Hey, everyone! We made it.
Let's start here: Who are you all putting in the Final Four? (You can even link to your bracket on USA TODAY Sports.)
Well, I've been keeping an eye on both VCU and Saint Louis as possible Final Four teams out of the A-10. SLU is in the same region as Louisville, so....that leaves VCU! I think Havoc is hard to prepare for, especially with a short turnaround (second games of tournament weekends) so that gives the Rams an advantage. I also think Shaka Smart is a great coach, and it doesn't hurt to make some of these picks based on coaching!
Dan, that's a good point. My one claim to fame last year was that I did predict Lehigh over Duke (and I have video evidence!) but a lot of those are hard to predict. Folks seem to be going with South Dakota State based on the potential for a big Nate Wolters night -- which is how some of these upsets happen (ala C.J. McCollum)
I'm with Patrick. I've seen Otto play a lot in person, too, and he RARELY disappoints. He just needs to put a little meat on those bones, but I think he'll do well at the next level. Really great understanding of the game. He learned the game by playing with his dad and uncles, and the way his dad describes it is that Otto learned to anticipate plays ahead of time. He's just got a great basketball IQ.
I'm looking forward to seeing whether or not this is the year Gonzaga makes the Final Four. If not now -- with this roster -- when? Seems like an interesting question, too, in light of Butler and VCU's runs. Gonzaga was the model for mid-major programs hoping to become successful national brands. Can they get to the Final Four or title game?
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch