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Washington DC Region 2nd Round Preview

2006 Washington DC Region March Madness Preview


Wichita State Shockers Vs Tennessee Volunteers

Wichita State: This MVC team ably handled Big East’s Seton Hall. However the WSU Shockers may find it rough going against their next opponent, Tennessee, if they don’t guard the ball better. Loose ball turnovers were in Seton Hall’s favor by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. WSU was saved by the fact that SH’s shooters were cold and unable to convert. (Need to: Guard the ball better)

Tennessee: The Vols came away with a last second victory against the Winthrop Eagles (63-61). Tennessee gave up too many rebounds and second shots while playing “D” and Bruce Pearl’s team also missed 76.2% of their 3-pointers (making 5 of 21). The teams’ inside shooting game fared much better. (Need to: Play inside game on offense and grab defensive rebounds)

Washington Huskies Vs Illinois Fighting Illinis

Washington Huskies: The Utah State Aggies may have beat the Huskies on the boards, but the team from Washington had 11 steals and forced 21 turnovers and all of that hard work helped them win the game (75-61). The Huskies need to control the boards in their next contest. Giving up extra shots to Illinois could be disastrous. (Need to: They cannot give up 32 rebounds and grab only 19 and expect to win in he second round.)

Illinois Fighting Illinis: The Fighting Illinis beat Air Force (78-69) on the boards, out rebounding them 28-14. It should be comforting to Illinois that they had four players scoring in double digits. What should concern them is the scoring funk star guard Dee Brown has been in lately. He threw in a mere 8 points; in three of his last five games, Brown has been held to single digits. But in this contest he made up for it with 10 assists and 8 rebounds. (Need to: If they want to keep going, Dee Brown needs to break out and score some points. In close games against quality teams, such as Washington, the Fighting Illinis do not fare well when Brown is neutralized.)

George Mason Patriots Vs North Carolina Tar Heels

George Mason Patriots: The eleventh seed Patriots came into the tournament with something to prove and they did just that today by beating the sixth seed Michigan State Spartans by a score of 75-65. Mason led by 3 at the half and didn’t relent in the second period. They hit 60.4% from the floor while Michigan State shot only 42.6%. They were also tougher under the boards, out rebounding the Spartan 32-23 and only sent their opponent to the foul line 5 shots. (Need to: The Patriots must shoot much better than 46.2% from the penalty stripe. They had 26 free throws but only converted 12. )

North Carolina Tar Heels: Last year’s national champs and this year’s third seed, the North Carolina Tar Heels, managed to outlast 14th seed Murray State 69-65. It went down to final few possessions, with the Murray State Racers missing their last shots and the Tar Heels sinking two foul attempts to make it a two-possession game. The Tar Heels hit only 38.5% from the court but had an 80% accuracy mark at the free throw line. They were lucky to win this one. (Need to: This is not the team that won it all last year; most of those players are gone. The freshmen stepped up today and sealed the victory but that was after Murray State lost their leading scorer due to an injury. They must hit from the field and play tough defense against an inspired George Mason team.)

Connecticut Huskies Vs Kentucky Wildcats

Connecticut Huskies: Top seed Connecticut was in trouble at the half, leading the 16th seed Albany Great Danes by only one point, 31-30. It was a dogfight for much of the game, which saw the Huskies finally out play the underdog Great Danes, winning 72-59. In the second-half, Albany had a 50-38 lead and then the Huskies finally got it together, turned it up and went on a run of 20-4. The trouble with being a top seed in the tournament is everyone wants to knock you out and if you don’t come ready to play, they have a good chance of doing just that. If the Huskies got scared tonight, and they should have, the game will have taught them an important lesson that they can take with them throughout the tournament. (Need to: The Huskies were knocked out early in the Big East Tournament, so one would have expected them to come into this game with a vengeance. They didn’t. They were number one in the nation for 5 weeks in a row, but that doesn’t matter here. They still have to earn the championship one play at a time. Are they capable of doing that? They need a convincing win in the Second Round to prove they are.)

Kentucky Wildcats: The Wildcats (8th seed) should be concerned even though they beat the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers (9th seed), 69-64. Kentucky did not win the game from the field where they shot an embarrassing 30%. The foul stripe saved this team; they were 26 for 30 (86%). They also grabbed 10 more rebounds than their opponents and had 5 fewer fouls. Next they go up against one of the best all-around teams in the nation. (Need to: The Wildcats must start shooting accurately. Sure the Huskies got a scare from Albany, but Connecticut shot 60% from the field and hit 76.9% from foul territory in that semi-close game. This is one of those games that could be over early, even if Connecticut isn’t at its best.)

Read up second round previews on the other regions, Oakland, Atlanta, 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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