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2023 Bracket Challenge

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I've started the group for this year!

Group Name: BPF 2022 Bracket Challenge
URL: BPF 2023 Bracket Challenge
Password: HopeD@n3sWinMore

This is the year I win! I can feel it (again)! *channels inner Jets fan whose hope springs eternal*

In all likelihood, I'll win as much as the MBB Danes did lol.

Edited by Eli
Updated password - bad copy/paste
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Will Brown has taken those writing skills from Twitter to the Times Union with his insight on today's tournament games at the MVP Arena:







This weekend will be exciting for Capital Region basketball fans as the NCAA Tournament hits MVP Arena.

The NCAA Tournament is arguably the most exciting sporting event in the country. It is called March Madness for a reason and it starts Friday with four outstanding matchups.

West Region No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 12 VCU

This is a game of contrasting styles. VCU is all about pressure defense and being disruptive. Saint Mary’s plays at a slow and methodical pace. Saint Mary’s is one of the better two-way teams in the country. If you allow them to run offense in the halfcourt they will dissect you over 40 minutes. Defensively they are terrific, especially in ball screen situations. VCU is led by Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Adrian “Ace” Baldwin. He is a 6-foot-1 dynamic point guard who is the engine for VCU. He is constantly putting pressure on opposing defenses. Two other players on VCU to watch out for are 6-8 power forward Brandon Johns and 6-9 center Jalen DeLoach. Johns is a Michigan transfer who is extremely versatile and who can be a matchup problem. DeLoach is a talented low post player who demands double teams. He is an excellent shot blocker as well. Saint Mary’s is led by one of the best backcourts in the country. Logan Johnson is their leading scorer and the WCC Defensive Player of the Year. Freshman point guard Aidan Mahaney is a talented playmaker who has made big shots in crunch time all season. Alex Ducas, a 6-7 wing, is an elite level 3-point shooter. Randy Bennett is one of the best coaches in the country and has been a model of consistency at Saint Mary’s. Saint Mary’s does not play many guys. A big key will be if the VCU defense can speed up Saint Mary’s, get them out of their comfort zone and ultimately wear them down. VCU can struggle to make perimeter shots at times. It will be important for them to turn defense into offense. Saint Mary’s must value the basketball. Should be a great game.

No. 4 Connecticut vs. No. 13 Iona

Game 2 will feature MAAC champion Iona vs. a UConn team that many think has a legitimate shot of advancing to the Final Four. Iona has a terrific backcourt in MAAC Player of the Year Walter Clayton and Daniss Jenkins. The Gaels also have good size in the frontcourt with 6-9 Nelly Junior Joseph and 7-0 Osborn Shema. Iona is going to look to press as much as possible in order to speed up the game. The Gaels cannot afford to let UConn come down and run its offensive actions to get Adama Sanogo low-post touches and Jordan Hawkins shots from the perimeter. Iona’s lack of depth concerns me. I can see Joseph getting in foul trouble. I expect UConn backup center 7-1 Donovan Clingan to impact this game. According to Synergy Sports, Iona has only played 50 possessions of zone this season. I think they have to play some zone to have a chance. I just think UConn has too much talent and depth for Iona. I can see Iona getting in foul trouble. Two wild cards for Iona are 6-4 wing Berrick JeanLouis and Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino. JeanLouis is the best perimeter defender in the MAAC and will guard Hawkins. If he does a good job on Hawkins, then someone else for UConn will have to step up and make perimeter shots. Will Pitino have any tricks up his sleeves? Wouldn’t be surprised to see local product Andre Jackson Jr. impact this game. He is the ultimate glue guy. Sanogo and Hawkins will be too much for Iona to handle.

Midwest Region No. 5 Miami vs. No. 12 Drake

Game 3 is a matchup between ACC regular-season champion Miami and the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion. Miami is one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country. The Hurricanes are led by ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong. He is a scorer/shot maker. Miami has four players averaging between 13.2 and 16.2 points per game. The big question is will 6-7 center Norchad Omier play? He got hurt one minute into the ACC Tournament semifinal against Duke. Miami is a small team and desperately needs his size, toughness and physicality up front. He averages 13.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and has 42 blocks. Nigel Pack, a 6-0 guard, has made 71 3-pointers at 39.4 percent and 6-7 wing Jordan Miller plays the power forward spot and causes all sorts of problems for opponents. Drake is a veteran ball club led by former Siena point guard Roman Penn and the Missouri Valley Larry Bird Player of the Year and 6-7 wing Tucker Devries. Penn causes problems as he is very tough to guard in ball screen situations. Devries is a three-level scorer. Seton Hall transfer 6-10 Darnell Brodie has provided size and rebounding up front. Drake is going keep it simple and run some motion offense and ball screens for Penn. Miami will space the floor and play four guys who can all pass, dribble and shoot. The issue for Drake is they like to play “small ball” at times. This plays right into the hands of Miami. I think Miami is too talented and will be very difficult for Drake to defend.

No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 13 Kent State

Kent State coach Rob Senderoff is a UAlbany graduate. He is also a former Indiana assistant. His team has an experienced and talented backcourt. Sincere Carry is the point guard and leading scorer. Off guard Malique Jacobs is the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Kent State lost to Gonzaga by seven, Houston by five and Charleston by two in nonconference games. The Golden Flashes have challenged some big-time programs this season.

Kent State is tough defensively, holding teams to 40 percent shooting for the season. Indiana is led by 6-9 All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis, who is averaging 20.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game this season. He is a handful in the low post. He would have a strong case for National Player of the Year if it weren’t for Purdue 7-4 center Zach Edey. It will be interesting to see if Kent State decides to double Jackson-Davis. The key for Indiana is the play of 6-4 combo guard Jalen Hood-Schifino. The future first-round NBA draft pick has showed flashes of brilliance this season. He can really score the ball. When Hood-Schifino is playing well, Indiana is difficult to beat. I would imagine Jacobs will be glued to Hood-Schifino the entire game. A big question is will Indiana get any production from its other perimeter players. Watch out for MAC Sixth Man of the Year Jalen Sullinger of Kent State, as he can get hot from 3. Indiana has enjoyed a solid season and will have the best player in the game. I expect this to be a very close game as both teams are older and experienced. I just think Indiana will find a way to survive and advance.

▶› Will Brown is a longtime former college basketball coach.

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Looks like Tobin Anderson is leaving FDU after just 10 months.  Parlayed the NCAA run to a job at Iona??  I know the NEC is one of, if not lowest rated D1 conference, but moving to the MAAC is a baby step.  After what Iona paid Pitino, I guess even if he gets 2/3 of what they paid Pitino, he comes out ahead financially.  True he was D2 just a year ago and FDU didn't even win the NEC, so maybe this was highest he can get for now.  If he matches Pitinos success for couple years, then maybe an A10 or AAC job.

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