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Not from me, but from the ESPN guys. And a great line about Withey/Self:
"Withey anchors the second-best field goal percentage defense in the nation. He will become an All-American and first-round pick just like every other post player that Self produces."
Insider experts Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla, Seth Greenberg, Joe Lunardi and Miles Simon explain their updated Final Four and national championship picks for the 2012-13 season, now that conference play is underway.
This post was edited by WestCoastHawk 15 months ago
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestCoastHwk247
I have to say I was a bit surprised to see Jay Bilas not put Kansas in his Final Four, but yet Miles Simon did. Right now, trying to take the bias out of it, Kansas has the pieces to make it. Senior leadership, NBA talent, extremely tough defensively. Those 3 factors usually lead to good things in March.
This is one of the tougher years to pick, I feel. Just not much in the way of elite programs out there right now.
For this reason, KU and Duke seem to be the top bets. Both have efficient offenses and defenses, both have elite big men (Withey, Plumlee), and both have a star shooter (McLemore, Curry).
It'll be interesting to see how Kansas handles the different styles through Big 12 season and how Self elects to match up with them. I was pretty disappointed in his coaching against Iowa State, mainly because their "small" lineup was torching us with both Young & Withey playing together. With Travis capable of playing\defending their 4s, I was shocked it took so long for him to play Tharpe\Elijah\Ben\Travis at the same time (and I understand part of that is because of how bad everyone is on the bench behind Tharpe). Hell, I even thought White was going to play as a 4, just because he seemed like the perfect guy to beat that a few times to open things up.
Gun to my head, I'll take these for my midseason Final Four:
3 of the 4 return from last year, with Duke replacing the UK as the #1. I felt before the season that Pitino, Matta, and Self were both amassing talent and coaching at elite levels, so I like the odds of them navigating the tourney waters more than Beilein or Crean at Michigan and IU (and I trust no Big 10 team except OSU).
Each of those schools has a legit star on the perimeter (Curry, McLemore, Siva, Thomas) and a legit interior defender (Plumlee, Withey, Dieng, Williams).
Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, and Syracuse look like S16 teams to me. Florida and Mizzou look like busts one week and S16 teams the next. Arizona looks like a great 1st round upset team.
Guards I don't trust in March: Mike Rosario (UF), Phil Pressey (MU), Mark Lyons (UA).
Having not seen the game, but what the heck happened to tOSU at Illinois? They got smoked.
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