Fantasy Hoops w/Keith Lipscomb
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Keith Lipscomb (3:03 PM)
It's my favorite time of year, so let's talk about the tourney!
Keith, who do you think is going to win the NCAA Tournament?
Keith Lipscomb (3:05 PM)
I didn't want to do it, but as long as Ty Lawson stays healthy -- and I think UNC was just being cautious and smart by holding him out of the ACC tournament, I expect him to -- I think the Heels will cut down the nets.
David Fairborn, OH
Regarding the strength of the overall field of 64, what would you give it this year, on a scale of 1 to 10? It just seems weak to me.
Keith Lipscomb (3:06 PM)
I totally agree, David. I just don't think as much of the double-digit seeds as I usually do, and therefore, I had a harder time picking upsets this year. Kind of disappointing when I was filling out my bracket. I'd say it's a 6 on a scale of 10.
steve: Fargo, Nd
What do you think about NDSU's and its chance against kansas and with it being in minneapolis there will be a large following of fans there to support the Bison.
Keith Lipscomb (3:08 PM)
It definitely can't hurt to have the crowd on your side. You know that everyone there WITHOUT a rooting interest will be loving the Bison. There's no doubt NDSU has a chance, because Woodside is a dynamic point guard and Winkelman is solid, too. I was hoping the Bison would get a better seed (like maybe a 13 instead of Portland State), so I have them losing to KU.
Keith, call me a crazy homer but looking at BC's bracket, I can see a possible elite 8 run in their future...All 3 of the teams they would conceviably face play styles that play right into BC's shown strength's this year...of course they did lose to Harvard, so this is dependant on them actually showing up...
Keith Lipscomb (3:09 PM)
Well, you've seen them play, Greg, and you know that they are just as likely to lose in the first round by double digits to USC as they are to run to the Elite Eight. They are one of the big mystery teams in the field, in my opinion. I took USC to beat them in Round 1, but it's hard to be confident no matter who you pick in that game.
Siena got a tough draw playing Ohio St in Ohio and if they win they get Louisville. What's their chance of winning one? two?
Keith Lipscomb (3:11 PM)
Couldn't agree more, Bobbo. I was disappointed to see the committee place the Buckeyes in Dayton, because an 8-seed doesn't deserve that. And because of that, I like OSU to win this game. I really expect it to be a good one. I think someone like Rossiter could be the X-factor in that game for the Saints.
What are the chances of Cleveland State upsetting Wake in the 1st round in your opinion?
Keith Lipscomb (3:13 PM)
Better than they seem to be getting credit for, Matt. The Vikes will definitely play to Wake's weakness by making them knock down 3s ... but by packing it in, they'll have to make sure they hit the defensive boards, because Wake's got one of the best front lines in the country, and second opportunities could prove to be the difference. I can't help but worry that CSU will go through one of its 5-6 minute offensive droughts at some point, though, and Wake will prevail.
Nick (Flint, MI)
I'm so tempted to take Arizona State over a tired (I don't care what they say) Syracuse team. A.S.U. was impressive in their conference victories....What do you think?
Keith Lipscomb (3:16 PM)
I actually have ASU as one of my surprise Elite Eight teams. Many times in the tourney, star power emerges and James Harden certainly has that. Combined with Pendergraph and a solid perimeter game from Kuksiks and Glasser, I think they'll be a tough out.
Tony (Villanova, PA)
How far do you Nova going this year? Do you see them getting by potential Duke and Pitt (who they already beat) and making a deep run?
Keith Lipscomb (3:17 PM)
As the season's gone along, I really fell in love with Nova, Tony. They've always seemed to flounder entering the tournament, but they didn't do that this year. I actually do have them beating both Duke and Pitt (again), and reaching the Final Four. We'll see how that one goes.
Dom, San Antonio, Texas
Do you believe Louisville's great Defense will work in favor of them against the teams they are facing?
Keith Lipscomb (3:19 PM)
Yes, I really do, at least until they get to the Elite Eight. The potential Wake Forest matchup will be fun to watch, but I trust Louisville to defend more in that one.
Hey Keith, In your bracket(s), Which lowest seed(#5 or higher) do you have going the farthest and which team is it?
Keith Lipscomb (3:20 PM)
I was really disappointed that I just couldn't pull the trigger on double-digit seeds much this year, but I do have West Virginia and Arizona St. reaching the Elite Eight, a pair of 6-seeds.
Dave (Flagstaff, AZ)
Which dreaded 12 - 5 matchup do you predict being an upset?
Keith Lipscomb (3:23 PM)
I don't love the 12s all that much this year, but with Chester Frazier's injury, I think that opens the door some for Western Kentucky, a team which beat Louisville by 14 early in the season. Arizona's going to be the popular pick, but I think Utah's solid inside-out attack matches up well against the 'Cats. And I can't buy Wisconsin, who simply underwhelmed me this season. And Purdue is playing too well to lose to UNI, in my mind.
Do you think CAL has a good run in them? Are they even built for one?
Keith Lipscomb (3:25 PM)
At least they've got a solid point guard, but with no great interior threat, I think they'll run into problems in the second round against a silly Memphis defense.
Jim (Seattle, WA)
What do you think about Duke over Pitt in the elite 8? Duke looked great against a surging Florida State team and Pitt has a history of failing to make deep runs.
Keith Lipscomb (3:26 PM)
If those teams meet, I think that game will be decided by how the game is called, because Pitt will attempt to bludgeon the Blue Devils if they are allowed to do so. I would take Pitt in that matchup, if everyone's healthy.
Jim (Seattle, WA)
How do you see UCLA fairing? They have Collison, Shipp, and Aboya all returning from last year's team and have made the final four in each of the last three seasons.
Keith Lipscomb (3:28 PM)
UCLA has underwhelmed me all season long. Aboya's been the exception with his great improvement. I just don't feel like this UCLA team defends like past ones, and therefore, I don't have them lasting past the second round in Philly against Nova. That first-round game against VCU is certainly no gimme, either.
Who do you think will be the dark horse this year? Will there be another George Mason or Davidson?
Keith Lipscomb (3:30 PM)
I don't see one in this field, really, James. Utah State shoots the ball well enough and takes care of the ball to pull a surprise or two, but I just don't see any crazy squads making it that far this year. I really hope I'm wrong.
What do you think about Tubby taking his team do the 2nd round? Do you think the Gophers can surprise anybody this year?
Keith Lipscomb (3:32 PM)
That Texas-Minnesota game won't be pretty, and the way the Gophers finished the season, I don't have a lot of confidence in them winning that game. Even if they do, though, I can't see them knocking off Duke.
Louis, Baton Rouge
What are LSU chances against Butler? Do you think they both deserved higher seeds?
Keith Lipscomb (3:34 PM)
Yes, I do ... even if only by one seed. But LSU scuffled shooting the ball in its final few games and Butler can really defend. If LSU's not patient on offense, Butler will win that game. But I think they will get on track and like Marcus Thornton and Taz Mitchell to led the Tigers into the second round.
Is Washington as good as everyone thinks? Miss State coming off a nice run might give them some trouble right?
Keith Lipscomb (3:35 PM)
State has a real game-changer in Jarvis Varnado, and they way they are playing right now, they definitely have a chance. One big factor working against them, though, is the fact the game is being played in Portland, so it will be a strong UW crowd there.
Who you got Clemson or Michigan?
Keith Lipscomb (3:37 PM)
That might have been my toughest first-round game to pick, because I'm not sure which team will show up on either side. Clemson just hasn't been the same since they trashed Duke, so I went with Michigan in the mild upset.
How nasty is the potential round two match up of Washington vs. Purdue? A potential sweet 16 battle in round two, just isn't fair to us.... that said, who you got?
Keith Lipscomb (3:38 PM)
Yeah, that's probably my favorite second-round matchup. Too bad it's being played in Portland, but I still think Purdue overcomes that and takes out the Huskies. With Hummel and Kramer looking strong again, the team is complete once again. It's easy to forget how much was thought of that team entering the season.
Nick (Wichita, KS)
Mizzou is getting very little attention and nobody is talking about how they should have been the #2 seed playing in Kansas City instead of Oklahoma. They beat OU (With Blake Griffin), tied them in the Big 12, and won the Big 12 tourney. Am I wrong here?
Keith Lipscomb (3:40 PM)
You could certainly argue it, Nick. But I've actually heard a handful of people on television already talking up the pressure Mizzou puts on opponents. I really hope to see them face Memphis, because that will be a fun game to watch in the Sweet 16.
Chris, Portland Maine
So you see Cal over the Terps? Why?
Keith Lipscomb (3:42 PM)
Both teams have had some uneven performances, so this could be a good game or a blowout either way. But I really like how well Cal shoots the 3-ball (43%) and think Jerome Randle will shine.
Drew (Cleveland, OH)
I love Portland State over Xavier. Xavier has struggled to score lately and Jeremiah Dominguez is a blast to watch. In how many of your brackets will you pick Portland State?
Keith Lipscomb (3:43 PM)
I actually liked last year's PSU team better than this year, yet they get a 13 this year (after a 16 last year). The Vikings played so well when they won at Gonzaga, so they are certainly capable, but I think Xavier has too many versatile athletes for PSU to win that one.
Eddie (State College, PA)
Could you see Texas over Duke?
Keith Lipscomb (3:44 PM)
Texas has been a weird team this season, but if James and especially Pittman are strong inside, the Horns would definitely have a chance, because that would open things up for Abrams outside.
Rob (New Orleans)
Keith, if Ohio State beats Siena, do you see Louisville running in to a "trap game" in Dayton? OSU would have to play their best, but this is March Madness......thanks Keith!
Keith Lipscomb (3:45 PM)
I don't really see it, Rob. If Ohio State was a little bit stronger in the backcourt, maybe I'd feel that way, but as nice as Evan Turner is, I think Louisville will work hard to make sure he doesn't beat them, since very few others on the Buckeyes can.
Who do you have in your Final Four?
Keith Lipscomb (3:46 PM)
My Final Four is Louisville, Memphis, Villanova and UNC.
Phil (Berkeley, CA)
My belief is that Wake Forest has been one of the more inconsistent power teams in the nation. If Arizona slips by Utah and shows up against Wake, I think Deamon Deacon fans need to be a little nervous.
Keith Lipscomb (3:47 PM)
No question about that, especially when you consider the type of defense Arizona plays. A matchup zone against a poor 3-point shooting team like Wake would definitely make for an interesting matchup. And that's why I've seen some people take Arizona into the Sweet 16. They've got a couple pros on the roster, so it's not like anyone would dispute how talented Arizona is.
Jordan (Slinger, WI)
More likely to make a Sweet Sixteen run: Wisconsin or Arizona?
Keith Lipscomb (3:49 PM)
With the way the Badgers play defense, and considering the opponents they would face, I can't rule them out from winning a couple games. But I just worry that they'll have problems scoring. So, if I had to pick between the two, I'd actually go with Arizona for the reasons I stated in the previous question.
How do you have Memphis in the final four? They haven't proved that much by playing in the C-USA. Would just like to hear your take on the whole thing. Thanks
Keith Lipscomb (3:51 PM)
Definitely a fair question, Mike. Interestingly enough, Memphis may not SEEM like a better team than last year, but they are better defensively in my opinion, and free throws aren't the bugaboo they were last year, either. Tyreke Evans has really brought life to that offense since he was moved to the point, and I just think opponents will have a hard time scoring against them. It seems like they go on 10-0 runs just when you think their opponent is hanging with them.
Zach Kranzler (BACO)
Not a huge Michigan fan, but they pose a scary matchup to Clemson and even to Oklahoma if they are hitting their shots--your thoughts?
Keith Lipscomb (3:53 PM)
That's the key, hitting their shots. And that's nearly impossible to predict with them. If they shoot like they did in their second meeting with Duke, then they'll be in the Sweet 16. If it's more like their first meeting with Duke, it'll be one-and-done. But I agree, they can be scary, with Harris and Sims a really good tandem.
Matthew (St Paul, MN)
Hey Keith, Curious as to your thoughts on Marquette. I think they can win one, maybe beat Mizzou depending on if they continue to adjust without DJ. They almost beat Nova, everybody's favorite sleeper last week, so looks like they are adjusting. Thoughts?
Keith Lipscomb (3:55 PM)
I would agree that they looked much better against Nova, which was a good sign. But I can't help but worry about what they lost on both sides of the ball without James. And when you face an efficient team like Utah State, it won't be easy. And if they get past them, they'll run into an equally small and every bit as athletic Missouri squad. Can they get to the Sweet 16? I think they can, but I didn't pick it.
David (South Brunswick, NJ)
How many tourney games are you going to?
Keith Lipscomb (3:56 PM)
I'm headed to Miami, and can't wait to get there.
Thomas (Philadelphia, PA)
Keith, each year for the past 10 years me and my buddies do a player-pool, pick 10 players for the tourney, total points wins. Im tempted to take McNeal from Marquette, but I think that is a shaky section of the South and somewhat tough to predict. What's your take?
Keith Lipscomb (3:57 PM)
I wouldn't take him early, Thomas, because they also could lose in the first round, but if they survive that game, they'll get an up-tempo affair against Mizzou, which would be perfect for your league.
Did the Dayton Flyers get hosed? 29 RPI, wins at Marquette earlier in the season and vs Xavier. 3-2 against top 50 RPI and they're the 11th seed against WVU?
Keith Lipscomb (3:58 PM)
You could definitely say they deserve a better seed than Minnesota, for example, but losing Lowery may have had something to do with the committee dropping them, even though Warren has played well in his stead.
Ballentine, New Philadelphia, OH
Keith, which small school player is going to make a name for himself a la Stephen Curry last year?
Keith Lipscomb (4:00 PM)
I'd like to say Ben Woodside of North Dakota State, because he's fun to watch, but I don't love the matchup with Kansas. I'm sure you remember Eric Maynor from VCU after his winning shot against Duke, so we could be hearing more of his name again this year, too. If Cleveland State can upset Wake Forest, Cedric Jackson is another fun player to watch.
Keith Lipscomb (4:01 PM)
And as my esteemed colleague Pierre Becquey points out, Cleveland State has never been to an NCAA tournament in which they did not reach the Sweet 16.
Keith Lipscomb (4:02 PM)
Well, I've gotta run, but I really enjoyed talking about the tournament with you all. I wish you the best of luck in the Tournament Challenge and Hardcourt Challenge games!