Oregon destroyed Utah 88-57 in the Pac-12 Championship for their 8th straight win, while Cincinnati sweated a tournament bid after a 65-foot jump shot was banked in against them. But if the Bearcats can win a tough one against St. Joseph’s they could shock the Ducks.
If they pull it off, it could clear the path for Duke to advance to the Elite 8 against Oklahoma and our National MVP Buddy Hield. Texas A&M is a legitimate contender, but if the seeds play out they will go up against the best, most experienced guard trio in the country in Hield and two great senior point guards. When tournament moments get tense, those are the players who often pull teams through.
Before that can even happen Texas A&M would have to get past the team who will no longer schedule them, the Texas Longhorns, or a Northern Iowa team that has shocked major teams already.
The number to the left of the team indicates how many lines they occupy on our bracket. (see the Fox Sports bracket to fill in here)
|16||Holy Cross||64.7||64||0||0.1||0.6 Amer/1|
|8||Saint Joseph’s||82.8||82||-1||0.2||0.5||-0.4||1.4 A10/1,1|
|13||UNC Wilmington||77.5||77||0||0.1||0.4 CAA/2|
|13||Northern Iowa||84.7||80||3||0.2||0.1||1.4 MVC/1,1|
|3||Texas A&M||2||93.0||88||2||1.6||0.4||1.0 Slnd/2,2|
|14||Green Bay||76.8||74||2||0.4||0.4 Horz/2|
|7||Oregon St.||79.4||81||0||-4.6||0.8||0.4||1.8 1st|
|15||Cal St. Bakersfield||78.7||75||1||1.3||0.1||1.2 WAC/1,2|
We pick Oklahoma to win the Region and go to the Final Four, where they are our pick to be the national runner-up.
The hardest match-ups to call were the Cincinnati upsets, as well as giving Yale a chance to upset Baylor.
The team with the best All-American/All-Conference talent is with Duke and Oklahoma. Duke’s Grayson Allen was a second team All-American and one of two Duke players on the first team All-ACC team and Hield was National Player of the Year and added a second team All-Big 12 player.
The team hottest teams in the Region are Northern Illinois, Yale and Oregon (see progress of rating at www.kenpom.com).
The healthiest team is Texas, while Oregon State is the most short-handed. (See Breitbart Sports list of all the players whose injuries were factored into this rating).
The team with the best NBA-level talent is Duke – and the next tier is Texas A&M, Baylor, and Texas. (see right column at www.valueaddbasketball.com for the percent chance of each player making the tournament.
The most experienced and best guards in the country are with Oklahoma. The only other team even close is Texas, and Oregon, Yale and Duke lack a lot of experience there, though Duke is certainly talented.