Monday, March 17, 2008

The Memphis road to the Final Four

On Friday I had a list of teams that I did not want to see in the Memphis portion of the bracket. On the top of that list was Pittsburgh. Of course, Memphis draws them in the third game assuming that Pitt can get past Michigan State.

Memphis will play the winner of Oregon and Miss. St and if you are a Tiger fan you should root for Oregon. Memphis should have no problem with either of them, but coaches and scouts have both told me that Miss. St could give Memphis some problems.

I think the third game is THE game. I actually think the match ups get better for Memphis after this game. Pitt is something like 17-1 with Levance Fields in the starting lineup and looked absolutely awesome in the Big East tournament against some serious competition. They have real bruisers in the post and in my opinion are clearly one of the best teams in the nation with Fields healthy and in the lineup. Memphis fans should root for Michigan St. because they are a better match up than Pitt. But...

Here is a crazy stat for you regarding Michigan State (when you hear someone say this, you will know they are reading my blog)...

When Tom Izzo's teams have had less than 10 losses going into the tournament, here is what has happened (5 times)...

1 National Championship
3 Final Fours
1 Elite Eight
1 Sweet Sixteen


I still would rather see Memphis get to play Michigan State than Pitt this year. In the end, you are looking for the Dorsey match ups and I have no reservations in believing that Pitt could neutralize Dorsey. Memphis has to have him in the game and dominating in order to win a game where a lot of talent on the court. You have the best chance of Dorsey being Dorsey against Oregon and Mich St, rather than Miss. St and Pitt.

Games are about how teams match up, and I think there are a ton of teams I would have rather seen Memphis face than Pitt. I said it last week, so this is no revelation after seeing the bracket. Pitt is a bad, bad match up for Memphis. Memphis could beat them, Memphis could beat any team in the nation, but it could have been a lot easier to move on than it is going to be.