NBA Draft: The (potential) duds

Every year, NBA teams and their fans have a chance to play prognosticator when it comes to the draft and which players to select or pass on. To be perfectly fair, most drafted players don’t pan out in the end. Occasionally you get it right, but for the most part, draftees have their short run in the pros and move on to the next phase of life. Here are a few to look out for. (Just to be clear, I wish all of them well and hope they have a long successful career. Good luck, gents!)

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Early Departures: ACC

The ACC might have proven itself to be the premiere conference in college basketball this past season — heck, with 40 teams in the league, how could it not be the best? The ACC is always loaded with premiere talent, both young guns and veteran players alike.

This season was extra-special in terms of younger talent for the Atlantic Coast. Many players have decided to forgo their final years of eligibility in order to live their dream of NBA stardom. Here is a list of those players who have already announced their decision to leave school and where they might land in the draft.

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Instant Analysis: Trice leads Spartans to Sweet 16

This game was all too familiar for both teams. They met last year in the Sweet 16 with the Cavaliers getting the best of the Spartans. The air exuberated “revenge” for Michigan State as they pined for an upset. They fought early to get a small lead and kept it through the entire game. Michigan State outlasted a Virginia team that just couldn’t seem to get its shots to fall. It wasn’t hard to keep the sub-30-percent-shooting Cavaliers underneath in terms of score. Michigan State wins 60-54 and continues dancing.

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Preview: No. 7 Michigan St. vs. No. 2 Virginia

This game matches up two great coaches in Tom Izzo and Tony Bennett.  The ACC regular season champ, Virginia, was able to win its first game in the tournament after losing 2 of the last 3 games beforehand.  The final score of its victory over Belmont may have been by 12, but the lead was only 2 with less than five minutes to play.  Virginia can’t let up runs to Michigan St. like it did to Belmont or the Cavaliers will be heading back to Charlottesville.

Michigan St. has come on strong lately and made it to the Big Ten championship, only to lose to Wisconsin in overtime.  The Spartans have played in seven overtime games over the span of the season.  Tom Izzo has his team coming together at the right time as they look to be this year’s 7 seed to cut down the nets at the end of it all.  The Spartans were able to beat the Georgia Bulldogs 70-63 in second round action on Friday.

The game tips at 12:10 ET on CBS.
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Instant Analysis: No. 1 Virginia Uses Late Run to cap victory

Virginia was able to survive Belmont’s streaky shooting and win 79-67.  Belmont led early in this one, but a 13-0 run captured the lead for Virginia and the lead never changed hands after that. Malcolm Brodgen led Virginia with 16 in the first half, but went cold and missed all of his shots in the second.  Belmont’s Craig Bradshaw was hot from deep as he made 5 of his 9 threes, but whenever Belmont tried to close the gap, Virginia weathered the storm and started to make plays.  Belmont did not cower down from the 2-seed Virginia, but they will have to wait another year to claim their first tournament victory.

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An All-ACC Final Four?

When looking at this year’s NCAA March Madness Tournament bracket, it’s hard not to automatically think Kentucky versus the field. Well … take these facts into consideration:

  • Indianapolis has hosted the Final Four seven times in the past and Kentucky has been in attendance one time … and lost.
  • The ACC has six teams in the field this year with an average seed of a little over 3.5. Yes, one conference with basically six 4-seeds.
  • The ACC has teams distributed in all four regions of the bracket.

Here is why the Final Four in Indianapolis could be an ACC Tournament, Round 2.

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Instant Analysis: Virginia wins ACC

Syracuse ended its string of upsets tonight against No. 2 Virginia as the Cavaliers dominated the second half and walked away with a 59-47 win in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse led and controlled the early going until the 1:12 mark in the first half. Virginia led at the half, 23-20, and put its foot on the gas to start the second. The Cavaliers had a lead of at least 10 points for the final 16 minutes of the game.

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