Monday, March 15, 2010
Vols and Lady Vols in the Big Dance!
Since Bruce Pearl has been at Tennessee it has been real nice to cheer on both the Vols and Lady Vols in the NCAA Tournament. During those four "glorious" years under Buzz Peterson, I was at Tennessee as an undergrad and only had the Lady Vols to root for. With both teams in, March Madness is even better!
So let's take a look at what the Vols and Lady Vols have in store for them. Ladies first!
After an absolute dreadful year last season, in which the Lady Vols failed to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in their history, Pat Summitt put the Lady Vols to work and they are back where they belong as a number one seed.
Tennessee is also back to being absolutely dominant in the low post with Kelly Cain, Alyssia Brewer, and Glory Johnson. The Lady Vols averaged ten more rebounds a game then their opponents. Add leading scorer Angie Bjorklund with do everything Shekinna Stricklen running the point and the Lady Vols are a very dangerous team. The biggest problems this season for the Lady Vols is that Cain and Brewer have to stay out of foul trouble, and as a team they are only shooting 67.8% from the free throw line.
The team to beat for the Lady Vols is UConn who have now won an NCAA record 72 straight games. If things go the way they should, Tennessee would meet UConn in the national semifinal. This is actually better historically for the Lady Vols because they have not defeated UConn in a NCAA Championship Final. Looking forward to seeing if Tennessee can bring home title number nine!
Meanwhile, the Tennessee men's team end up with a six seed and face a good San Diego State team in the first round. Many are disappointed with the Vols' seed, myself included. What I think the selection committee looked at was that Tennessee's eight losses were by an average of 14.9 points. On top of that, the last loss was the 29 point beat down by Kentucky after the Vols had cut it to six midway through the second half. I still think Tennessee should have been a four seed but we can't worry about that now.
I still think the Vols can make a run in the tournament. Tennessee matches up well against the Aztecs. Both teams score in the low 70s and that scoring is spread around the whole team. SDSU is led by freshman Kawhi Leonard who plays a lot like Wayne Chism but lacks some experience. Tennessee is finally up against a team that shoots worse free throws than they do. SDSU only shoots 61.7% which makes the Big Orange's 66.9% look outstanding.
What Tennessee also has going for it is that all the so called "experts" including Sports Illustrated/CBS douche Seth Davis think Tennessee has nothing left and will be out quickly. I believe the Vols can beat the Aztecs and then play a possible second round match-up against Georgetown.
This is one of my favorite times of year. LET THE MADNESS BEGIN!!!