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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.

3/08/2007

Prediction time

I'm in Chicago, getting ready to head over to the United Center for the start of the Big Ten tournament, figure I ought to lay some predictions on the table before it's too late.

Let's start with today's games. Three teams have something to play for (Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois) and three teams do not (Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State). Gimme the first three to win. Illinois is the most vulnerable of the favorites because Penn State, despite the miserable year, is actually halfway decent. But the Illini are home in Chicago and a loss would cripple their NCAA hopes. I'm going chalk.

Quarterfinal Friday is looking like it could be a great day. To start at the top of the bracket, I'll go with Ohio State over Michigan to send the Wolverines back to the NIT. Ohio State is just too talented, Michigan too schizophrenic. Purdue-Iowa is an interesting 4-5 game. Steve Alford is feeling some heat at Iowa (again) while Purdue is staring the first NCAA berth of the Matt Painter era in the face. Iowa won big on its home floor two weeks ago, my guess is Purdue gets revenge. Got to have one upset in Round 2, so I'm going MSU over Wisconsin. Teams typically don't shoot well in their first game at the United Center, and the Spartans have made the Badgers too reliant on the 3-pointer in their two meetings. With the win, MSU improves its NCAA seeding to a six. The Illinois-Indiana nightcap, like the Purdue-Iowa game, is a complete toss up, but I'm going Indiana and that ferocious defense.

That same defense is good enough to get Indiana past a tired MSU team on Saturday and into the finals against Ohio State, which handles Purdue with ease. The Buckeyes lost the championship game to Iowa last year, but they didn't have Greg Oden or Mike Conley. That sensational duo is enough to send the Buckeyes to their first conference title since 2002 and lock up a No. 1 seed in the St. Louis regional.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same logic you used to pick MSU over Wisconsin - teams shoot bad in their first game at the UC - is why U-M will beat OSU. The Buckeyes shoot too many 3s, and we'll already be comftorable with the surroundings. Wolverines going to the Dance baby, lock it.

9:32 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, why don't you guys ever put college hoops story on line?

9:33 AM 
Anonymous Dave Birkett said...

Hey anonymous. Thanks for reading, and I'll see what I can do about getting more college stories on our site. You can always access them on the digital edition, too.

As for my predictions, part of the reason I picked Michigan State to upset Wisconsin and not Michigan to do the same against Ohio State is because Michigan State is clearly the better team. Having watched both teams in person multiple times this year, MSU plays with a confidence, a purpose and a gameplan Michigan lacks. Throw in Brian Butch's injury for Wisconsin and Tom Izzo's coaching acumen and I'm sticking with MSU today. In the opener, I can see Michigan keeping it close early, but Ohio State winning by 12 or 14 in the end.

11:40 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MSU over UW? You think that MSU is the better team? Based on what exactly? I will admit that Wisconsin looks out of synch offensively over the last few weeks, but I would hardly write them off as inferior to Mich State. I have a great respect for Tom Izzo and don't doubt that MSU has quality athletes, but Wisconsin has one of the best go-to scorers in the country, a plethora of quality role players who understand the system, and Bo Ryan is no slouch as a coach. Wisco grinds them out, wins by a couple buckets, end of story

6:05 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is the better team? its obvious after today. MSU plays thug ball. when they are not at home they don't get the calls The badgers are simply better.

eat your words

8:56 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm interested in hearing your picks for Saturday's games so I can bet the opposite.

Nice call on the wisconsin game:)

1:30 PM 

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