College Basketball Stock

March Madness is only a month away and no teams have really separated themselves from the pack. I’m sorting out some of college hoops most confusing teams and offering a look as if they were commodities on the NY stock exchange. Here are my thoughts, what would you do?
Texas Longhorns, BUYimgres
Coach Shaka Smart has his Longhorns playing fantastic basketball. Texas is one of the elite defensive teams in the country with great size. Texas has been on a two game loosing streak, but both games were to top 15 teams on the road. Isaiah Taylor has been playing out of his mind on both sides of the ball. It took a couple of years, but it seems Taylor has truly blossomed to his full potential and has stepped up as the leader of this team. Come March Texas will have a great chance to make a run. Buy high for these Longhorns.
imgres-1Texas A&M Aggies, SELL
It was only a couple weeks ago that Texas A&M was a top 5 team and a popular pick to make it to the Final Four. Since then, the Aggies have been a completely different team, loosing 4 in a row to unranked opponents. A&M has struggled having the target on their back. This team has a ton of talent of their team, but they seem to not get it done time after time. Aggie fans will hate to hear me make this comparison, but A&M reminds me a lot of last years Texas team. Texas was chalk full of talented players, but they were not ready for the spot light. If the Aggies can’t even take being the team to beat in the terrible SEC, there is no way they can handle the bright lights of the NCAA Tournament.
imgresOregon Ducks, BUY 
It may be a year early, but the Oregon Ducks have established themselves as the class of the Pac-12. Although they have lost their past two games on the road, this Duck squad is for real. This team has a great balance of young talent and experienced players. It also helps to have a super star in Dillion Brooks on your team. Brooks has been the bet player in the conference, putting up 30 point games with ease. Freshman point guard Tyler Dorsey is the key for this team’s success. He is a great young player who has a bright future in college ball and beyond. Success in the NCAA Tournament comes with great guard play. Dorsey is the man to take the Ducks to Houston for their first Final Four in a long time.
imgresMichigan Wolverines, BUY
I am going to be on record saying, I think the Wolverines can make the Final Four. I know I sound crazy and a little biased, but here me out. I am not saying they will, but there is a chance. Michigan has been a tough team to figure out this year. They have looked like a top 10 team, but they have also looked like a team that doesn’t even belong in the NIT. Injury has been most to blame for Michigan’s inconsistency. Losing Caris LeVert for a long stretch of the season was tough for this team, but it has also been good as other players including Duncan Robinson and Muhammed-Ali Abdur-Rahkman have stepped up to add great depth. Now the Caris LeVert is finally back into the line up Michigan has gone from a okay team to a team that is down right scary. Michigan is on of the best shooting teams in the country and they live and die by the three point shot. If the Wolverines become hot during March, watch out.
imgres-1Purdue, SELL 
Yes I am selling on Purdue, a team that has consistently been in the top 25 week after week. The Boilermakers are tough, physical, and have some of the best big men in the country. They are a great team, but they have on major flaw that will be their Achilles heel in March. Purdue does not have consistent guard play. As I mention earlier that is crucial if you want to make a good run in the NCAA Tournament. I am selling on Purdue and look for the Boilermaker to be upset and make a early exit from March Madness.

Match Up of the Day

Todays Match up of the Day is the Rams of VCU against the Maize & Blue Wolverines of Michigan. This is a new segment of my blog and throughout  the Tournament called Match Up of the Day. In this segment I will pick what is the best match up analyze it, give the keys to victory for both teams, and then tell you guys who I think is going to win the game and why. Today the match up is VCU vs Michigan at 12:15 ET on CBS. There are many great games on today but I just have a feeling this is going to be a close one.

Unknown copyKeys for Michigan:  Michigan has a tough game ahead of them against the VCU Rams. We all know that VCU is going to come out in a full-court press defense, so Michigan will turn the ball over a lot in this game.  The key to victory for the Wolverines is the play of super star point guard Trey Burke. With the Rams trying to reek havoc Burke has to take care of the ball and set the game to his tempo. Also if they can break VCU’s press and get the ball down the court they could spread the Rams out and pass it to Hardaway or Stauskas to drain a three point shot. If they limit turnovers and spread the floor the Rams might be headed into some big trouble. If Michigan wants to advance to the Sweet Sixteen Mr. Wooden Award Burke has to take over.

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Keys for VCU:  Virginia Commonwealth has a HUGE task ahead of them, they have to contain Trey Burke and the high powered Michigan offense. The Rams will come out in a full-court press to force turnovers, but staying in that defense for the whole game might not be the greatest idea. Michigan will slice right through that defense and get an easy lay up, jump shot, or wide open three pointer. What the Rams should do is in the middle of the game switch to a half-court press defense to rattle John Beilein’s Michigan Wolverines. They would catch them off guard and take advantage off the surprised offense. Also Michigan only had one day to prepare for the Rams pesky defense, that might be a huge problem for Burke and company. VCU has a great chance of reeking havoc and they might send the Wolverines packing back to Ann Arbor.

Prediction:  This is going to be a hard fought game between two evenly matched teams but there has to be a winner. Although Shaka Smart and his Rams demolish opposing teams offenses Burke will be able to exploit the Rams press and kick it out to their jump shooters and rack up the points. At the end of the game it is going to come down to Trey Burke and I trust him to win it for them. I think Michigan is going to survive a battle and move on to the Sweet Sixteen.
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