|Written by Michael|
Bet on NCAABWith the 2011 NCAA tournament, there are more teams. Which means more games.
This year, the tournament expanded to 68 total schools. And there is also the National Invitation Tournament, which features 32 teams. The College Basketball Invitational has an additional 16 schools. And finally, the CollegeInsider.com Tournament features 24 teams.
This means that it will not be too long before every one of the 346 Division I basketball teams play at least one game – and many will play more than one, with any luck. With the NCAA tournament starting on Tuesday in Dayton, OH with the First Four, March Madness has officially begun. Tonight's games include the UTSA Roadrunners against the Alabama State Hornets, and the UAB Blazers versus the Clemson Tigers.
When it comes to this final matchup, many arguments have been made that neither UAB nor Clemson really deserved to make it to the big dance. UAB lost in the first round of the Conference USA tournament, and they were not even thought to be on the bubble until they were named as getting into the tournament.
However, they may have a chance against Clemson, who are only -4.5 point favorites to beat the Blazers. UAB's defense is strong, and they allow only 62 points per game. Clemson is weak offensively, and relied on a slightly stronger defense to get them through their season. They ranked ninth in the nation in terms of defensive efficiency.
Look for UAB to rely on seniors Jamarr Sanders and Aaron Johnson, as well as Cameron Moore. Moore had 13 double-doubles in the 2010-2011 season, so he can be impressive if he is backed up by the rest of his team. Clemson will rely on Demontez Stitt with 14.7 points per game, and Jerai Grant leads the team in rebounds and blocked shots.