Gameday Selections

This is arguably the biggest Saturday in college football this season. The amount of top games is unbelievable. That is why I am here to break it all down.
7 Michigan State vs 12 Michigan:
Ever since Mike Hart called Michigan State the “Little Brother” Sparty has dominated this images-21in state rivalry. Now Jim Harbaugh is in town and all of the buzz is around his remerging Michigan squad. This just feels like an old fashion Big Ten game. Michigan’s defense has been the most dominating defense in the country. No team has scored on this Michigan defense in over a month. They have shutout three straight opponents. Michigan State’s offense is not BYU or Northwestern, they are a well oiled machine. Connor Cook is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, but he does not have a lot of help. The Spartans have been riddled with injury all season, and they have not looked very impressive in the last couple weeks. This game will be one for the ages, but I believe Harbaugh has Michigan back and the Wolverines make a couple more plays
Prediction: Michigan 31 Michigan State 21
Other Predictions:
Northwestern 24 Iowa 21; For my brother in Iowa City
Baylor 61 West Virginia 42; Old Western Shootout
LSU 28 Florida 24; Fournette out runs the Gators in Death Valley
Texas A&M 34 Alabama 28; One can only hope
Memphis 51 Ole Miss 50; Paxton Lynch shocks the world
USC 31 Notre Dame 28; Not enough echoes
Arizona State 20 Utah 17; Clock strikes midnight for Utes
Florida State 28 Louisville 14; The ghost of the original Johnny football can’t help.
Oregon 52 Washington 20; In Vernon Adams we trust, if he plays
Ohio State 38 Penn State 28; Ohio wins ugly AGAIN.
Saint Xavier University 32  St. Ambrose 30; Cougars come through in the clutch
10.17.15.1
  GO CUBS GO!!

My College Football Preseason Top 5 

The college football season starts today and I am going to power rank who I believe are the top 5 teams in teams in the country.
1.) TCU Horned Frogs 
This year TCU will be the best team in the country. They have a loaded roster and they will tcu-unis5be playing with a massive chip on their shoulder after being left out of the College Football Playoff. They are returning 10 offensive starters from one of the most prolific offensive attacks in the country. Not to mention one of those starters is a  preseason Heisman favorite, QB Trevone Boykin. TCU’s schedule matched up pretty nice for them and on November 27 they will be awaiting the Baylor Bears to determine who the Big 12’s “One True Champion” is.
2.) Ohio State Buckeyes 
As much as this hurts me to say it, the Ohio State Buckeyes are fully loaded and ready toUnknown-4 defend their national title. Urban Meyer will have his boys ready to go and blow through the Big 10. Ezekiel Elliot will be a beast as usual and will shred almost every Big 10 defense regardless of who the quarterback will be. I will not be suprised if the Buckeyes repeat as champions.
3.) Oregon Ducks
Yes I know what you all must be thinking, how will they replace the greatest college quarterback ever? The answer is actually pretty simple, run the football. When you have a young freight train as a running back you should be pounding the rock. Royce Freeman in my opinion is the best back in the country and will be a first round draft pick in the NFL. images-13Also let’s just remember he was a true freshman last year. The Ducks receiving corps is full of young superstars and having Braylon Addison return from injury is a huge bonus. On the other side of the football DeForest Buckner will be anchoring their defensive line. No one will be calling this team soft again. Now let’s get to the quarterback problem. Eastern Washington Transfer Vernon Adams is no Marcus Mariota, but he’s pretty darn close.  Adams was the Mariota of Division 1 AA. Most people do not know this young man’s name, but trust me at the end of the season everyone will know who Vernon Adams Jr  is.
4.) USC Trojans 
Cody Kessler might be the most polished quarterback in the country. Adoree’ Jackson is images-14an explosive offensive weapon in all of college football. It seemed like USC would never rebound from the major sanctions, but here they are contending for a Pac 12 title. The only thing that is not positive for USC is that they have to go through Eugene Oregon and the Autzen Zoo before they can be known as the kings of the West Coast.
5.) Michigan State Spartans 
Sparty used to be known as the little brothers to Michigan, but not anymore. Michigan images-15State is a power house with one of the best defenses in the Nation. Connor Cook will probably the first quarterback taken in the NFL draft and they are loaded with NFL talent. If Michigan State wants to make the College Football Playoff, they will have to earn it because they have Oregon and Ohio State on their schedule.

Match Up of the Day

Todays Match Up of the Day is number seven seeded Connecticut vs number 3 seeded Iowa State. The story of this game is the match up at the point guard position. Napier vs Kane will be the match up everybody will be waiting to see.

7 Uconn’s keys:

The Connecticut Huskies have had an up and down season, but they are making up for Shabazz-Napier1every game by their great performance in the NCAA Tournament. Shabazz Napier is in my opinion the best point guard in the country and he one of the best team leaders in the country. The Huskies have peaked at the right time and a lot of their uprise is thanks to Napier. Napier leads his team in points, assists, and rebounds. This is just astonishing. Napier hasn’t done it all for the Huskies. Napier’s “Robin” Ryan Boatright is a dead-eye from the 3-point line and he has some of the fastest moving feet on defense. Uconn has the best backcourt duo and they are going to be a lot to handle for the Iowa State defense.

3 Iowa State’s keys:

images-16The Iowa State Cyclones are back to playing classic Iowa State basketball. DeAndre Kane is a beast. He single handily won the game vs North Carolina. I admire his game so much and I think that he will be a steal in this year’s NBA draft. Kane and Melvin Ejim have to takeover this game because of the loss of stretch center Georges Niang. Niang is impossible to guard. He is a 7-footer and has a good power post game but he can also drain 3-pointers. Niang breaking his foot is an enormous loss for the for this Cyclones game and he will be missed in this game Prediction: I believe that Napier is going to have a Kemba Walker moment for the huskies and take over this game. Uconn 71 Iowa State 68.

Other Predictions: Michigan 82 Tennessee 74,  Michigan State 61 Virginia 58,

Louisville 78 Kentucky 75

Match Up of the Day

Today’s  Match Up of the Day is the Duke Blue Devils vs the Michigan State Spartans. This game is on CBS at 9:45 ET. I choose this game because they are two historic programs with coaching legends. Both of these teams are used to winning and have the talent to go all the way and cut down the nets. I think this is going to be a battle for the ages, so you should check it out.

Michigan State’s Keys:  In this game MSU needs to take advantage of their big menkeith-appling-28jpg-3853e3449357e043 and work the ball into the paint. The keys for the Spartans are Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne. They have  a huge advantage in size. I don’t think that Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly can handle them. Also if Izzo and the Spartans want to advance point guard Keith Appling needs to have a big game. He is very inconstant and tends to struggle in the spot light, and when he struggles usually MSU does too.

Duke’s Keys:  If Duke wants to win, Mason Plumlee needs to have a big game. He has to contain Michigan State’s tough big men. He needs to toughen up and control the paint. Plumlee will have Unknown copy 4to step up his game, BIG TIME! Also if the Durham Devils want to come out of the win column point guard Quinn Cook needs to take advantage of Appling’s inconsistency. Cook is very young and inexperienced but he loves the spot light. There is also one more thing I would like to add, in Tournament play Tom Izzo is 1-6 against Coach K.

images copy 5Prediction:  It is clear that Coach K knows the formula to beat Izzo’s Spartans and I think Appling is going to choke in Crunch Time. That is why I have Duke barley escaping against Michigan State.

 

 

 

Sweet Sixteen Breakdown

The first weekend of March Madness was great but I have a feeling that the Sweet Sixteen is going to be so much sweeter. The round of 64 and 32 is over and the contenders have been separated from the pretenders. There are sixteen great teams left and when the weekend comes they will be narrowed down to eight. I am going to give my predictions for some of the marquee games this weekend.

arizona_wildcats_vs_ohio_state_crop_exactMidwest:   The first game in the Midwest bracket is Oregon vs Louisville. Both teams got to the Sweet Sixteen by blowing out  each two of their opponents. You might think Louisville a number one seed facing up against Oregon a number twelve seed, Louisville has a cake walk, but this Oregon team is no regular twelve seed. They won the Pac-12 tournament and led the regular season title for most of the year. The committee made a big mistake making these guys a twelve seed they should have been a six seed. It was just unfair to Oklahoma State and Saint Louis because they earned a high seed and earned to play a bad team but instead they played a team that should have been another high seed. This is going to be a hard fought game but I think Louisville’s defense is going to take advantage against Oregon’s inexperienced guards. I think Louisville is going to squeak by the FIghting Ducks.

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The other game in the Midwest bracket is Michigan State vs Duke. This, I think is going to be one of the best games in the Tournament so far. Both of these teams are power houses that are coached by legends. Both of these teams are used to winning so it wouldn’t be surprising if either one of them advances to the Elite Eight. I think the Spartans will easily be able to work the ball inside with Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix, but the x-factor for ole Sparty and Izzo is the play of point guard Keith Appling. He has been inconsistent through out the year and when he struggles it appears that MSU also struggles and they end up in the loosing column. This is why I think Duke is going to come out with the victory. In Tournament play Izzo and his Spartans are 1-7 against Coach K and Duke in the Tournament. Duke advances.

ScreenShot2013-03-23at8.21.01PM_originalWest:  The West bracket has been a complete mess this year. There have been upsets after upsets. And the first Sweet Sixteen game in the West has surprised everyone. The ninth seed Wichita State Shockers take on the thirteenth seed La Salle Crusaders. The Shockers and Crusaders have shocked everybody. Both of these teams have shocked the world, lived up to their names and reeked havoc on peoples brackets. I think that La Salle is going to win this game and advance. Who knows maybe they could do what VCU did two years ago and go to the First Four to the Final Four. Wouldn’t that be incredible but first they have to get past the Shockers and the winner of the Arizona, Ohio State game.

That brings us to our next match up in the West region, Arizona vs Ohio State. arizona_wildcats_vs_ohio_state_crop_exactThis game is like having both teams look in a mirror. They are such similar teams it is scary. Both of these teams are very talented and have the potential to win it all. This game is also a match up of the point guards, Mark Lyons vs Aaron Craft. This game is going to be neck and neck the whole time but I think Aaron Craft’s defense is too much for the Wildcats to handle. I have the Buckeyes moving on.

South:  In the South region the two games are very intriguing. The first game is Kansas vs Michigan. This game is like a heavy weight championship. It is two power houses who know how to fight. This game is going to be back and fourth, back and fourth.  After this game both teams are going to be battle tested. images copy 4Michigan’s bigs are going to have a hard time with Jeff Withey. He is just too good for Mitch McGary. Also Kansas’ guards have a gargantuan task ahead of them, they have to contain Trey Burke. I think this game is going to be a nail biter and both teams are championship contenders. My prediction is that Trey Burke is going to deliver the knock out punch and nail a step back three for the win. I have Michigan winning in dramatic fashion to advance to the Elite Eight. Hail to the Victors over Rock Chalk, Jayhawk.

The second game in the South Region is the Florida Gators vs the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. This game is a power house against the Cinderella team.  Both of these teams are well coached and they have great chemistry together. In this images-1 copy 2game all of the pressure is going to be on the Gators. They do not want to loose to a CInderella team. I think they are going to be nervous and tense and that might be trouble. On the other hand Florida Gulf Coast plays relaxed and just has fun out on the court. They are enjoying the moment and taking it all in. This is whyI am taking the upset and having the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles advance to the Elite Eight.

East:  The first match up in the East bracket is Indiana vs Syracuse. Both of images-2 copythese teams are very talented, but most importantly both of these teams are hot right now. I think that this game is going to be close until the last couple minutes. I believe Indiana is going to pull away from Syracuse. The Orange are a very good team but the Hoosiers are too powerful for them to handle.

Unknown-1 copy 2The Second game in the East region is Miami vs Marquette. I think this game is going to be the most lop sided game in the Sweet Sixteen. Miami is way too talented and experienced for this Golden Eagles team to keep up with. Marquette is lucky to even be in this round, they should have been bounced in the round of 64 by Davidson. They are going to get destroyed by the Hurricanes. I have Miami moving on and in my bracket I have the Hurricanes winning it all. Stay tuned, I’ll have the Match Up of the Day on Thursday.