Friday, March 02, 2007


Thus far my picks have been pretty decent. In the early rounds I've gone 18-9. I'm pretty satisfied with that effort, but there are even more conferences to get to, so let's do it!

I don't forsee any upsets in the early rounds of this tourney, so it's gonna come down to the Great Danes of Albany and the Vermont Catamounts. Now while all signs point to it being Vermont's year in the AE, we like the feisty Danes. The Catamounts are cruising right now, winners of 12 straight and 18 of 19, including two wins over UA. The Danes lost the last meeting in the Capital Region by a mere 4 points, but the championship game is played in Vermont. In both meetings the greatest Danes, Jason Siggers and Jamar Wilson, were on fire, but if they're gonna beat the Catamounts in Vermont, they'll need some help from Brian Connelly and the supporting cast, to take some pressure of their studs. The intersteing thing is that Vermont had only one loss in conference play, which came against Maine, who if all the higher seeds advance out of the quarters would be their semifinal matchup. So, there's a slight chance that Albany can host the Black Bears. Now if, if, if the Black Bears beat Vermont, the Danes are in like flint. But, I figure the Danes are due even if they head to Vermont. Just shut down "The Big Stromboli" Mike Trimboli, and force Martin Klimes to do something and it's the Danes goin back to the big dance. (Okay so we actually picked the Catamounts to win this tourney, but we'll be rooting the Danes, and this blog's favorite Dane, Brian Lillis, all the way.) UA, UA, UA, UA!

The Colonial has some good squads, and much like the Valley, many wonder how many teams are gonna get in. Hofstra, Drexel, Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth are all 20 game winners and should breeze into the Aeropostale Colonial Athletic Association "Jammin' on the James" Championship semifinals. But there are no gimmies come March, in college basketball. And last years Super Cinderella, George Mason is hanging around in as the 6th seed. But we feel the big four are on to the semis. But when it gets to the semis do drexel and Hofstra have what it takes? We think not. The Dragons would draw VCU in the semis and with the games in Virginia, the crowd could give VCU the edge. Now Drexel lost to VCU in their only meeting, but they played without Frank Elegar and that coukld help a lot. Plus the Dragons are pretty darned good away from their lair, going 13-4 away from the Daskalakis Athletic Center or the DAC. Drexel was off to a flying start, but when it comes down to it Bruiser Flint's Dragons haven't been winning the big games. Going just 1-4 against the top three teams in the CAA.
But we've got a hunch that with Chaz Crawford locking down on defense and Elegar back in the lineup look, for the Dragons to head to the finals, where they'll face Old Dominion. Although Hofstra is beaming with pride, The Pride faithful won't be beaming after Vlad Vasylius and the Monarchs run over them en route to the finale, where we think the Monarchs will slay the Dragons. That's right we pick the Monarchs to be the kings of the Aeropostale Colonial Athletic Associationn "Jammin on the James" Championship.

The big question is can anyone stop Jared Jordan and the Red Foxes of Marist? I don't think so. But watch or Iona to pull off the most stunning upset by winning their first gam against Rider. Now I know Iona had, what some might call, a down season, winning only one conference game. But that one win was against their first round opponent, Rider. So look for Jeff Ruland's Gaels to win one game in the tourney. The toughest pick was the Siena-Manhattan matchup. We're taking the Saints in this one. It'll be the Haddix and Hansbrouck show as the Siena topples the Jaspers. Now the final will be Marist against Loyola. I know, I know, Niagara has a high-powered offense, but we think the Greyhounds Gerald Brown will outplay Charron Fisher in the key matchup. But no one's shuttin'down JJ and the Red Foxes. It's Marist headed to the big dance.

Now Gonzaga has won the last three conference tournaments and 8 of the last 9 and we think you can make it 9 out of 10. Now the Zags are not as strong as their teams of the past. They don't have thatb go-to guy. No Matt Santangelo, Dan Dickau, Blake Stepp or Adam Morrison to carry the load. Nothing against Derek Raivio-li, he's good, but he just doesn't have that go-to guy aura about him. The biggest thing in the Bulldogs' way is Steve Nash's alma mater, Santa Clara. The Broncos' leading scorer, Sean Denison only averages 10.9 points per game. The rest of the field should offer little competition. Although the Wave from Peppedine will be playing this in honor of Dennis Johnson, DJ's memory won't get 'em past San Diego and Gyno Pomare.

Oral Roberts is our horse in this conference, as they have been since the season began. Caleb Green, Ken "King" Tutt and the Golden Eagles made it to the Big Dance last year, where they were ousted by #1 -seeded Memphis. They'll be looking to get back and prove themselves this time around. It seems like their upset of Kansas, was ages ago, but they seem poised to take this tourney. They didlose their last game against the #2 team in the conference, the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, but we feel the Crusaders of Valparaiso will take them down in the semis. We look for a big tournament from Valpo's Urule (we don't know how his name is actuallypronounced, but we like to think it's just like "You rule", so there could be signs saying "You Rule, Urule!") Igbavboa. And of course you can never, ever underestimate the IUPUI Jaguars, but it'll come down to Valpo and ORU, with the Golden Eagles taking it.

There'sno Harold Arcineaux around, but Weber State is still the favorite. Now there are only six teams in this conference tournament, that's right , six! David Patten, no not the wide reciver in the NFL, will look to be this year's Arcineaux, but beware the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona. Ruben Boykin, Jr., not to be confused with Earl Boykins, leads the Lumberrjacks and they should be headed for quite a duel with the Wildacts. Now we're a big fan of Idaho schools and the Grizzlies of Montana, but this is the Weber State's year. But look for the David Schroeder led Bengals of Idaho State to upset the Grizzlies in the quarterfinals. So there ya have it.

Don't worry, there's plenty more madness to come.

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