The 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is about to set off, and the level of excitement is higher than ever. There seems to be a lesser gap between the top and mid-ranked teams, knowing 19 of the 25 top teams lost in the week leading up to the bracket selections.
Look for UCLA vs. VCU to be a tight game in the Eastern region. UCLA has been able to reach three consecutive Final Fours, but VCU has the potential to create an upset. They were able to knock off Duke in the first round 2 years ago and continued on to lose to Pitt in overtime. VCU will rely on Eric Maynor to keep them going offensively. Maynor has averaged 22.4 points a game this season, making him 11th in the country in scoring.
The Western region will feature Washington vs. Mississippi State. The game will showcase two of the best big men in the tournament, Washington’s Jon Brockman and MSU’s Jarvis Varnado. Varnado leads the nation in shots blocked, and Brockman has led the Pac-10 in total rebounds for three years straight. Washington is ranked 13th in scoring but MSU might be able to counter their attack knowing they are listed 17th in field-goal defense.
Siena vs. Ohio State will be the game to watch in the Midwest region. Siena has been competitive with powerhouse teams such as Kansas and Pitt this year, and is also remembered for knocking off #4 Vanderbilt last season in the first round. Ohio State has struggled defending 3-pointers, but they shouldn’t have an issue with Siena as they shot 33.5 percent from 3 all season. Siena starts a big line up with three guys over 6’5″, but OSU will keep their 7 foot freshmen B.J. Mullens guarding the paint.
The Southern region will showcase Syracuse vs. Stephen F. Austin this afternoon. Syracuse performed brilliantly in the big East tournament, upsetting UConn in 6 overtimes and just falling short of winning the Big East conference. The Orangemen are eighth in the country in scoring, but their opponent S.F. Austin is ranked 2nd in field goal D. Syracuse should be able to come out on top, but it won’t be easy.
NCAA Men’s Basketball tickets are now available at Aceticket.com