Sat. Jun 25th, 2022

With the 2007 NCAA March Madness right around the corner, let’s have a look at some contenders, pretenders and sleeper teams. I will also dole out my All-America teams.Contenders:

Florida- The Gators are the consensus No. 1 team in the land right now. Every one of their five starters averages in double figures, and they are a very good rebounding team with big men such as Joakim Noah and Al Horford dominating the glass. They also have the experience factor as they are the defending champs.

North Carolina- Top to bottom, this is the most skilled team in the country. Tyler Hansbrough averages 18 points and 8 rebounds per game and freshman Brandan Wright averages 15 points per game. This team is the best offensive team in the country, with their only downfall being that they can get complacent at times against weaker teams.

Wisconsin- National Player of the Year favorite Alando Tucker is the clear-cut leader of this team, as he averages an impressive 20 points and 5 rebounds per game. This is a very senior heavy team so leadership should not be an issue. This team has played together for quite some time now and could be very dangerous come Madness.

Pretenders:

Duke- The Dukies play great defense, but their lack of offense and a go-to scorer will eventually doom them. Duke has always had at least one great scorer to lean on (Jay Williams, Corey Maggette, J.J Redick) in the past when it has made such deep runs in the tournament, but DeMarcus Nelson, while a good player, does not have the same kind of impact as previous Duke greats.

UCLA- Yes, I know they are ranked in the top 5, but watching this team the other day against West Virginia, I noticed that their only real true scoring threat is Arron Affalo, who averages 17 points per game. Josh Shipp is a nice player and the Bruins do have experience on their side, but their lack of depth will ultimately do them in.

Memphis- The Tigers are stuck in a mediocre conference, and because of this it is very difficult to get a gauge on them. When the spotlight has been on them, however, they have crumbled. They lost at home against Georgia Tech and traveled to Arizona where they lost to the Wildcats. By comparison, North Carolina smoked Arizona by 28 in the same arena.

Sleepers:

Texas- Kevin Durant. Remember the name. Sixers fans definitely should as he should be coming out for the draft this year. The fabulous freshman is in a dead heat with Wisconsin’s Alando Tucker for Player of the Year honors, and is the first player in Big 12 history to score at least 30 points and snag at least 20 rebounds in one game.

Nevada- If Nick Fazekas played for a major conference team, he would be in the conversation with Tucker and Durant for player of the year. The big man averages 20 points and 11 rebounds per game and is the biggest reason why the Wolfpack is 22-2.

All-America Teams

1st Team

C Nick Fazekas. Nevada

PF Alando Tucker,

Wisconsin

SF- Kevin Durant, Texas

SG- Jared Dudley,

Boston College

PG- Acie Law IV,

Texas A&M

2nd Team

C- Aaron Gray, Pitt

PF- Tyler Hansbrough,

UNC

SF- Brandan Wright,

UNC

SG- Brandon Rush,

Kansas

PG- Taurean Green,

Florida

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