Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Bracket - Sr. Guards Pull Upsets - Stetson's Insanely Good Backcourt Likely Not Enough

Here is the quick reference of brackets with the links to this and each of the other brackets.

This is the bracket that can be a complete disaster if the favorites are winning, BUT it is also the one that can find great upsets some years - as underdogs with veteran backcourts sometimes control games against more talented one-and-dones.

I'll give a perfect example. As great as UNC and Auburn are, if they were matched up with Stetson's incredible backcourt I might take a shot at a first round upset.

Stetson's senior point guard Stephan Swenson never leaves the court. Their season was OVER in the ASun semi final when Jacksonville went on a 23-4 run in the second half, and still led by 4 with seconds remaining when Swenson rallied his team to an 88-87 win to finish his night with 29 points on an insane 7 of 9 three-pointers and went ahead and added 6 assists to 1 turnover.

Junior shoot guard Jalen Blackmon transferred from Grand Canyon to form the dynamic duo two years ago and in the championship game their season looked over again when Austin Peay went ahead 54-49. Blackmon made Swenson's semi final look pedestrian as he erupted for and even more insane 43 points on 12 of 22 shooting including 5 of 9 three pointers and an even more impressive 14 of 17 from the line in the clutch to pull off a 94-91 title win and send Stetson to the NCAA.

Most years there aren't that many teams with two senior point guards, particularly at big programs with one-and-dones. My second best category is a senior point guard and a junior shooting guard like Swenson and Blackmon, and against a power team with a talented but young background I'd take a chance on Stetson for a stunner upset if they both went off like that on the same night. Thus against this years young UNC or Auburn I could see Stetson winning a stunner.

But this year there are so many experienced back courts due to the Covid extra year in addition to red shirting. An incredible 16 tournament teams start two seniors in the guard spots, and another 11 teams like Stetson have a senior point guard and junior shooting guard - making 27 incredibly experienced backcourts.

And unfortunately for Stetson's dynamic due - their reward for the incredible showing is they happen to face the very best of all the experienced backcourts. They face none other than the coolest player in the tournament, point guard Tristen Newton who stays on the court 89% of the time and beside him perhaps the best back court shooter in Cam Spencer. Tough draw to get one of the other incredible 27 experienced back courts. Here are all 27 of them in order.

Rnk   Both Seniors       Point Guard                  PT         Shooting Guard                   PT
1UConnTristen Newton89%12 Cam Spencer51%
  6-5  195  Sr 6-4  205  Sr 
2Mich St.11 AJ Hoggard77%Tyson Walker86%
  6-4  210  Sr 6-1  185  Sr 
3HoustonJamal Shead84%LJ Cryer78%
  6-1  200  Sr 6-1  200  Sr 
4San Diego St.12 Darrion Trammell76%Lamont Butler52%
  5-10  175  Sr 6-2  205  Sr 
5CreightonSteven Ashworth90%Francisco Farabello52%
  6-1  170  Sr 6-3  180  Sr 
6Florida AtlBryan Greenlee47%23 Brandon Weatherspoon40%
  6-0  191  Sr 6-4  186  Sr 
7TCUAvery Anderson55%11 Trevian Tennyson51%
  6-2  170  Sr 6-3  180  Sr 
8AlabamaMark Sears95%55 Aaron Estrada60%
  6-1  185  Sr 6-3  190  Sr 
9ClemsonChase Hunter66%11 Joseph Girard72%
  6-4  200  Sr 6-2  189  Sr 
10NorthwesternBoo Buie96%Ryan Langborg44%
  6-2  180  Sr 6-4  195  Sr 
11Nevada13 Kenan Blackshear37%Jarod Lucas80%
  6-6  215  Sr 6-4  195  Sr 
12Montana StEddie Turner86%20 Robert Ford67%
  6-2  183  Sr 6-0  180  Sr 
13N.C. State12 Michael O'Connell69%DJ Horne49%
  6-2  195  Sr 6-2  180  Sr 
14DuquesneJimmy Clark79%Dae Dae Grant80%
  6-3  185  Sr 6-2  185  Sr 
15HowardJordan Hairston44%23 Jordan Hairston47%
  6-0  160  Sr 6-0  160  Sr 
16LongwoodWalyn Napper87%3 DA Houston49%
  6-1  185  Sr 6-1  212  Sr 
RnkSr. PG, Jr. SGPoint GuardPTShooting GuardPT
17Baylor10 RayJ Dennis95%Jayden Nunn77%
  6-2  180  Sr 6-4  190  Jr 
18Marquette11 Tyler Kolek78%1 Kam Jones90%
  6-3  195  Sr 6-5  200  Jr 
19AkronGreg Tribble49%Shammah Scott42%
  6-3  195  Sr 6-2  180  Jr 
20McNeese St13 Shahada Wells82%14 Javohn Garcia37%
  6-0  184  Sr 6-3  183  Jr 
21Long Beach SMarcus Tsohonis55%12 Jadon Jones57%
  6-3  190  Sr 6-5  185  Jr 
22VermontAaron Deloney82%20 TJ Long65%
  6-0  170  Sr 6-4  195  Jr 
23Colorado StIsaiah Stevens90%15 Jalen Lake45%
  6-0  185  Sr 6-4  190  Jr 
24Grand Canyon10 Jovan Blacksher48%Collin Moore52%
  5-11  165  Sr 6-4  205  Jr 
25Grambling5 Tra'Michael Moton58%00 Kintavious Dozier69%
  6-1  170  Sr 6-1    Jr 
26Saint Peter'sLatrell Reid89%Marcus Randolph41%
  6-3  185  Sr 6-5  205  Jr 
27Stetson30 Stephan Swenson94%Jalen Blackmon78%
  6-2  190  Sr 6-3  181  Jr


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