NCAA Tournament: Four Teams You Need to Know

Tools

by Andrew Coughlin

Lets start the dance!

Here are four teams that may surprise everyone this year in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

 

Florida State Seminoles 

This team is steam rolling into the tournament by winning the ACC Championship.  I know this is a sexy pick in a lot of brackets now, but they beat UNC and Duke two times a piece, once at Durham.  They start four seniors and one junior guard so experience is a strength for them.  Very big in the frontcourt and the backcourt as well.

The Seminoles could be a final four team.

Player to Watch

Junior G Michael Snaer is averaging 14.5 PPG and 3.8 RPG.  He's very good from the free throw line at almost 85%, but what really stands out is his percentage from behind the arc at 42%.  Snaer is a bigger guard at 6'5" and can score from posting up smaller guards.

Big Wins

North Carolina 2X; @ Duke and vs. Duke; Virginia

Belmont Bruins

Belmont suffered an early season loss to Duke by one point and have all the makings of being an upset specialist.  They come into the tournament red hot having won 14 in a row. This is the fifth time in seven years that the Bruins have made the tournament and each time they haven't gotten out of the first round.  This team can score.  They're forth in the nation in PPG at 81.5 and fifth in the nation APG 17.4.  This team shoots the ball well from the field as a team at 48%.

If Belmont can get out of the first round against a streaky Georgetown team, I can see them making it to the Sweet 16 and possibly the Elite 8. If they can finally get out of the first round(or second that is).

Player to Watch

This whole team shoots the ball very well from the outside, but senior G Drew Hanlen maybe the best.  At 5'11" he might have trouble shooting over the bigger teams Belmont may run into.  He shoots 48% from the 3-point line and if he gets hot from out there they could upset Georgetown early on.

Big Wins

None, but lost to Duke by 1 point in their first game of the year.

Marquette Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagles finished the regular season 25-7 overall and 14-4 in the Big East.  Buzz Williams has this team playing at a very high level.  They're fast, athletic and tenacious on defense.  A great perimeter team, they lack size on the inside, but what they lack in height, they more than make up for it in the transition game.  

Player to Watch

Marquette has the Big East Player of the Year in senior F Jae Crowder.  He can play in the post and can hit shots from the 3-point line as well.  His versatility allows Marquette to create matchup nightmares for opposng teams.  He's averaging 17.4 PPG, 8.1 RPG and 2.4 steals a game.

Big Wins

@ Wisconsin; Georgetown; Louisville 

UNLV Rebels

The Mountain West isn't considered a power conference in the NCAA basketball world, but four teams were invited to the "Big Dance" and UNLV may be the best of the four.  The Rebels bring a veteran team to the tournament that shares the ball well.  They have a solid frontcourt with length inside as they rotate four guys 6'8" and above.  They started the season very well, but come into round one in streaky fashion with a 5-5 record in their last 10 games.  Not being a good free throw shooting team could hurt them as well.

Player to Watch

Sophomore F Mike Moser is averaging a double-double in really his first full season at UNLV.  At 14.1 PPG and 10.6 RPG Moser is a beast.  Named 1st Team All-Mountain West.  Moser was also named to the All-Defensive Team and has a good group of leadership around him to excel in this years tournament.

Big Wins

 North Carolina; San Diego St.; New Mexico; California; Illinois 

Poll

Which of these new Wisconsin State Fair snacks are you going to try?

  • BBQ Chicken Cone
  • Deep Fried Maple Bacon Cookie Dough
  • Reeses Funnel Cake
  • Deep Fried Racine Kringel