Everyone loves a good list of predictions, so I figured why not humor you with my ultra-educated picks (note the sarcasm). Obviously, this will be solid bulletin board material for someone, and without question a call out or two on Twitter. Without further ado, let the fun begin. Oh and by the way, Eric Frantz is going to go offer up his picks too…Enjoy.
Division I Picks
Lakewood St. Edward vs. Cleveland East Tech
The battle of NE Ohio in Columbus. Makes perfect sense. St. Ed’s is obviously no stranger to the final four, but for those old enough to remember (I don’t qualify), East Tech isn’t either if you are talking about 40-60 years ago. The Scarabs of East Tech ran through defending state champion Mentor, heavy favorite Shaker Heights, and a very sound Uniontown Lake squad to crash the party. Does East Tech have two more surprises left in the bag? The Eagles certainly hope not. This game will come down to will St. Ed’s find a way to slow down East Tech’s quartet of K.T. Taylor, Johnell Free, Anthony Carmon, and Markell Johnson. Ed’s played a brutal schedule playing a host of teams with different styles, so there is a good chance Coach Flannery will figure out a way to limit the Scarabs. The Eagles will also have a distinct size advantage.
The Pick: St. Edward over East Tech
Eric’s Pick: St. Edward over East Tech
Upper Arlington vs. Trotwood-Madison
This will be a complete contrast in styles. Upper Arlington is patient and efficient on offense, while Trotwood wants to score faster than you can say the word. UA wants teams to play long possessions on offense, while Trotwood is trying to pressure and create turnovers. Don’t think so? The Rams are averaging a tournament-best 87 points per game, while causing 56 turnovers in their two regional wins. Not to sound cliche, but actually I will, this game is going to come down to whoever gets the game to their liking. UA has been able to do that in every game, so why not one more time. UA’s Kevin Vannatta and Trotwood’s Dazhontae Bennett have been two of the tournament’s best individual performers. Trotwood has knocked off La Salle, Wayne, and Moeller in consecutive games, not many teams can claim that. On the other side, UA has dropped Gahanna, Pickerington Central, and Northland, who are three of the best five teams in Central Ohio. Both teams have a great feel about them, which makes this game nearly impossible to pick. The throngs of UA fans that will take over the Schottenstein Center this weekend could give the Golden Bears all the extra boost they need.