Flagrant Fouls

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UCLA vs NOVA: Inside the Matchups

The Guards
Darren Collison vs Scottie Reynolds-
Both guards are savy upper-classman. Darren the pesky on ball defender, and Scottie a streaky scorer who can take a game over. Darren is such a great defender it’s going to be difficult for Reynolds to get anything easy.
Advantage: UCLA

Jrue Holiday vs Corey Fisher- Jrue was excellent in the first round against VCU, scoring 13 points, and handing out 6 assists. Corey played a good all around game against American, as he always does. He scored 11 points, and pulled down 4 rebounds to go along with his 4 assists. Both players are more important to their team than the numbers suggest, and this matchhup will be an important one to monitor. Fisher is a feisty and aggresive defender and I think he’s going to get the best of Holiday.
Advantage: VILLANOVA

The Wings
Josh Shipp vs Dwayne Anderson- Dwayne Anderson has been on fire the last couple of weeks. He made the buzzer beater over Marqutte in the Quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament, than went for 25 points and 8 rebounds in the opening round vs American. But Shipp has been to 3 straight Final Fours and has averaged 14.4 ppg’s this season. You can’t overcome 3 years of success with a two week stretch.
Advantage: UCLA

The Bigs

Alfred Aboya vs Dante Cunningham- Cunningham averages 16.3 pts and 7.2 Reb’s and was the Big East’s Most Improved Player. He can post up, and stick the 15 footer. Aboya is also a Senior with a ton of tournament experience. He averages just under 10ppg’s and just over 6 boards. But he’s intelligent, and has been a big part of alot of UCLA wins. Cunningham is a better player and will have to win this matchup for Villanova to have a chance.
Advantage- VILLANOVA

Should be a dynamite game between two teams that are hungry to advance. The game will be played on Nova’s “suto” home court, but UCLA has an experienced, veteran core, and their freshman aren’t freshman anymore. No excuses, the best team will advance. Will it be the Big East, or Pac-10 sending a team to the sweet 16?

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Posted 1 week, 3 days ago at 8:32 AM.

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Cleveland State: Not a Cinderella

Cleveland State’s manhandling of Wake Forest last night has generated morning headlines of “Cinderella”. But anyone who followed college basketball this season, knows that Cleveland St. is for real. Cleveland State is coached by Gary Waters, a man who coached in the Big East for 5 seasons at Rutgers. Although he didn’t enjoy a lot of success during his stint at The RAC, he did have the opportunity to coach against the best of the best, and game plan for the countries top talent. Gary Waters was ready to coach on the big stage- everyone knew that. But how did he get his players ready? Coach Waters scheduled some of the toughest teams in the country during the non-conference portion of their schedule. They played at Washington, at West Virginia, and at Syracuse. They walked into one of the hardest places to play in America (the Carrier Dome, Syracuse), and pulled off a dramatic upset in front of 20,000 fans.

So if your surprised that Cleveland State played fearless, and controlled basketball last night on the biggest stage, you haven’t been watching them all year. They’ve beaten Syracuse, Butler, Valparaiso, and have played 6 games against the rpi top 50. They were ready for Wake Forest and certainly weren’t in awe of them. To call them a cinderella is disrespecting what they’ve accomplished this year. Cinderella is a team that surprises the country, and Cleveland State didn’t surprise anyone. I have them going TWO rounds in my bracket.

Arizona, who pulled off an upset of their own by upending Utah in Miami, has it’s work cut out for them. Nic Wise was sensational and will need to be again if Arizona is going to be playing in the sweet 16. Cleveland State’s J’Nathon Bullock, Norris Cole, and Mr Big Shot, Cedric Jackson will be waiting to show the Arizona lottery picks (Chase Budinger and Jorda Hill) what they can do. I just hope the Wildcats are watching film and getting their minds right, and not sitting on the beach. I hope they learned a lesson from Wake Forest, because playing Cleveland State is no vacation.

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Posted 1 week, 3 days ago at 5:45 AM.

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