Thursday, March 24, 2011

National semifinals ... this is getting fun

Just a few thoughts from Springfield, Mass., as the Minnesota State men's basketball team prepares for tonight's game against Bellarmine University at the NCAA Division II tournament.

It should be another interesting matchup of styles. Bellarmine is a big, physical team with lots of man muscles. They seemed to play a disciplined style and shoot the ball well.

The Mavericks will want to press the pace, hoping to make it a fullcourt game instead of a halfcourt battle. Marcus Hill will have a tough time guarding any of their players, yet Bellarmine has no one who can keep up with Hill.

In Wednesday's game, Midwestern State was able to dribble inside the Bellarmine zone, but then the guards made bad decisions. Hill and Hodges should be able to penetrate, but then they have to finish or find an open teammate.

It will be interesting to see how much energy Wednesday's overtime victory over Alabama Huntsville took from the Mavericks. Hill played 45 minutes, and in the region tournament, he struggled offensively in the second game of back-to-backs. In his favor, Bellarmine is unlikely to press much.

If the Mavericks can score 80 points, they should win. Bellarmine appears to prefer a game played in the 60s.

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