CBT’s Unified College Basketball All-Name Team, Part-2

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Compiled by Eric Angevine and Troy Machir

On Friday, the two most powerful forces in college basketball etymology joined forces to provide the CBT Unified College Basketball All-Name Team. For years, Eric and I have honed our craft at Storming the Floor (Eric) and  Ballin’ is a Habit (Myself), and with the both of us at College Basketball Talk, this his your new home for the most comprehensive insight and analysis on surrnames, nomenclature and etymology in college basketball.

You can take a look at our Unified All-Name Team which we released on Friday. But with over 350 Division-I teams, One list is not enough space to document all the fabulous names in college hoops. So today we are providing our 2012-2013 All-Name Team “Specialty Teams”.

Enjoy.
All-Redundancy, First Team
Bak Bak – California
Deng Deng – Long Beach State
Leek Leek – Campbell
Majok Majok – Ball State
Shayok Shayok – Bradley

All- Redundancy, Second Team
Adama Adams – South Carolina State
Andrew Andrews – Washington
Ella Ellis – Army
John Johnston – Pittsburgh
Ilya Ilyayev – Cal State Northridge

All-Alliteration, First Team
Blondy Baruti – Tulsa
Grandy Glaze – Saint Louis
Peter Pappageorge – Long Beach State
Stallon Saldivar – Northern Arizona
Win Willis – NJIT

All-Alliteration, Second Team
Dalante Dunklin – UC Santa Barabara
Jernard Jarreau – Washington
Marlin Mason – Cleveland State
Nerlens Noel – Kentucky
Storm Stanley – St. Francis (PA)

All-Alliteration, Third Team
Beau Beech – North Florida
Cliff Cornish – High Point
Davante Drinkard – Southern Illinois
Mackey McKnight – Gonzaga
Onochie Ochie – Southeastern Louisiana

All-Not a Real Name, First Team
DeQuavious Wagner – Arkansas
Flavien Davis – Montana State
Juevol Myles – South Dakota
Lazabian Jackson – Arkansas Pine Bluff
Montrezl Harris – Louisville

All-Not a Real Name, Second Team
Marqueze Coleman – Nevada
Rantavious Gilbert – Appalachian State
Shivaughn Wiggins – Mt. St. Mary’s
Trantell Knight – Middle Tennessee
Zeldric King – Tulsa

All-Not a Real Name, Third Team
Anthlon Bell – Arkansas
Cartavious Kincade – Army
Dai-Jon Parker – Vanderbilt
Dyami Starks – Bryant
Dyrbe Enos – Hawaii

All-Amalgamated, First Team
Cleanothy Early – Wichita State
Gregoryshon McGee – South Alabama
Markieth Cummings – Kennesaw State
Toddrick Gotcher – Texas Tech
TeNale Roland – Utah State

All-Amalgamated, Second Team
Alshawn Hymes – Canisius
DeSharick Guidy – McNeese State
Kethan Savage – George Washington
Lanerryl Johnston – Tenessee Tech
RaAnthony Sanders – Tulane

All-Apostrophe, First Team
A’uston Calhoun – Bowling Green
De’End Parker – San Francisco
Juan’ya Green – Niagara
Ka’Darryl Bell – Bradley
Maxwell Du’Vaughn – Hampton

All-Apostrophe, Second Team
De’Mon Brooks – Davidson
Drake U’u – Cal Poly
Ge’Laun Guyn – Cincinnati
La’Bryan Nash – Oklahoma State
Pe’Shon Howard – Maryland

All-Misspelled, First Team
Alyx Foster – Portland State
Damyean Dotson – Oregon
Kregg Jones – Cal State Bakersfield
Rotnei Clarke – Butler
Xzavier James – Northern Colorado

All-Eight Letters or Less, First Team
Glen Dean – Utah
John Puk – Albany
Mac Lake – Presbyterian
Rob Chubb – Auburn
Sam Bott – Duquesne

All-Almost But Not Really a Word, First Team
Blake Hibbitts – Central Michigan
Dominic Redix – Pepperdine
Daman Starring – UC Irvine
Jarvis Threatt – Delaware
Junior Fortunat – Rider

All-Gender Confusion, First Team
Angel Rodriguez – Kansas State
Ashley Hamilton – Loyola Marymount
Leslie McDonald – North Carolina
Pierria Henry – Charlotte
Remy Abell – Indiana

All-It Sounds Better Out Loud, First Team
Arman Marks – James Madison
Emmy Andujar – Manhattan
Korey Billbury – Oral Roberts
Kikko Haydar – Arkansas
Yemi Mankajoula – Tennessee

All-Hyphen, First Team
Dexter Kernich-Drew – Washington State
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Georgia
Kievan Lila-St. Rose – Norfolk State
Kinard Gadsen-Gilliard – East Tennessee State
Negus Webster-Chan – Missouri

All-Initials, First Team
D.C Gaitley – Fordham
D.D. Scarver – Marshall
J.J. Mann – Belmont
K.C. Caudill – Boston College
O.D. Anosike – Siena

All-Scrabble, First Team
Mindaugas Kacinas – South Carolina
Prezemek Karnowski – Gonzaga
Tshilidzi Nephawe – New Mexico State
Viktor Juricek – South Alabama
Vladyslav Kondratyev – Bryant

All-Phonebook, First Team
Durand Scott – Miami
Carrick Felix – Arizona State
Christian Kirk – Missouri State
Treadwell Lewis – Robert Morris
Mandell Thomas – Fordham

All-Colors, First Team
Basil Brown – Texas State
Brison White – Northwestern State
Derail Green – Wichita State
Trae Golden – Tennessee
Vander Blue – Marquette

All-Great Last Name, First Team
Alex Biggerstaff – UNC Asheville
Christian Standhardinger – Hawaii
Dwight Tarwater – Cornell
Jeremy Bogus – Jacksonville
Joshua Freshbach – Brown

All-Unfortunate Last Name, First Team
Cedri Kuakamensah – Brown
Chad Posthumus – Morehead State
Charlon Kloof – St. Bonaventure’s
Givon Crump – Cal State Fullerton
Mitch Asmus – Dayton

All-Shaq, First Team
Shaquille Cleare – Maryland
Shaquille Duncan – Morgan State
Shaquille White-Miller – UT Arlington
Shaq Goodwin – Memphis
Shaq Johnson – Auburn

All-Johnson, First Team
Hurley Johnson – UT Pan American
Kedren Johnson – Vanderbilt
Que Johnson – Washington State
Roquez Johnson – Mississippi State
Sidiki Johnson – Providence

All-Civil War Calvary, First Team
Ambrose Mosley – Old Dominion
Dauson Womack – Houston Baptist
Barrington Stevens, III – South Alabama
Jackson Aldridge – Butler
Sheldon McClelland – Texas

All-Civil War Calvary, Second Team
Amos Wilson – Lamar
Holden Mobley – Belmont
Jackson Trapp – Florida Atlantic
Paxson Guest – Northwestern State
Sherman Blanford – Eastern Illinois

All-Geography, First Team
Cleveland Melvin – DePaul
Conroy Baltimore – Lehigh
Houston Kessler – Georgia
Jeylani Dublin – Longwood
Rodney Glasgow – VMI

All-Geography, Second Team
Brandon St. Louis – Coppin State
London Giles – SMU
Matt Marseille – Tennessee Tech
Montreal Holley – Mississippi Valley State
Paris Gulley – UW Milwaukee

All-Bible, First Team
Cannen Cunningham – SMU
Gideon Gamble – Winthrop
Isaiah Canaan – Murray State
Joab Jerome – Winthrop
Noam Laish – Maine

All-Bible, Second Team
Elijah Ray – IUPUI
Ephraim Ekanem – Northern Arizona
Levi Randolph – Alabama
Micah Mason – Drake
Tobias Dowdell – Tennessee Martin

All-Country Club, First Team
Alton Tanner – UMKC
Clarke Overlander – North Texas
Dean Kowalski – Columbia
Kale Abrahamson – Northwestern
Tab Hamilton – Appalachian State

All-Country Club, Second Team
Anson Winder – BYU
Gaellen Bewernick – Northern Arizona
Glen Akerland – Hartford
Hugh Greenwood – New Mexico
Julian Norfleet – Mt. St. Mary’s

All-Country Club, Third Team
E. Victor Nickerson – Charlotte
Declan Soukup – Bryant
Miles Cartwright – Penn
Mitchell Schwab – Montana State
Preston Medlin – Utah State

All-West Side Story, First Team
Archie Goodwin – Kentucky
Buddy Hield – Oklahoma
Donnie Hale – Purdue
Duece Bello – Baylor
Otto Porter – Georgetown

All-West Side Story, Second Team
Cal Hanks – Southern Utah
Frankie Dobbs – Bryant
Jackie Carmichael – Illinois State
Martino Brock – South Florida
Ronnie Boggs – Jacksonville State

All-Happiness, First Team
Carrington Love – UW Green Bay
Denzel Valentine – Michigan State
Grant Jolly – Texas A&M
Jordan Loveridge – Utah
Mario Blessing – South Carolina Upstate

All-Pocket Protector, First Team
Baxter Price – Mississippi State
Dexter Werner – North Dakota State
Gilbert Talbot – Louisiana Tech
Herbert Graham – IPFW
Milton Jennings – Clemson

All-Pocket Protector, Second Team
Carlton Geathers – South Carolina
Chauncey Gilliam – Akron
Earnest Ross – Missouri
Nigel Pruitt – Kennesaw State
Reginald Buckner – Ole Miss

All-Southern Dandy, First Team
Calib Tannehill – Oral Robert
Cooper Ainge – BYU
Grey Cooksey – Cal State Northridge
Judson Hall – Charleston
Keegan Hornbuckle – UC Santa Barabara

All-Southern Dandy, Second Team
Avery Dinghman – Creighton
Chandler Rhodes – New Hampshire
Jodd Maxey – South Carolina Upstate
John Caleb Sanders – Liberty
Keifer Sykes – UW Green Bay

All-Southern Dandy, Third Team
Carson Fields – Clemson
Fletcher Larson – Youngstown State
Myles Mack – Rutgers
Ryley Beaumount – Elon
Tanner Milson – UNC Wilmington

All-WWE Alias, First Team
Adonis Burbage – Central Connecticut State
Bishop Daniels – Miami
Booker Hucks – LIU Brooklyn
Jett Raines – Pepperdine
Vander Joaquim – Hawaii

All-WWE Alias, Second Team
Clint Mann – Davidson
Cully Payne – Loyola (IL)
Mustafa Jones – Fairliegh Dickinson
Percy Blade – Western Kentucky
Rocco Allen – Stanford

All-Game of Thrones, First Team
Clide Geffrad Jr. – Samford
Oto Osenieks – Minnesota
Spencer Llewellyn – Pacific
Taurean Waller-Prince – Baylor
Thierno Niang – UW Milwaukee

All-James Bond Villain, First Team
Alasdair Fraser – Maine
Hauns Brereton – Hawaii
Leon Tolksdorf – Connecticut
Sandro Carrissimo – Vermont
Thomas van der Mars – Pepperdine

All-Trill, First Team
Christopher Coyne – St. Joseph’s
Diamond Taylor – Southern Illinois
John Golden – Dartmouth
Lucky Jones – Robert Morris
Mauricio Cheda – UTEP

All-Royal, First Team
Duke DaRe – UC Santa Barbara
Prince Williams – East Carolina
Sir’Dominic Pointer – St. John’s
Sultan Muhammad – UW Green Bay
Tawaski King – Western Carolina

All-Beverage, First Team
Kader Tapsoda – Texas Tech
Matt Milk – St. Francis (NY)
Noah Springwater – Columbia
Stuart Lagerson – UT Arlington
Yasin Kola – East Carolina

All-Edible, First Team
Danny Berger – Utah State
Jayson Cheesman – Southern Utah
Preston Herring – Austin Peay
Spencer Butterfield – Utah State
Tracy Ham Jr – Georgia Southern

All-Botony, First Team
Cedric Blossom – Morgan State
Jarell Flora – Seattle
Jeron Blossomgame – Clemson
L.J Rose – Baylor
Mike LaTulip – Illinois

All-Disease, First Team
Brock Zylstra – BYU
David Kravish – California
Davis Rozitis – Hawaii
Nate Basalyga – UMBC
Roy Ghantous – George Washington

All-Fabric Of Our Lives, First Team
Armani Cotton – Yale
Armani Moore – Tennessee
Bryce Cotton – Providence
Cashmere Wright – Cincinnati
Tekele Cotton – Wichita State

All-Obscure Athlete, First Team
Charles Mann – Georgia
David Lighty – South Carolina Upstate
Jordan Crawford – Bowling Green
Patrick Ramsey – Marist
Russel Wilson – Samford

The Posse
Blake Justice – Akron
Colt Barnhill – Air Force
Holt Dunlap – UC Santa Barbara
Hondo Webb – Lamar
Stetson Billings – Arkansas Little Rock

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

Louisville’s Mitchell declaring for draft, won’t hire an agent

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Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell is the latest to decide to see what the NBA might offer.

“I have decided to test the waters and not hire an agent!” Mitchell wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday. “I am excited to work out this summer for teams and hopefully participate in the NBA combine! I want it to be clear I have not decided to leave Louisville!”

Mitchell, who is expected to be joined by dozens of players, is taking advantage of new NCAA rules that allow him to work out for teams and attend the NBA draft combine before making a decision on whether to remain in the draft and return to school.

Players have until May 24 to withdraw from the draft and return to school.

Mitchell averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a sophomore, shooting 40.8 percent overall and 35.4 percent on 3-point attempts.

The 6-foot-3 guard is projected as a potential first-round pick, but should he return, the Cardinals would project as one of the top teams in the country with nearly the entire core returning from this year’s 25-9 squad.

Moe-mentum: Wagner stands tall for Sweet 16-bound Michigan

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Ask Moe Wagner who he looked up to when he was younger, and suddenly the Michigan big man’s fiery demeanor makes a little more sense.

“Kevin Garnett was always my biggest idol, even though our play isn’t really similar. Just the way he brings intensity and energy to his team,” Wagner said. “That always was something that really impressed me.”

Now Wagner is providing his own emotional leadership to a Michigan team that has become one of college basketball’s most remarkable stories this March.

The Wolverines have won six in a row since they were involved in a plane accident on the eve of their Big Ten Tournament opener.

After winning that conference tourney, they opened the NCAAs with victories against Oklahoma State and Louisville – with Wagner scoring 26 points in the win over Louisville that sent Michigan to the Sweet 16.

The 19-year-old Wagner is in his second season with the Wolverines. He showed some promise in 2015-16, but averaged only 8.6 minutes a game as a freshman. He’s been a starter the whole way this season, teaming up with D.J. Wilson to give Michigan some unexpected production in the frontcourt.

The Wolverines entered the season with high hopes thanks to the presence of seniors Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin.

The 6-foot-11 Wagner has made them even tougher to defend. The sophomore from Berlin is averaging 12.2 points a game, and unlike Mitch McGary and Jordan Morgan – two of Michigan’s top big men of the recent past – Wagner is a threat from beyond the arc. He’s made 41 percent of his 3-point attempts in 2016-17, putting even more pressure on opposing teams.

An expressive player on the court, Wagner admits he’s still learning how to keep his emotions under control.

Coach John Beilein says Wagner can be hard on himself, but he has an upbeat attitude the Wolverines can appreciate.

“I don’t want to rob him of his energy and his passion,” Beilein said. “If you heard him in timeouts – I mean, he is really into it. And it’s encouraging things he’s saying.”

The key for Wagner is to stay on the court. He’s been whistled for 100 fouls this season – no other Michigan player has more than 80 – and he picked up two in the first 3:11 when the Wolverines faced Oklahoma State in their NCAA Tournament opener Friday. Wagner played only 14 minutes in that frenetic game, which Michigan won 92-91 .

Against Louisville in the round of 32 , Wagner went 11 of 14 from the field and kept his poise after being called for his second foul late in the first half.

“He’s always just been an excited guy – play hard and play with a lot of passion,” Walton said. “I don’t think anything has changed. I think he’s just channeling it a little better.”

The seventh-seeded Wolverines face third-seeded Oregon on Thursday night in a regional semifinal. Michigan has won seven in a row, a streak that began with the team’s last game of the regular season.

What happened next is well documented. The day before its opening game in the conference tournament, Michigan’s plane slid off the runway .

There were no serious injuries, and the Wolverines arrived in time to play. Then they won four games in four days to take the title.

Now, Michigan is two victories away from an improbable Final Four appearance. If the Wolverines actually make it that far, Wagner will be a big reason why – and he’ll probably be as excited as anyone.

“One of my youth coaches actually used to say that I was somebody who, like, sees the basketball court as a stage and really enjoys it,” Wagner said. “Last year, I started to understand what that actually means, and kind of embraced that this year. That’s just me. I really love it. I really enjoy it.”

 

California’s Ivan Rabb declares for the NBA Draft

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Ivan Rabb announced on Wednesday that he will be declaring for the NBA Draft and foregoing his final two seasons with California.

“I want to thank everybody for their support,” Rabb said in a statement. “Since the day I committed to Cal, the love from Bay Area fans was overwhelming. I could genuinely tell that people really appreciated seeing me come to Cal and succeed and do well. Haas Pavilion will always hold a special place in my heart, and I won’t forget how incredible it felt to be “Oakland’s Own” as I ran onto the court in front of my friends, family and team.”

As a sophomore, Rabb averaged 14.0 points and 10.5 boards. He’s projected as a mid-to-late first round pick in the draft a year after making the decision to return to school as a projected lottery pick last season.

Duke’s Jayson Tatum declares for the NBA Draft

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Duke’s Jayson Tatum will declare for the NBA Draft and hire an agent, the program announced on Wednesday.

Tatum is a projected top five pick in the NBA Draft. He averaged 16.8 points playing the role of small-ball four for the Blue Devils this season after missing the first month of the season with a foot injury.

“I have absolutely loved coaching Jayson Tatum,” Coach K said in a statement. “His skill set and work ethic will make him a star in the NBA. Whichever team selects him will be getting a humble, thoughtful and talented young man whom we are proud to call a member of the Duke basketball brotherhood.”

Tatum was the most talented player on the Blue Devils this season, but it was an up and down year for Duke as a whole. They were predicted by just about everyone to win the national title back in the preseason, but they eventually bowed out of the NCAA tournament in the second round.

Sweet 16 Breakdowns: How the South will be won

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This is where you want to be this weekend.

Beyond the fact that Beale Street is awesome and the ribs in the city are amazing, Memphis will be playing host to the three of the biggest brands in college basketball, three of the four best teams left in the tournament and what is, by a good margin, the best regional left. 

Let’s take a deeper look at it.

No. 1 NORTH CAROLINA

How they can get to the Final Four: The most important thing for the Tar Heels is going to be making sure that Joel Berry II is healthy and playing well. It’s not a secret that this team goes as Berry goes, and he’s not been good through the first two games of the NCAA tournament. He was 1-for-8 from the floor against Texas Southern in the opener and went 2-for-13 from the field as the Tar Heels found themselves unexpectedly in a dogfight with Arkansas in the second round of the tournament.

Berry turned an ankle in UNC’s first round game, and that may have hampered him against the Razorbacks, so, in theory, he should be healthy and ready to for the Sweet 16. Whether or not he makes shots in a different story.

The other part of this, for UNC at least, is that they are going to need their front court to be dominant. The Tar Heels are going to have an advantage in the paint in just about every game they play the rest of the season. Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks and Tony Bradley are big, physical and skilled, and all three can score in the post and crash the glass extremely hard. There is a reason that this team leads the nation in offensive rebounding this season, and all three of the teams that join them in the South Region are significantly smaller on the front line. Kentucky plays either Derek Willis or Wenyen Gabriel at the four. UCLA plays T.J. Leaf and, at times, Lonzo Ball at the four. Andrew Chrabacsz is good, but he shouldn’t keep Isaiah Hicks from getting to the glass.

That’s where UNC has their advantage.

The one other note to make about UNC: Theo Pinson is a terrific defender. At 6-foot-6 and as athletic as he is, putting him on Kelan Martin, Lonzo Ball or Malik Monk should help keep those three from getting into the kind of rhythm they can get into.

SWEET 16 PREVIEW: Midwest | West | South | East

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Why they won’t get to the Final Four: Generally speaking, North Carolina doesn’t really have awful games. They have a floor that is higher than just about anyone’s floor in the country this season. That’s what tends to happen when you’re a team built around post touches and offensive rebounds.

But the ceiling for the Tar Heels isn’t as high as the ceiling for UCLA or the ceiling for Kentucky. To me, there isn’t a team in the country that can beat the Bruins when the Bruins play their best. And based on what happened back in December, it’s pretty clear that Kentucky’s best is better than North Carolina’s best; I’m not sure the Tar Heels could have played better than they did when Malik Monk scored 47 points in a 103-102 win over the Tar Heels.

The addition of Theo Pinson helps. I don’t think Monk gets 47 in that game if Pinson plays, and his presence should help keep the best players on all three potential opponents from going crazy. But the bottom line is this: there is a very realistic scenario in which North Carolina can play well and still find themselves on the wrong end of the scoreline in the Elite 8.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

No. 2 KENTUCKY

How they can get to the Final Four: The obvious answer here is Malik Monk, and yeah. That’s hard to disagree with. He’s proven time and again this season that, when he gets into a rhythm, he can carry Kentucky as far as he’s willing to take them. When he sees a couple shots go through the rim, it’s time for Kentucky to feed him until he burps.

But the ‘Oh, please let Malik Monk have a good game’ strategy is far from ideal because, quite simply, he’s not going to go crazy in four consecutive games against good teams with good defenders and good coaches. That’s a big ask, and that’s why the Wildcats are going to go as far as De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo take them. Adebayo has been awesome over the course of the last five or six weeks, as he’s finally seeming to come into his own as a punishing, overpowering low-post presence. He has five double-doubles in his last nine games, and two more games where he was one rebound short of a double-double.

And Fox?

He’s still turning the ball over a bit more than John Calipari would probably prefer, but his quickness and explosiveness are unquestionably back, and he looks as confident and capable, particularly in crunch time, as he did early in the season.

It’s not a coincidence that, as those two have come back into form, Kentucky now has the nation’s longest active win streak.

Why they won’t get to the Final Four: There are a lot of easy answers to give here. Maybe Malik Monk falls back in love with contested jumpers and goes 3-for-20 in a loss. Maybe Kentucky forgets to play through Bam Adebayo, or maybe De’Aaron Fox becomes a turnover machine.

That’s all possible.

But you know what?

It’s also very possible that Kentucky can play really, really well throughout the second weekend of the tournament and still find themselves on the wrong side of a score line. You can play well and lose to UCLA. You can play well and lose to North Carolina. Hell, Butler has two wins over Villanova and a win over Arizona this season. They’re in the toughest region in the Sweet 16, and only one of the four teams in Memphis can make it out.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

No. 3 UCLA

How they can get to the Final Four: By shooting the grip off the ball.

The bottom line is this: When UCLA’s offense is firing on all cylinders, no one is slowing them down. Ask Cincinnati. The Bearcats have a top 15 defense nationally, and for 15 minutes in the second half on Sunday night, UCLA made them look like a CYO team.

And rest assured, UCLA can do that against anyone. They won a game in Rupp Arena when they gave up 92 points on a night where Lonzo Ball played like he was shaving points in the first ten minutes. They’ve hit 19 threes in a game. Isaac Hamilton, Bryce Alford, T.J. Leaf and Aaron Holiday can all pop off for 25 minutes on a given night, and Ball is about as good as it gets when it comes to making big shots in big moments.

There really isn’t all that much else to add about the Bruins.

There are no secrets about what they’re going to do. The question is if your team has the ability to stop it.

Why they won’t get to the Final Four: The defensive side of the ball. It’s not a secret. We all know the facts here. UCLA is not always a good defensive team. Some of it is effort — it’s not exactly breaking news that they have a habit of not giving effort defensively when they don’t have to — and some of it is the simple fact that their key players are just not all that good defensively. Bryce Alford get’s targeted by opposing coaches. Isaac Hamilton isn’t a great defender, neither is T.J. Leaf.

In the Sweet 16 matchup, I’d expect Ball to spend most of his time on Fox while Holiday and Hamilton chase around Monk; I’m not sure Steve Alford wants to burn out Ball’s legs by having him run around nine screens every possession. But that then leaves Bryce Alford on Isaiah Briscoe, which is a matchup that Briscoe should be able to take full advantage of. In a potential Elite 8 game against North Carolina, the Bruins are going to have to trust Leaf to be able to keep one of Hicks or Meeks off of the offensive glass. That’s a tough ask.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

No. 4 BUTLER

How they can get to the Final Four: The simple answer is finding a way to get stops. Butler is sitting in a region with three of the nation’s 13-best offenses, according to KenPom, and frankly, I think that the way that Bam Adebayo and De’Aaron Fox are currently playing means that Kentucky’s spot as the nation’s 13th-most efficient offensive attack is probably underrated.

Seriously, think about this.

To get to the Final Four, Butler is going to have to find a way to beat a North Carolina team that leads the nation in offensive rebounding with three front court players bigger and better than their biggest and best, and that’s after they find a way to keep Joel Berry II and Justin Jackson front going off. Then and only then can we talk about what they’re going to do about Lonzo Ball and that high-octane UCLA offense or how they’re going to try and chase Malik Monk off of the three-point line.

There’s a very real argument to make that Butler is in a region with the three best teams left in the tournament. They’ve proven they’re good enough to get something like this done, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

Why they won’t get to the Final Four: The simple fact of the matter here is that Butler is totally outclassed in terms of talent by the other three teams in this region. Kentucky and UCLA have future NBA first round picks up and down their roster. North Carolina has a couple, and they’re flanked by a half-dozen former four- and five-star prospects playing for a Hall of Fame head coach.

Butler?

They feel like a Cinderella in this league, even through they are a No. 4 seed from the Big East that swept Villanova, beat Arizona and knocked off Xavier twice. I don’t think anyone is really expecting all that much out of Butler this weekend, and if you know anything about the history of that program, that’s usually when they’re at their most dangerous.