Sunday, May 3, 2015

Rapid Reaction: NCAA Tournament Selection Edition

With Duke and North Carolina learning about what their paths to Championship Weekend look like, I've decided to give a quick and sweet rundown of what these gauntlets look like.

As expected, both teams received favorable first-round match ups at home, but assuming both teams make it to the elite eight, theirs a strong chance each will face a foe they've already failed to defeat once this season.


First Round: Ohio State, May 9 7:30 p.m.

Duke shouldn't have too many problems with an Ohio State team with only one win it can hang its hat on. Aside from being Johns Hopkins earlier in the season, OSU has come up short against all its highly-touted opponents. The Buckeyes were shut out against Notre Dame and only scored once against Maryland the first time the two teams played. While they beat JHU early in April, they got it handed to them 13-6 in the Big Ten championship game by the Blue Jays. While I imagine they'll bring it for their opportunity to take down the reigning champs, I don't think they have much of a chance.


First Round: Colgate, May 10 5:15 p.m.

This match up is a little bit more interesting. While Colgate's staple wins are against teams on the back end of the top-20, the Raiders managed to play a competitive game against the top-ranked Orange this past weekend. Colgate managed to make the contest a respectable 7-9 lose despite being absolutely dominated at the face-off X (2-for-20) and losing the ground ball battle (20-29). I haven't seen the film so I'm not going to act like I can explain that result, but I don't think it's replicable. The way you consistently make upsets in May is by controlling possession. In order to do that you need to win ground balls and face-offs. Colgate did neither of those things against Syracuse.

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