It's bracket time, folks, and I'd "wager" most of us have some form of office pool or other contests of hoop knowledge ready for the college basketball post-season. If you have any insight you'd like to share or simply wish to cheer your home team on to glory, here's your forum! Any and all help would be appreciated, especially for fans of the smaller schools that might pull off this year's upsets!
My scoop on the GT Yellow Jackets:
Team appears a dance lock, though likely an 8-9 seed pending conference tourney results. First round match-up is with Virginia Tech. Hokies won in the only meeting this year: A one point shocker in Atlanta, in the waning seconds. Note Tech's leading scorer BJ Elder was not available for that game - Tech went 4-5 during the nine games he was out. A win there likely puts Tech up against #1 seed UNC.
Tech appears healthy, though forwards Jeremis Smith and Ishmail Muhammed have minor muscle spasms they've been nursing of late.
Tech prefers an up tempo passing game, but this year has been prone to turnovers. Against athletic, defensive oriented teams Tech's offense will struggle if they can't work an effective inside-outside game with Luke Schensher in the middle. It could get really scary if he gets into foul trouble.
They will have lots of tourney experience balanced by 4 freshman who see regular playing time. 6 of the first 9 players return from last years team that lost to UConn in the finals, including 3 starters: Elder, Schensher and PG Jarret Jack. Chemistry or focus has dogged the team all season, however, and injuries have not helped.
If Tech's passing is good and they minimize turnovers they're easily good for 80-90 points. Combined with a defense that on average keeps opponents to under 38% from the field they can at times appear as capable as last year's national runners up. They've yet to do that for a full game however, as evidenced by second half, double digit leads blown at Kansas and Wake.
Depending on the match-ups I would not be surprised to see them make the Elite Eight.... or lose in the first round.