Play of the Day for Fri., March 21, 2008

March 21, 2008 6:00 PM
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Bonus coverage of NCAA tourney

Butler –4˝ over South Alabama

Butler is the quintessential, mid-major Cinderella team. They’re well-coached, move the ball well and play together defensively – traits that make them dangerous for any foe. South Alabama is not without talent, especially with guard Demetric Bennett pulling the trigger. But he doesn’t get much help, either from his supporting cast or their young bench. The game may be close for a while, but Butler’s methodical, clinic-like attack will eventually put the Jaguars away. Butler.

 

St. Joseph’s +1˝ over Oklahoma

St. Jo’s has a score to settle with the Big 12. Four years ago, they were seeded No. 1 in the tournament but were knocked out in the Elite Eight by Oklahoma State. This year they have the players to overcome Oklahoma’s brawling style of game and advance. St. Jo coach Phil Martelli is a good one, as his 6-4 record in the NCAA tourney suggests. With three solid scoring threats, including big men who can step outside and drain three’s. The Hawks should be able to run away from the Sooners. St. Joseph’s.

 

Louisville –13˝ over Boise State

The Cardinals are well-coached, they play good defense and they rebound well, all of which makes them a legitimate threat to advance to the Regional Finals. Boise loves to run and put the ball in the basket, but the inability to sweep the boards will hinder their vaunted fast break. By the same token, Louisville can play fast, but the Cardinals have more options when they get into a half-court game. With such a strong inside game to augment their fast attack, the Cardinals have too much for Boise to overcome. Louisville.

 

Clemson –6 over Villanova

This should be an entertaining game with plenty of baseline-to-baseline action. Clemson has the advantage in the front court with big men James Mays and Trevor Booker clogging the lane, while Villanova has talented though young guards Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher, who are both capable of breaking Clemson’s oft times leaky press. Clemson, however, has a pair of capable guards and their play, coupled with a dominant front line, should be enough to close out Villanova. Clemson.

 

Drake –4 over Western Kentucky

This should be a fun match-up with baskets coming in bunches. Drake is among the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, and Western Kentucky’s high-octane offense is fueled by Sun Belt Player of the Year Courtney Lee, a perimeter sharp-shooter. While Western Kentucky has proven it can play with the majors (they lost by a combined nine points to Tennessee and Gonzaga), Drake has too much firepower and should be able to outscore the Hilltoppers. Drake.

Butler –4˝ over South Alabama

Butler is the quintessential, mid-major Cinderella team. They’re well-coached, move the ball well and play together defensively – traits that make them dangerous for any foe. South Alabama is not without talent, especially with guard Demetric Bennett pulling the trigger. But he doesn’t get much help, either from his supporting cast or their young bench. The game may be close for a while, but Butler’s methodical, clinic-like attack will eventually put the Jaguars away. Butler.

 

St. Joseph’s +1˝ over Oklahoma

St. Jo’s has a score to settle with the Big 12. Four years ago, they were seeded No. 1 in the tournament but were knocked out in the Elite Eight by Oklahoma State. This year they have the players to overcome Oklahoma’s brawling style of game and advance. St. Jo coach Phil Martelli is a good one, as his 6-4 record in the NCAA tourney suggests. With three solid scoring threats, including big men who can step outside and drain three’s. The Hawks should be able to run away from the Sooners. St. Joseph’s.

 

Louisville –13˝ over Boise State

The Cardinals are well-coached, they play good defense and they rebound well, all of which makes them a legitimate threat to advance to the Regional Finals. Boise loves to run and put the ball in the basket, but the inability to sweep the boards will hinder their vaunted fast break. By the same token, Louisville can play fast, but the Cardinals have more options when they get into a half-court game. With such a strong inside game to augment their fast attack, the Cardinals have too much for Boise to overcome. Louisville.

 

Clemson –6 over Villanova

This should be an entertaining game with plenty of baseline-to-baseline action. Clemson has the advantage in the front court with big men James Mays and Trevor Booker clogging the lane, while Villanova has talented though young guards Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher, who are both capable of breaking Clemson’s oft times leaky press. Clemson, however, has a pair of capable guards and their play, coupled with a dominant front line, should be enough to close out Villanova. Clemson.