot and knocking it down. (Need to: Not be intimidated by the other Wildcats who have been ranked nationally in the top five for most of the season and are the number one seed in the region. This team should also stay away from the 3-pointer, which they did for most of the Wisconsin game. Inside play can win it for them.

Read up second round previews on the other regions, Oakland, Washington DC, and Atlanta. Remember that Maddux Sports 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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