Mac Attack 03/06/12: ESPN hoops analyst Jimmy Dykes joined the guys to talk ACC hoops and everything else going on in college basketball as the madness fast approaches
Dykes thinks at some point during March Madness, Carolina and Kentucky will repeat their early December showdown and sparks will fly. He thinks the game will not only be explosive, but will definitely be a deciding factor in who makes it to the National Championship, if not is the national championship game itself.
“Carolina is right there with Kentucky and Syracuse if I had to throw out three teams that are going to cut down the nets in New Orleans…Carolina is one of those teams that has been punched in the nose a couple of times and [keeps coming] back better…they got up better than they were when they went down…I look for teams that are hot, healthy and hungry. Carolina fits all those things right now, but so does Kentucky…Right now those two teams are destined to meet again at some point in the tournament and there will be a lot at stake when they do.”
While Dykes doesn’t discount Duke from the list of his top in the country, he thinks the cards need to be stacked in their favor with the brackets in order for the Blue Devils to make a big splash in the tournament.
“I didn’t learn anything from that [Duke/Carolina] ball game that we didn’t already know about Duke…they played to their strengths and if you take those strengths away (three point shooting), they are going to struggle…Duke is never going to be a terrific defensive team…all they have to do is get in the right bracket and [have two good games] and then they are in the Sweet 16…so much of this tournament is dependent on guard play and coaching-and Duke is really good in those two areas! …if they can get in the right bracket and make the right shots…[they can definitely make a run].”
He said west coast teams were rarely featured with the basketball legend schools like Duke, Kentucky and Carolina because of the lack of basketball presence in the west. Dykes feels the typically strong high school players look to other regions of the US to play, and often leave college early to go pro, making it difficult for West Coast teams to grow.
“Some of the elite players out of high school on the west coast have chosen not to stay on that coast…or chosen to leave [college] early…When you think of West Coast basketball…it’s not like [there are many strong programs out there]…I don’t think basketball is as important out there as it is in other parts of the country.”