Spokane: Tomorrow's preview

By Lindsay Schnell - March 18, 2007

I would like to start this entry out by saying there is some really bad late night TV in Spokane.

And with that, let's talk about tomorrow.

Winthrop/Oregon should be a track meet. I haven't seen Winthrop in person besides here, but I've seen the Ducks a few times and I know this much: they are in damn good shape. They also didn't play extremely well yesterday, which could mean they're due for a break out game.

Brooks is really the X-factor. Three years ago in Eugene, Oregon beat Winthrop 71-56, in a game that was closer than the score indicates. Brooks exploded for 25 points that night and kinda put himself on the national radar at that point. Chris Gaynor was guarding him that game. You can bet he'll be out for some revenge.

Brooks has been clutch in so many games already this year, I fully expect him to put the Ducks on his back and carry them to victory if things get tight. He and Porter were terrific in their match up zone the other night, but they should play a lot of full and three-quarters court man-to-man tomorrow. There is one thing Brooks won't be able to help much on though, and that is Winthrop center Craig Bradshaw, a former rugby player who never minds when things get physical.

Bradshaw was averaging 13 points and six boards coming into the tourney and was huge for the Eagles against Notre Dame -- expect him to have a monster game again tomorrow.

If I were a betting woman I'd put my money on the Ducks, but it'll be a nail-biter. I also won't be surprised if Winthrop pulls off the upset. Plus, if they win, the Eagles might dance for us in the press conference afterward. That would definitely be entertaining.

In the other match-up, I think I'm going to go against most of America and pick USC. I know, I know, Durant is the man, but USC's defense the other night was so impressive. Trojan coach Tim Floyd told us afterward that he didn't think they "shot a ball in practice all week" and it showed. Phenom frosh Taj Gibson and Nick Young led the charge and looked like a team capable of going deep in the tourney. (I know it's a cliche, but you need defense to win in March and they've got it right now.) They also have the advantage of Texas being incredibly young. Then again, Abrams and Augustin don't exactly play like new kids on the block.

Floyd said the Longhorns had the advantage of growing up in the Big XII, but surely he remembers the Trojans grew up in the Pac-10. Personally, I believe those were the two toughest conferences this year. (The Big East wasn't amazing this year. Be quiet.) It should be a great game, too. Coaching-wise, I have to give the nod to Floyd, and if it's a tight game I think the Trojans will pull it out. (Oh, the jokes that could be made from that last sentence.)

Then again, if Barnes decides to give Durant the ball every time down the floor we could have a totally different game on our hands. Durant, who is possibily the nicest person here, could also get a little greedy and demand the ball. But I wouldn't hold my breath if I were a Texas fan.

Time for bed ... wait, on the TV, giant sharks are attacking LL Cool J. How do movies like this get made?!

Oh, who am I kidding. Sharks terrify me. And giant ones sound a lot worse. I'll probably have to sleep with the light on.

Hasta manana!

Posted by Lindsay Schnell at 02:45 AM on March 18, 2007

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