The Big 12 Freshman of the year and Big 12 Player of the year, Marcus Smart decides to stay for his sophomore year. This is shocking due to the fact that Smart was a projected top 5 pick for the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft. With Smart returning, Oklahoma State will return 3 top 10 scorers in the Big 12 along with Markel Brown and LeBryan Nash. Oklahoma State will most likely be ranked in next years Top 10 teams for the upcoming 2013-2014 season as Smart returns.
The Final Four Teams are set. This was a crazy tournament. Only one #1 seed made it to see the Elite Eight. This was by far one of the most competetive, unpredictable tournaments we have seen. The action will only get better this weekend. With the teams set lets take a look at the teams and how they got there
Louisville: The overall number one seed cruised their way to the Final Four as expected. They beat Colorado State by 26 and then beat Oregon by 8 even though they once held a 20 point lead and then after a back and forth battle in the first half and dealing with a gruesome injury to Kevin Ware they beat the Duke Blue Devils by 22.
Wichita State: Wichita State, a #9 seed continues their Cinderella run as they cruised past Pittsburgh in the round of 64. Then they proved to the country that Gonzaga was indeed overrated with a victory against the Zags in the 2nd round. They had their way with Lasalle in an unexpected matchup in the Sweet Sixteen, and then completely shut Ohio State down in the Elite Eight to earn a spot in their first Final Four since 1965.
Michigan: The Michigan Wolverines, the lone Big Ten team. The Big Ten team that people didn't expect to see in the Final Four. Yes, the Wolverines are in their first Final Four since the Fab Five era. The Wolverines also cruised their way to the Final Four as they shut down Nate Wolters and the South Dakota State Jack Rabbits. Then they wrecked Havoc on VCU and their "Havoc' defense. The Wolverines hit a road block in the Sweet Sixteen matchup against Kansas as they overcame a Double Digit lead in the second half to force overtime and go on to win. After the Kansas win they cruised by a Florida team lead by an incredible shooting performance by Nik Staukas.
Syracuse: Syracuse are in the Final Four again. Last time they made an appearance in the Final Four they were being led by Carmelo Anthony. Syracuse played tough defense throughout the whole tournament. They beat Montana, Calfornia, and completely shut down Indiana and Marqutte. Teams have yet found a way to beat Syracuse and their 2-3 zone.
Now Lets look at the Matchups
Lousiville (33-5) vs Wichita State (30-8): Led by the electric Backcourt or Russ Smith and Peyton Siva Louisville will look to press and turn this into a high tempo game against Wichita State. Wichita State will look to shut down the perimeter and force Louisville in bad shots. The game will depend on if Wichita State can contain Russ Smith and Peyton Siva. Shall the Shockers successfully do that they could see themselves in the National Title game. If not Louisville will cruise by Wichita State just like they did the previous teams en route to their second straight Final Four appearance.
Syracuse (30-9) vs Michigan (30-7)
Michigan has the best player in the country in Trey Burke and also have a good supporting cast that can score points in bunches behind him. Syracuse is led by point guard Michael Carter-Williams and also by they're relentless 2-3 zone. This game is Offense vs Defense. The game will come down to how Michigan handles the zone and size of Syracuse. Good thing Mitch McGary has stepped up in the post season. If Syracuse can contain McGary and slow down Michigan's high octane offense they will see themselves in the National Championship Game. If Michigan and find a hole in Syracuse's 2-3 zone and overcome Syracuse's size advantage over them they will have a chance to win they're first National Title since 1989.
I predict that it will be a All-Big East final National Title game with Louisville and Syracuse going at it. Thanks for reading and leave a comment and feedback on what I could have done better or what I should talk about next.
The Miami Heat's Incredible 27 game win streak was snapped by the Chicago Bulls. Here are the highlights. The shorthanded Bulls were carried by excellent performances from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. With the streak ended Miami Heat holds the 2nd longest win streak in NBA history. Just 6 wins away from tying the longest NBA winning streak set by the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers with 33 wins in a row.
1. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore SG - Charlotte Bobcats need another Scorer on the wing. Ben McLemore seems like a good backcourt teammate for Kemba Walker.
2. Orlando Magic: Marcus Smart PG - With Jameer Nelson career on the decline the Magic and start fresh and draft Marcus Smart here. Smart is a player with a good motor and bulldog like play style. Smart is a bit of a tweener at the PG position though.
3: Cleveland Cavailers: Nerlens Noel C - Noel has a high ceiling and is oozing with potential. If he can get his game together the Cavailers will be looking at the playoffs real soon.
4: Phoenix Suns: Otto Porter SF - Otto Porter is a safe pick for Phoenix. With Porter Phoenix will be obtaining a do it all type of player. He may not put up superstar numbers but he will be solid starter for years to come.
5. Detroit Pistons: Shabazz Muhammad SF - After the Tayshaun Prince trade, the Pistons lost 2 small forwards. They should look for one in the Draft because Kyle Singler isn't starter material. With Muhammad the Pistons will have a go to scorer that they've been looking for and someone with All-Star potential also.
6. Sacramento Kings: Cody Zeller PF - With a loaded backcourt, the Kings should look to help Demarcus Cousins in the frontcourt. Cody Zeller looks like the perfect fit to help. While Cousins is a bruiser in the paint Zeller is more of an elusive froncourt player.
7. New Orleans Hornets: Alex Len C - Anthony Davis is not a true center, He is more of a power forward. New Orleans can pick the skilled big man Alex Len to boost their frontcourt.
8. Washington Wizards: Anthony Bennett PF - Washington Wizards could just draft the best player available in this situation. With Bennett the Wizards will be obtaining a matchup nightmare for small forwards or power forwards. Bennett is a player who score and rebound and shoot the three.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto): Willie Cauley-Stein C - Cauley-Stein is the Anthony Davis mold, Raw offensively but an excellent shot blocker. OKC needs size so adding Cauley-Stein would definetely help.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Victor Oladipo SG - Oladipo is a player with a huge motor, great defensive player and hustle player also. Oladipo would be a huge boost in the backcourt to help Rubio and the Timberwolves.
11. Philidelphia 76ers: Kelly Olynyk C - With Andrew Bynum contract expiring and no timetable on his return the 76ers could use a big man just in case Bynum becomes the next Greg Oden.
12. Portland Trailblazers: Mason Plumlee C - Plumlee another skilled big man could fit in with the Trailblazers with JJ Hickson most likely leaving in the free agency.
13: Dallas Mavericks: Trey Burke PG - Trey Burke will be an instant upgrade for a Mavericks roster that is on the decline. Burke is a floor general who always looks to pass first but can score at will. His only downside is his small 6'0 frame.
14: Utah Jazz: Glenn Robinson lll SF - Robinson lll is a incredible athlete witha lot of Upside. Picking Robinson would be an upgrade for Utah.
And that is my mock draft for the lottery picks. Tell me what you think. What is your opinion? Please make sure to leave a comment and some feedback.
The 2013 NBA All Star Game Starters have been announced here are the starters:
Rajon Rondo, BOS 4th All Star Game
Dwayne Wade, MIA 9th All Star Game
LeBron James, MIA 9th All Star Game
Carmelo Anthony, NYK 6th All Star Game
Kevin Garnett, BOS 15th All Star Game
Chris Paul, LAC 6th All Star Game
Kobe Bryant, LAL 15th All Star Game
Kevin Durant, OKC 4th All Star Game
Blake Griffin, LAC 3rd All Star Game
Dwight Howard, LAL 7th All Star Game
With the All Stars set it should be interesting to see the chemistry between the starters especially the Eastern Conference with all the problems between Dwayde/Rondo & KG/Melo. Share thoughts and comments on the starters and stay on the lookout for future articles.