Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Soccer & Post-Draft NCAA field of 65

I watched the USA-Mexico game a bit, as well as the end of the US-Canada match, and while I do appreciate the young talent that is coalescing, I do worry about the US's lack of killer instinct. At least 3 goals that would've sealed either game went by the way-side, and maybe all that luck balanced out when Canada's late goal was waived away, but the US can't count on luck.
A very young team now travels to South America for Copa America, and is going to face some tough competition, but the Americans actually have some talent. Look for Indiana Alums Drew Moor and Lee Nguyen to get some PT. Nguyen could start in the midfield.

After the early-entry fallout appears to have settled, and now that Iowa's Tyler Smith can play right away for Tennessee, we've got us some new rankings!
Tyler Smith was exactly what Bruce Pearl need, a guy who can score on the low block, defend on the wing, rebound, and rack up some assists. His presence is going to open things up for Chris Lofton and Ramar Smith, and allow the Volunteer bigs to play with a little more abandon. Wow, what a get! Also, the return of Brandon Rush in my mind is way over-hyped. Yeah, Rush will be playing before the end of the year, but he got a bad injury that usually takes a full year to eighteen months to fully recover from. I think he returns and Kansas makes a run at the Final Four, but I don't think Rush will be the impact player Bill Self needs to get his first championship (or Final Four).
I've included what I think should be the favorites for the automatic-bids, but all 14 of those clubs should pretty much be a one-and-out. Albany & IUPUI could cause some trouble if they can face off against a 2 or a 3-seed.

1 Tennessee (SEC)
2 Memphis (C-USA)
3 UCLA (Pac 10)
4 Georgetown (Big East)
5 North Carolina (ACC)
6 Louisville (Big East)
7 Indiana (Big Ten)
8 Michigan State (Big Ten)
9 Kansas (Big XII)
10 Washington State (Pac 10)
11 Texas A&M (Big XII)
12 Oregon (Pac-10)
13 Marquette (Big East)
14 Southern Illinois (MVC)
15 Mississippi State (SEC)
16 Stanford (Pac 10)
17 Butler (Horizon)
18 Arkansas (SEC)
19 Clemson (ACC)
20 Davidson(Southern)
21 Gonzaga (West Coast)
22 Virginia (ACC)
23 Connecticut (Big East)
24 Illinois(Big Ten)
25 Virginia Commonwealth (CAA)
26 North Carolina State (ACC)
27 New Mexico State(WAC)
28 San Diego State (MWC)
29 Western Michigan(MAC)
30 Auburn (SEC)
31 Pittsburgh (Big East)
32 Wisconsin (Big Ten)
33 Kent State (MAC)
34 Missouri (Big XII)
35 Ohio State (Big Ten)
36 Florida (SEC)
37 Wyoming (MWC)
38 Northern Iowa (MVC)
39 Kansas State (Big XII)
40 Georgia (SEC)
41 Syracuse (Big East)
42 Duke (ACC)
43 Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
44 George Mason(CAA)
45 Alabama (SEC)
46 Minnesota (Big Ten)
47 Alabama-Birmingham (CUSA)
48 Texas (Big XII)
49 Kentucky (SEC)
50 Providence (Big East)
51 Arizona (Pac 10)

Automatic Conference Bids {14}

Albany (America East)
Belmont (Atlantic Sun)
Weber State (Big Sky)
High Point (Big South)
California-Santa Barbara (Big West)
Columbia (Ivy)
Rider (Metro Atlantic)
Hampton (Mid-Eastern)
Sacred Heart (Northeast)
Austin Peay (Ohio Valley)
Holy Cross (Patriot)
Stephen F. Austin (Southland)
IUPUI (Summitt)
Grambling State (SWAC)


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