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Deacon Dump 3/17: Countdown to the Dance

Not much to say except ONE MORE DAY!!!!!!! Fill out your brackets and make your final predictions; it's almost time. I have been fiddling around and I have to finally put stuff on ink. Plus it's St. Patty's day, so there's that too. What a spectacular week. It's more of the same today, just a TON of previews/game notes.

The NCAA’s Bewildering Bracket | Tipsheet | STLtoday
Then there’s Wake Forest, which lost five of its last six — including games to NC State, North Carolina and Miami — and is limping into the tournament as badly as any team in the country. Again: depressing. Put these two teams together, and you’ll get two things. The first: lots of potential NBA players on the court at the same time. The second: some truly uninspired basketball. Thanks, but I’ll pass."

Underachievers: Texas and Wake meet in tepid first round match-up | The Center of Sports
Some have called it "the battle of the underachievers." We're going to call it "the battle of the teams that don't deserve to advance to the secound round of the NCAA tournament." - Beat Jeff Goodman, if you dare
Kentucky will have an interesting second-round matchup with either a Texas team that began the season 17-0 or a Wake Forest club that has struggled down the stretch, but the Wildcats boast a veteran point guard and one of the nation's top players in Al-Farouq Aminu. However, the Wildcats will roll and also beat whoever their opponent is in the Sweet 16.

NCAA Analysis: 9 And 10 Seeds - NCAA College Basketball News | HOOPSWORLD -
Barto: Late season slide hurt their ego and status. Talent is there and the ACC was not the friendliest place to be in the second half of the year. Having a future NBA all-star in Aminu gives them a chance, but they'll have to cut down on the turnovers and get better all-around guard play to make any statement. Fans will be praising Wake or pressing for Dino's job.

Atlanta Hawks at Nets: The Rook’ (Jeff Teague) gets his shot (updated) | Hawks Blog
(Teague) has played with different combinations," Woody said. "This is no different. He will do what he does best: push the ball, defend, get people involved." Teague, low key as always, said he’s ready. "I’ve been playing basketball my whole life, and I’ve usually started," he said. "It will be the same as coming off the bench."

Deacons open spring practice in search of QB -
"On offense, we're going to experiment with a few things," Grobe said. "With Riley, we've been a primarily throwing team. But we'll put in some wrinkles and try some things with the quarterbacks like running the ball that we couldn't do with Riley."

Wake Forest, Texas enter tournament on negative slides--Burlington Times News
  Gaudio said his team can recover.      "You’ve just got to play through that," he said. "I hope they have a little renewed life. … You have to be excited and enthused to play and I think that has to be manifested out on the court."

Former No. 1 Texas seeks new start | | Shreveport Times
The problems are everywhere. Poor free throw shooting (last in the Big 12) cost them in close games. Erratic guard play hurt them in others. Two guards, Varez Ward and Dogus Balbay, were lost for the season with injuries. Pittman, a 6-foot-10, 290-pound forward who was a force when Texas was undefeated, saw his game drop off dramatically after Christmas.

Texas vs. Wake Forest: Scouting report and prediction | College Sports Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
Stephen Lu's predictions: Texas 84-78 Both teams are talented and both are struggling. However, the Longhorns were once the No. 1 team in the nation and still possess a game-changing force in Damion James. James should also continue to receive solid support in Gary Johnson while Dexter Pittman tries to rise above his struggles. If Al-Farouq Aminu can't regain his old form, then Texas will have its way in the paint and move on to the second round of the tournament.

Free March Madness Money Line Picks - Possible NCAA Tournament Upsets
Wake Forest (+180) vs. Texas (Thursday, 9:30 pm ET) - This isn't so much a bet for the Deacons as it is a bet against Texas. Texas has shown a shocking lack of effort since starting the season 17-0 and rising to No. 1 in the rankings. That's bad enough, but even more concerning is that coach Rick Barnes doesn't seem nearly as concerned about the struggles as you would expect him to. Wake Forest hasn't exactly been dominant, either, but this game seems pretty close to a coin flip in my eyes, so this is a pleasant price.

Win or lose, Damion James' Texas career is 'perfect' | Chuck Carlton Columns | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News
"No doubt," James said. "I'll be a rookie in the NBA one day. And you don't want to be back in Nacogdoches, selling drugs and doing things of that sort. It wasn't meant for me to be at OU. It played itself out perfectly." takes on March Madness - Page 2 - ESPN
(Wake Forest is also favored to beat Texas 52.4 percent.)

Wake Forest To Host N.C. A&T In WNIT Opening Round | | Triad, NC | Sports News Article
Winston-Salem, N.C. - The Wake Forest women's basketball team will open the 2010 Women's National Invitation Tournament with North Carolina A&T on Thursday, March 18 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Gymnasium on Wake Forest's Reynolda Campus.

Texas Longhorns forward: No team in the country wants to play us | College Sports Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
"We've tried to push every button that we can," Barnes said after Texas lost in the Big 12 tournament to Baylor. "But by this time of year, honestly, I think if it gets flipped, they're going to have to decide, 'We're going to do this thing together.' Because I'm not sure what else I can tell them. "We have truly tried everything. I don't think we have any selfish guys on the team -- it's just the (lack of) understanding of what goes into consistent winning and being a good team. And I think it's more mental than it is physical."

NCAA Tournament Preview: (8) Texas vs. (9) Wake Forest | Digital Sports Daily
Digital Sports Daily Pick: Wake Forrest, not only has Texas fallen hard- they may not have had as much talent as we previously thought. Wake Forrest can score with any team in the country and Texas can’t play defense to save their post-season life. (spelling ftl, smh)

Deacs relish underdog role
"I can't talk," Smith said. "I can't predict because, honestly, last year people had us going to the Final Four. Am I right? "And this year your backs are against the wall and you've lost five of your last six, obviously, people think you've kind of hit the wall. I wouldn't have it any other way. "Think about when we were fighting to get some recognition this year. People were saying we lost Jeff and James. But we kind of pulled everything together and all of a sudden we became this team that could make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. And we were rolling. "And we still have that in us."

Neumann-Goretti rolls into quarterfinals | Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/16/2010
"That's pretty much the way we try to play every night," senior point guard Tyreek Duren said. "When we get out and run, share the ball and shoot that well, we're pretty much unstoppable." Tony Chennault paced the relentless attack with 24 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and four steals in 20 minutes. The Wake Forest recruit netted 16 points in the opening 16 minutes.

NCAA Tournament bracket tips: Pick Baylor, not Texas | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News
—Don't pick Texas to win: The Longhorns are talented enough to give Kentucky a game in the second round. But the 'Horns won't make it that far, thus completing a season that saw them go from top-ranked to unranked to first-round losers. College Football - Quarterback question looming for Wake
The last time Wake Forest took a chance on a redshirt freshman quarterback, Riley Skinner led the Demon Deacons to an ACC title and started for four seasons. Now that Skinner finally has ended his career, the Deacons could tab another redshirt freshman to replace him.