We are always looking for an edge. An edge is hard to find in this town, but can be beneficial once discovered.
Momentum is probably the most important factor for a team entering the field of 68. Some teams enter the Big Dance with more than enough energy (e.g., Duke) to carry them to the Sweet 16 and deeper, but what happens to the team that was shown an early ticket back home from their conference tournament?
Rest can lead to rust. In the right situation, especially at this time of the season, an early exit can be as beneficial as a bye week in the NFL Playoffs. Seven teams standout to us. The interesting variable is that each team has a solid coach leading the way, so watch out for deep runs from these select seven. You might want to have these rested warriors making the Sweet 16 in your bracket.
North Carolina (Williams) – The Tar Heels won the National Championship the last time they were knocked out of the ACC Tournament as the #1 seed. Enough said.
Louisville (Pitino) – The early exit might be best suited for this young team to refocus. Pitino is the last coach anyone wants to face with a week off.
Kansas (Self) – Another quality team. Our only question is the mindset of Josh Jackson. Does he respond with his ‘lottery’ talent in full force? We say yes.
Purdue (Painter) – Swanigan, Edwards and Haas might be the best front court in the country. A tough match-up for any team.
Virginia (Bennett) – The Cavs’ complex defense can confound any offense in the tournament. Even more dangerous with time to prepare.
Baylor (Drew) – An athletic team that can dominate. Baylor can make a knockout run at any point in a game, but has a glass jaw.
Dayton (Miller) – A wild card to make the Big Dance. Three seniors lead the Flyers and will be a tough out if they get invited. If they are relegated to the NIT, you can bet on them to advance all the way to Madison Square Garden.