2015 NCAA Tournament for March 19: Who, What, Where, and When

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Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

SMU vs UCLA – 3:10PM – truTV

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You have to admit that Larry Brown going against storied UCLA is intriguing, but this may be a mismatch.  SMU plays intense killer defense and has three players that can kill you.  Nic Moore is one of the best guards in the tournament and big men Yanick Moreira and Marcus Kennedy both average 11 points and 6 rebounds.  UCLA is talented but troubled.  The Bruins have five starters that average double digits and Tony Parker can be dominant in the paint.  Kevin Looney is big in the paint but Norman Powell (16.4) is their best player.  Aside from that, the Bruins have very little depth.  Also they went up against a very aggressive defense in Kentucky and fell behind 41-7.  SMU is not that good defensively, but this is one of the better defenses UCLA will face.


Shaka Smart has made VCU a regular in the NCAA Tournament, but it is odd to see them a higher seed than Ohio State.  VCU can go 12 deep and plays that havoc style of defense that makes it tough to bring the ball up the court.  Treveon Graham (16.2PPG, 6.6 RPG) is one of the best players in this region and can score from all over the court.  He is one of the most versatile players and is at home knocking down a three pointer or overpowering smaller defenders.  Smart is known to bring in a whole platoon of players to wear you down, but if you can weather the defense the first 15 seconds of the possession, you can beat them.  This is going to be a great test for D’Angelo Russell who averages 19.2 points and 5.2 assists.  The freshman is a matchup nightmare and the Buckeyes have an under rated defense.  However, the offense can be stagnant as it seems the team is just waiting on Russell to work his magic.  The bigs for Ohio State are ordinary for the Big 10 but match up well against VCU.


The pressure is on Stephen F Austin to deliver that 12 vs 5 upset and this team could do it.  The Lumberjacks rely on creating turnovers with their defense and have one of the more patient offenses in the NCAA.  The Lumberjacks lead the NCAA in assists with 17.8 a game.  They also have a nice one-two punch in scoring with Thomas Walkup (15.5 PPG) and Jacob Parker (14.2 PPG).  The Lumberjacks defense is very similar to VCU and the average possession against them lasts just 16 seconds.  Utah has a very patient offense that gets everyone involved and this team, while not as aggressive a defense as SFA, will make you work on every possession.  Delon Wright is one of the highest rated offensive players nationally in regards to efficiency and he averages 14.7 PPG.  7’0 Jakob Poeltl could be a NBA draft pick in a year or two and he shows a glimpse of that talent now.

Next: Inside the Numbers: Cats in the NCAA

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