Since the NCAA Tournament starts later this morning, Drive and Dish is revealing our (until now) super-embargoed NCAA Tournament Brackets. Long time Drive and Dish readers may remember that we did the same thing last year. Back then, Mark Buckets and Trashtalk Superstar filled out separate brackets for Drive and Dish. This year however, we only have Trashtalk Superstar's bracket, as Mark Buckets' position has been eliminated due to the effects of the recession on the sports blog industry.
So without any further ado, we present the official 2009 Drive and Dish NCAA Tournament filled-out bracket (click on image to enlarge):
* Indicates games in which Drive and Dish thinks the underdog team is likely to challenge the favored team and give them a "scare" before, ultimately, falling short of pulling off an upset.
** Drive and Dish picked Michigan to beat Clemson and Wisconsin to beat Florida State, despite the fact that we think Clemson and Florida State should win those games.
As we've said before, we're not sold on Clemson. We think Michigan's 1-3-1 zone could prove difficult for Clemson's offense. And we think Clemson will have trouble defending Michigan's Manny Harris. If Clemson struggles with Michigan's zone defense, and if Manny Harris has a big night, Michigan will win (despite the fact that Clemson has a better balanced team).
Florida State's Toney Douglas is one of the best guards in the game. He's not big, but he can break defenders down easily, can shoot effectively off the dribble and has, as they say, a motor that doesn't quit. Douglas torched opposing teams throughout the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Douglas should cause problems for Wisconsin. However, if Wisconsin can dictate the game's tempo, Florida State (and Douglas in particular) could find themselves stuck in a plodding, bruising, half-court game. If this happens, the Seminoles will have trouble scoring.
Earlier in the season, Northwestern -- the ultimate slow-it-down, plodding Big Ten team -- upset Florida State in the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge. Florida State has better talent than Wisconsin, but Drive and Dish expects the Wisconsin to be effective in slowing FSU down and forcing them to operate their offense out of half-court sets. If this occurs, Wisconsin should be able to knock Florida State out of the NCAA Tournament.