Friday, March 27, 2009

Gonzaga vs. UNC Sweet 16 Preview

Why UNC Can Win: Gonzaga's defense. The Zags have rated fairly highly in terms of defensive efficiency, but a lot of that has come from dominating lesser competition in the WCC. The Zags are far from a great team defensively, and Pargo is far from a great defender. That could be a problem as they go up against an UNC team that is loaded at every position and has a point guard with a habit of taking over games. I also worry about who Austin Daye is going to guard. Deon Thompson? Ed Davis? Tyler Hansbrough (god forbid)? All three of these guys would have a huge mismatch against Daye in the post and on the glass.

Why Gonzaga Can Win: Talent. If UNC is the most talented team in the country 1-5, the Zags might be second. They have four legit NBA prospects on their team, and when they put it all together, they are as good offensively as anyone in the country. The issue with them all season is that they have not figured out how to play with and off of each other. If they can put it all together for this one, they have a shot at toppling the mighty Tar Heels.

Key To The Game: You guessed it - slowing down the Heels break. The Zags like the get out and run at times, but if they try and get in a track meet with the Heels, Gonzaga is going to be in trouble. That's not to say it isn't ok to run. They are just going to have to be selective of when they do. UNC feasts off of quick shots, especially quick threes and long misses, so Gonzaga is going to have to avoid the temptation of every fast break and pick and choose their spots.

BIAH Pick: UNC. We just don't see the Zags being disciplined enough to slow down their game or dedicated enough to play the defense needed to beat this team.

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