Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Freshman Phenoms Teams Struggling As Dance Is Upon Us

O.J Mayo and Michael Beasley are two of the best freshman playing college basketball this season. Both players are averaging over 20 points per contest, and both decided not to go to the elite basketball programs like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas or Indiana. Despite how much game these future NBA All-Stars have, both Mayo and Beasley are having a hard time getting to the big dance next month. They both are seeing that basketball is a team game, and neither of these guys have the supporting cast to carry them into the field of 65. So they have to carry their teams themselves. Beasley looked like his Wildcats had all but wrapped up an at large bid. However they are back on the bubble again after losing four out of the last five games including losses to Nebraska and Texas Tech. USC has won two straight since losing at home to arch rival UCLA, but still is looking for another good win to put on their resume. They beat UCLA at UCLA earlier in January, but that is their only good win. Losses to Mercer and California are the only real blemishes on their resume. Both teams are safely in ESPN's Bracketology, but as March creeps closer both teams could be bumped out in the coming weeks.

Kansas States Road To The Dance
Looks like the Wildcats are gonna push their losing streak to four straight and five out of their last six when they face arch rival KU this Saturday in Lawrence. If they can win against Colorado and at Iowa State the Wildcats should have the third seed going into the Big 12 tournament. They would get a bye in the first round of the tournament, and with win in the second round would give them 21 wins on the season which should be good enough to get an at large bid. However beating ISU in Ames is not a going to be a piece of cake as Hilton magic has helped ISU win some big games over ranked opponents the past couple of years. As bad as they are struggling, I think Kansas State is going to ultimately be in the NCAA tournament.

USC's Road To The Dance
Four tough games lie ahead for the Trojans as they finish up the season with Arizona, Arizona State, California, and Stanford. Winning three out of the four games would put them at 20 wins on the season, which seems to be the magical number every year for teams to get into the tournament. Realistically this team could lose the last four games, and wind up having a high seed in the Pac 10 tournament and if they lost first round Mayo and the Trojans would be playing NIT basketball. However I think the Trojans spilt the next two games and win one in the Pac 10 tournament to get them in the NCAA tournament.

Possible Matchup?
I could see an 8 vs 9 first round match up between these two. In fact I think it would be entertaining and is something the committee should look into. It would be inside presence verse a tandem of guards. Mayo and Beasley will battle it out on the hardwood a couple times a year, why not get started early by matching them up in the NCAA tournament?

1 comment:

Sportsattitude said...

Nate, I could see the NCAA committee having a sense of irony about putting USC and K-State up against each other if all the other stars align right in the brackets. It would be fun to see Mayo and Michael have at it. Neither team has been stellar of late but both should have done enough earlier on to make the Dance.