Bracketology 2/26/15

Bracketology for February 26th, 2015

1 2 3 4
 Kentucky Kansas Utah Baylor
 Virginia  Wisconsin Maryland Notre Dame
 Duke  Arizona Oklahoma Louisville
 Gonzaga  Villanova Iowa St. Northern Iowa
5 6 7 8
North Carolina VCU Providence Texas A&M
West Virginia Georgetown SDSU Iowa
Wichita St. SMU Dayton Georgia
 Arkansas Butler Michigan St. Ohio St.
9 10 11 12
Mississippi Colorado St. Temple Louisiana Tech
 Indiana Cincinnati Texas Murray St.
 Oklahoma St. NC State Oregon Stephan F. Austin
Xavier LSU Illinois Purdue
St. John’s Tulsa
13 14 15 16
 Valparaiso UC Davis  High Point  Bucknell 
 Wofford Central Michigan  North Florida Sacramento St.
 Harvard Georgia St. South Dakota St.  Albany 
 William & Mary Iona  NC Central  Texas Southern 
       New Mexico St.
 St. Francis (NY)
Last Four In First Four Out Next Four Out
Illinois UCLA Old Dominion
Oregon Davidson Kansas St.
Purdue Stanford Davidson
 Tulsa Boise State Rhode Island

Spreadsheet Version:

Bracket 2:26:15 copy

Bracketology 2/23/15

Bracketology for February 23rd, 2015

1 2 3 4
 Kentucky Kansas North Carolina Utah
 Virginia  Wisconsin Louisville Oklahoma
 Duke  Arizona Notre Dame Baylor
 Gonzaga  Villanova Iowa St. Northern Iowa
5 6 7 8
Butler VCU Providence Dayton
Wichita St. Georgetown Indiana SDSU
Maryland SMU Oklahoma St. Texas
 Arkansas West Virginia Ohio St. Michigan St.
9 10 11 12
Cincinnati LSU Temple Louisiana Tech
 Mississippi Georgia Stanford Murray St.
 Iowa Xavier Illinois Stephan F. Austin
Colorado St. Texas A&M NC State Purdue
Oregon Tulsa
13 14 15 16
 Valparaiso UC Davis  High Point  Bucknell 
 Wofford Bowling Green  Florida Gulf Coast  UL Monroe 
 Harvard Northeastern  South Dakota St.  Albany 
 Harvard Iona  NC Central  Texas Southern 
       New Mexico St.
 St. Francis (NY)
Last Four In First Four Out Next Four Out
NC State St. John’s Old Dominion
Oregon Miami Kansas St.
Purdue UCLA Davidson
 Tulsa Boise State Rhode Island

Spreadsheet Version:

Bracket 2:22:15 copy

Pac-12 Academy Award Winners

With the Oscar this Sunday, it only seems appropriate to handout Oscar Winners within the Pac-12. The categories are as follows: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Supporting Actor, Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture. Sadly, Bill Walton will not be eligible for any of these awards. So I’m sorry if I bummed anyone out. Now without further ado, the first annual Pac-12 Academy Awards.

First up, Best Supporting Actor. This is for the player that has made a significant impact for their team. However, it’s for the players we tend to forget about because they may not be the best on their team or their team has fallen to the back of the Pac.

Nominees: Askia Booker, Gary Payton II, T.J. McConnell, Nigel Williams-Goss, and Normal Powell.

Winner: T.J. McConnell. 

This was a very tight race between Booker, McConnell, and Powell. However, McConnell managed to edge out Ski and Powell for a few reasons. McConnell is tied for first in the Pac-12 in assists with 6.0 per game. McConnell is the man that makes the Arizona offense tick. His experience is second to none and that is reflected by his excellent decision making skills. We tend to lose McConnell in the crowd of impressive Arizona players like Stanley Johnson, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Next is Best Directing. This goes to the coach that has led his team above and beyond this year.

Nominees: Sean Miller, and Larry Krystkowiak.

Winner: Larry Krystkowiak.

Bill Walton would love this choice. Krystkowiak has made a complete overhaul of the Utah basketball program. Just a few years ago, they were the doormat of the Pac-12. Now, they wipe their feet on all of their opponents except Arizona. Now with that logic one would think since Arizona beat down Utah this year, Sean Miller should win this award. Sean Miller has the Wildcats as the seventh best team in the country. Krystkowiak has the Utes two spots behind at nine. The difference? Krystkowiak doesn’t need a roster full of All-American’s to do so. Utah is a true team that has stuck together for the four year long haul and Krystkowiak has held everything in place.

Continuing on with the ceremony, our next award is Best Original Screenplay. This goes to the team that has truly inspired us this year. They have come together as a team and delivered something worthwhile.

Nominees: Arizona’s Continued Dominance, Utah’s Ascension to Excellence, Oregon’s Attempt to Bust the Bracket, and Oregon State’s Breakout Year.

Winner: Utah’s Ascension to Excellence. 

Who else could this award go to. This team has come together to remind every college basketball fan the definition of team. There are no one and done players on this team and they only start one freshman. Utah spreads the wealth around and they work together in harmony to be one of the best teams in the country. Players have even stepped down in certain roles to let better players lead just for the sake of the team. That’s true commitment. The Utes have struggled and worked for the past few years under everyone’s nose and now are on a mission to prove they’re the leader of the Pac. Now what will they do in March?

Our next award is Best Picture, the team who has represented the Pac-12 to the very best of their abilities.

Nominees: Utah, Arizona, Stanford, UCLA, and Oregon.

Winner: Arizona.

This one isn’t even a contest. The Wildcats are by far the best team in the Pac-12. They do have the two blemishes of the Oregon State and ASU losses, but next to that, nobody can hold a candle to Sean Miller and Company. If you think it should go to Utah, I have only one thing to say to you: 69-51.

With the Awards drawing to a close, it is time we recognize the Best Actor in a Leading Role. This goes to the player who is the heart and sole of their team. Without this player there is no team. Not only is the player dominant, he has paved the way for his team to succeed.

Nominees: Stanley Johnson, Delon Wright, Joseph Young, Chasson Randle, and Norman Powell.

Winner: Joseph Young. 

Yes, you read that right. Joseph Young beat out Delon Wright for Best Actor. How could I commit an atrocity of this magnitude you ask? Joe Young is the heart and soul of the Oregon Ducks. Without Young, they wouldn’t even be in contention for the tournament this year. He does a little bit of everything. Young leads the league in scoring, with 20.0 points per game, comes in at sixth in assists per game with 3.8, and grabs 4.5 boards per game. Yes, Delon Wright is no doubt stiff competition. But, Wright has Loveridge, Poeltl, and Taylor to back him up. Joseph Young has Elgin Cook, and sometimes Jordan Bell, that’s it. Mighty Joe Young has delivered a senior performance for Oregon history, and he deserves what is rightfully his.

Thank you all for your time. If the Pac-12 Academy Awards did not go as well for your team as you wanted, then I hope you find success with your true Oscar favorites. Here’s to an excellent finish to the Pac-12 Season.

Until next time,

Trevor Simmons (@TRSimmons33, @CUBuffsBBall)

Colorado Basketball Week 13: The North Cali Split

As I said all year, the Buffaloes are the most interesting team in the Pac-12. What plagues them in one game can completely disappear in the following game just a few days later. CU just did not seem to have the fire in the game against California. Yet three days later, Colorado picks up their biggest win of the season against Stanford. It is nearly a roll of the dice for what Buffaloes team will show up at this point. Maybe it can be accredited to late season fatigue. Still, inconsistency at this point in the season is just plain confusing.

The Cal Recap: Neither team led the charge to begin this game. The rims were tight, the passes were lazy, and the shot selection was subpar. But both teams began to slowly gain momentum as the half wore on. There were flashes of excellent play from the Buffs. But, every time Colorado looked to pull away, they slipped up defensively. At the intermission, CU trailed 27-28. Coming out of the break, the Buffaloes look a little tired and California took advantage by going on a 13-4 run. For the remainder of the game, CU could not recover. Each time the Buffs seemed to get within reach, Cal would take back their lead. However in the final three minutes, Colorado gave it their best shot. They locked down on defense and cut Cal’s lead to 63-61. After one last stop, CU came down the floor with a chance to tie the game. They found Josh Scott on the baseline for an open jumper, the shot rattled out. It just wasn’t the Buffs’ night. CU went on to lose 61-68.

The Stanford Recap: CU took quick advantage of Stanford’s poor shooting at the beginning of the game, to generate the lead they would need. The Buffs went up 12-4 in the early minutes of the game and spent the remainder of the half fending off the Cardinal from coming back. If Colorado had been able to shut down Stefan Nastic, it would have been a blowout, but they weren’t able to. So the Buffaloes only led 29-23 at the half. Following the short reprieve and good luck walk around the stadium, the second half began. CU, just like in the first, built on their lead early. However, Stefan Nastic tore it to pieces, and Stanford managed to tie the game up at 40 all, with 13:07 left. For the rest of the half both teams went back and forth, until Xavier Talton stepped with the two biggest plays of the game. With seven minutes remaining, XT splashed a deep three to put CU up 50-47. Then, a few minutes later, the little man skied over every one to grab a huge offensive rebound and found Askia Booker for a three, to extend Colorado’s lead and stop the Cardinal run. Then, after almost literally throwing the game away in the final minute, the Buffs eked out an impressive 64-58 win.

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Bracketology 2/16/15

Bracketology for February 16th, 2015

1 2 3 4
Kentucky Kansas North Carolina Louisville
Virginia Wisconsin Utah Oklahoma
Duke Arizona Iowa St. Butler
Gonzaga Villanova Notre Dame Northern Iowa
5 6 7 8
Baylor VCU Dayton Providence
Wichita St. Indiana Georgetown SDSU
Maryland Ohio State Oklahoma St. Texas
Arkansas West Virginia SMU LSU
9 10 11 12
Cincinnati Mississippi Xavier Louisiana Tech
Michigan St. Georgia Stanford Murray St.
Iowa Temple Illinois Stephen F. Austin
 Colorado St. Texas A&M NC State  St. John’s
UCLA Tulsa
13 14 15 16
Valparaiso UC Davis  Radford  Bucknell
 Wofford Bowling Green   Florida Gulf Coast UL Monroe
 Harvard William & Mary  South Dakota St.  Albany 
 Eastern Washington Iona  NC Central  Texas Southern 
     New Mexico St.
       St. Francis (NY)
Last Four In First Four Out Next Four Out
NC State Miami G Washington
UCLA Oregon Kansas St.
St. John’s Old Dominion Purdue
Tulsa Boise State Wyoming

Spreadsheet Version:

Bracket 2:16:15 copy

Bracketology 2/12/2015

Bracketology for February 12th, 2015

1 2 3 4
Kentucky Kansas North Carolina Iowa St.
Virginia Wisconsin Utah Notre Dame
Duke Arizona Louisville Butler
Gonzaga Villanova Oklahoma Baylor
5 6 7 8
Northern Iowa VCU Dayton Providence
West Virginia Oklahoma St. Georgetown SDSU
Maryland Ohio State Indiana Texas
Arkansas Wichita St. SMU Cincinnati
9 10 11 12
LSU Mississippi Xavier Louisiana Tech
Georgia Michigan St. Stanford Wofford
Iowa Temple Texas A&M Stephen F. Austin
 Colorado St. Seton Hall Oregon  Tulsa
Old Dominion Miami
13 14 15 16
Green Bay UC Davis  Radford  Colgate 
 Murray St. Bowling Green  UL Monroe  Florida Gulf Coast 
 Harvard William & Mary  North Dakota St.  Albany 
 Eastern Washington Iona  NC Central  Texas Southern 
     New Mexico St.
       St. Francis (NY)
Last Four In First Four Out Next Four Out
Oregon NC State Kansas St.
Old Dominion UCLA Purdue
Tulsa G Washington Wyoming
Miami Boise State St. Mary’s

Spreadsheet Version:

Bracket 2:12:15 copy

Colorado Basketball Week 12: Pain. Just Pain.

I must begin by apologizing for my lateness on this article. My heavy testing schedule at the beginning of this week, prevented me from writing out my feelings about the Buffs until now. To best sum up the Utah game: I hope my tests went better than how CU faired against the Utes. They looked sluggish, lazy, and lacked attention to detail, leaving many to question, “Have the Buffs thrown in the towel this season?”

The Utah Recap: The game started out horribly, with a 17-3 Utah run early on. Since the Buffs were without Askia Booker and with Xavier Johnson, and Wesley Gordon coming off the bench due to their tardiness to shoot around, Colorado had to reply on Jaron Hopkins and Dustin Thomas for an offensive spark. It wasn’t enough. Jakob Poeltl cleaned up in the paint, and Delon Wright showed every fan in attendance why he’s the best guard in the Pac-12. Colorado mounted a small run led by Dom Collier, and Wesley Gordon as well as Dustin Thomas on the defensive end. The Buffs managed to cut the Utes lead to 18-12 with 8:08 left in the half. That would be the closest they got. As the half neared, Utah only grew stronger while CU faded. Brandon Taylor delivered a step back three and a kick into the rib cage of the Buffs at the buzzer, to put the Utes up 35-23 at the half. Coming out of the second half, the Buffs went all Wyoming against Utah. They only managed put up 11 points in the first 14 minutes of the second half. By the time Colorado mounted a little run, it was far too late. The Buffaloes lost by a final score of 79-51. The biggest disappointment of the game was that Brett Brady didn’t even get a chance to play.

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