It's time once again for Catfish and Cleet to match wits and battle for supremacy of the ASD Intelligentsia. When we last met on the battlefield, I was able to squeak by on college football bowl picks. We will break it down region by region, starting with the West. Our Glendale region picks after the break..
Connecticut over Chattanooga: I wonder if TO will be there to cheer on his alma mater. I will be watching UCONN's FT shooting in this one (they shot 57% in the loss to the Cuse).
BYU over Texas A&M: Lee Cummard (stop snickering) and the outside shooting of the Cougars will be too much.
Northern Iowa over Purdue: I'm taking the 12-5 upset no one else is because I'm a nonconformist. Kwadzo Ahelegbe may become a household name.
Washington over Mississippi State: This another upset lots of people are jumping on because most people have not seen Washington play and MSU just won the SEC tournament. John Brockman might be to Jarvis Varnardo as DuJaun Blair is to Hasheem Thabeet.
Marquette over Utah State: The Golden Eagles may have lost senior Dominic James but they showed in the Big East tournament that they are not going to just lie down. The Aggies had their impressive winning streak during the season, but only a 2 point win over Utah was notable out of conference. 135 SOS and 1-2 vs. the RPI top 100 lends me to think they will not be prepared for what the Big East will bring in this game.
Missouri over Cornell: I knew Cornell as "The Big Red" but all of a sudden there is a bear on the logo in all these suggestive poses like this this and this. Ahh, the timeless art of seduction.
Maryland over California: Amazing that Gary Williams is even in the tournament when you look at where they were early this year. The Terps do not have size, but neither do the Bears. I enjoy the Randle, Christopher, and Robertson show for Cal and Mike Montgomery has a wealth of tourney experience, hmmm maybe I should change my pick.
Memphis over CS Northridge: Matador joke in 3,2,1....
Connecticut over BYU: I hammer the Huskies on our tourney preview podcast but the one thing they do great is defend and that will get them past the Mormons.
Washington over N. Iowa: The dream ends for Kurt Warner's former school when Dentmon and Isiah Thomas prove too much.
Missouri over Marquette: Here is where not having James will hurt Marquette. The pressure defense of Mike Anderson will wear down McNeal and the Tigers have the best A/TO ratio in the nation.
Memphis over Maryland: Tyreke Evans is the answer for Vasquez and the Terps have no answer for Dozier and Taggert.
Connecticut over Washington: These two teams have a history in the tournament. Rashad Anderson sent the 2006 Sweet 16 match-up into overtime where the Huskies won and Richard Hamilton hit a game-winner at the buzzer in 1998 also in the sweet 16. This is a game where the loss of Dyson could really start to hurt the Huskies but I think Kemba Walker will give them enough.
Memphis over Mizzouri: Tiger battle! Despite losing a lot of players off last year's runner-up team, Memphis still has more experience than Mizzou.
Memphis over Connecticut: I cannot pick with my heart on this one, I do not think the Huskies will win this match-up. As good as UCONN's defense is, Memphis's may be better and they have the length to deal with Thabeet. I am also sensing some foul trouble for the big man trying to block the athletic frontcourt of Memphis.
UConn over Chattanooga: Why am I not getting lead billing in any of these? Anyhow, Thabeet goes on. See what I did there?
BYU over Texas A&M: Cougars have been blown out once all year. They'll be in the game and between shooting FTs and 3's well should have enough.
Purdue over Northern Iowa: Purdue could be one and done or make a nice run. I'm hoping for the latter, behind Hummel and Moore. Johnson will be the X factor.
Mississippi State over Washington: Sorry UConn fans, Washington won't be around long enough for you guys to break their hearts again. Riding high off the SEC Championship, it's time for Jarvis Varnado's coming out party.
Utah State over Marquette: Everyone telling Marquette what they could've been with James has an effect on the team. Utah State more than willing to euthanize them.
Missouri over Cornell: Loved Cornell and Whitman, but hate this matchup for them because I like Missouri more. A better matchup for the Big Red could've had them in the Sweet 16.
Maryland over California: All depending on whether or not the good Vasquez shows up for Maryland. He will and there will be about 20 3's hit in this game by both teams.
Memphis over Cal State-Northridge: No one plays D in the Big West like Memphis. Tigers roll in a game that isn't as close as the score indicates.
UConn over BYU: BYU will force them to shoot 3's, but they have no answer for the Huskies offensive rebounding. BYU starts hot from 3, but fades in the second half. Huskies survive.
Purdue over Mississippi State: Unfortunately, we won't get the Thabeet v. Varnado matchup we all crave. This will be the game we everyone starts to learn Chris Kramer's name.
Missouri over Utah State: Both teams take care of the ball, but Missouri's pressure creates more than the average number of TOs for the Aggies, making the difference.
Memphis over Maryland: Tyreke Evans v. Greivis Vasquez. Memphis's defense doesn't allow open 3-pointers for Hayes and Neal. They get their inside game going and win, despite Evans being outplayed by Vasquez.
Purdue over UConn: This may be the game where big man foul trouble plays a major role. If JaJuan Johnson can stay on the floor, it may just be enough to help propel Purdue past the Huskies. Purdue will play smart defense, force the Huskies to take outside shots, and with Chris Kramer hounding AJ Price could pull the upset.
Missouri over Memphis: Tyreke Evans still isn't an actual point guard, and it will show against Missouri's pressure. Calipari can't go back to back Elite Eights with two different freshmen point guards, right?
Purdue over Missouri: The Boilermakers largely nullify the press and Hummel outplays Carroll. I like the matchups for Missouri against any other school in the bracket, but not Purdue. They're just getting stronger as games go by with Hummel back.