What to Watch While Avoiding Your Family: Advocare Invitational Preview

Today we have the privilege of previewing a tournament that just might feature a matchup between the Flyers and the Irish. There are other teams involved, too, so let’s meet them briefly before trying to handicap the bracket.

Who’s Coming to Thanksgiving Dinner?

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson demonstrating the electric slide.

Alabama (2-1)

This is the second and almost certainly last time we’ll talk about Alabama this season. Will Avery Johnson turn the program into an SEC contender over time? His recruiting class next year indicates that answer might be yes. This year, though, this team will struggle from time to time. They’re probably not going to beat Xavier in the first round and they have nearly zero chance of winning this tournament but at this point they’re probably looking more for experience than results so it may not matter much to their season outlook.

Pollard Jersey Pop.jpg

Play better.

Dayton (3-0)

The Flyers took the first half off against Bill & Mary on Saturday and very nearly suffered a terrible home loss, but they did just enough to squeak by. They’re still playing short without Pierre and without a good Kendall Pollard who has had a miserable start to his season. Still, they’re much deeper than they were last year, which should help them enormously in a tournament format. That being said, Iowa is no pushover and they’ll have to beat three high quality teams in order to win this thing. Can they do it? Sure. Will they? Ehh…..probably not.

Fran McCaffery

Fran McCaffery seems like a calm, collected dude.

Iowa (3-0)

Last time out the Hawkeyes blew the doors off Marquette in Milwaukee for an impressive win. How impressive depends on how good you think Marquette is, and I don’t happen to think they’re any good at all. Still, a 28-point road win is nothing to sneeze at. They tie for the toughest draw in this tournament with the team they play first: Dayton. In order to win this tournament – which they absolutely can – they’ll have to beat Dayton, Notre Dame, and either Xavier or Wichita State (probably). That would vault them into the 15-20 ranking range and set them up for a potentially dangerous B1G run.

Monmouth

I’m just happy I found a photo of a Monmouth player.

Monmouth (2-1)

The Hawks opened their season with a couple of games in Southern California that yielded mixed results. They opened with an overtime win at UCLA which is plenty impressive regardless of how good UCLA might (not) be this year. Then they lost at USC before beating Drexel. We’re probably going to see some serious scoring in their matchup with Notre Dame, a matchup they’re going to lose.

demetrius-jackson-ncaa-basketball-florida-state-notre-dame-850x560

He’ll be doing an awful lot of this against Monmouth.

#17 Notre Dame (3-0)

(According to Mike) They’re a somewhat difficult read since they haven’t played anyone yet. Monmouth won’t count, so they’re going to face their first real test of the season in their second round matchup against either Iowa or Dayton.

(According to Nate) Boy, is that Demetrius Jackson guy good.  I like the makeup of this squad, and I think they have something to prove for some of those that have written them off after losing Grant and Connaughton.

Mayo Floyd USC

These were the good old days for USC hoops.  Woof.

USC (4-0)

One thing is for sure, they have put up some serious points in their first 4 wins, including a 101-90 W over Monmouth (their potential 7th place game opponent).  They also have a win over New Mexico.  The loss of Van Vleet for this tournament could potentially lead to an upset by Andy Enfield’s squad…

Indiana State vs. Wichita State

They may miss this guy.

#20 Wichita State (2-1)

The Shockers lost to the only real team they’ve played so far this year (Tulsa) and nobody is mistaking Tulsa for a powerhouse.  Plus, it looks like Fred Van Vleet is going to sit this one out.  His backup is also out with an injury.  Ron Baker is going to have play like an absolute stud if they are going to have a chance at winning this loaded tournament.

Stainbrook Xavier

After college, Stainbrook plans on moving to Williamsburg and making artisanal pickles.

#23 Xavier (4-0)

They have serious sleeper potential here, particularly since they already look to have hit their stride after a terrific win at Michigan last week. After they beat Alabama (they will) they’ll get a great matchup against Wichita State, which ought to be an extremely fun matchup of two well-coached, talented teams. I also hate them more than any other team in the country so I’m going to take a long, hot shower after writing nice things about them.

So Who’s Going to Win This Thing?

Mike

*Note:  Mike’s predictions were made prior to leaving the country and learning of the Van Vleet news.  Since he is likely hiking a Nicaraguan mountain as we speak, we won’t give him too much grief for his predictions should the Shockers struggle.

Opening Game

Alabama – Xavier: Xavier

Wichita State – USC: Wichita State

Notre Dame – Monmouth: Notre Dame

Dayton – Iowa: Dayton

Semifinal

Xavier – Wichita State: Wichita State

Notre Dame – Dayton: Dayton (heh heh heh)

Championship

Wichita State – Dayton: Wichita State

Nate

Opening Game

Alabama – Xavier: Xavier

Wichita State – USC: USC

Notre Dame – Monmouth: Notre Dame

Dayton – Iowa: Iowa (sorry there large head…I really do hope I am writing a Friday morning preview of ND/Dayton)

Semifinal

Xavier – USC: Xavier

Notre Dame – Iowa: Notre Dame

Championship

Xavier – Notre Dame:  This would be one hell of a battle, but I think the Irish take this thing.  As an aside, I would have likely also picked Wichita State had Van Vleet been healthy.

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3 responses to “What to Watch While Avoiding Your Family: Advocare Invitational Preview

  1. Hey NH I love this blog. This is one of the best sports blogs on WordPress. I have been doing a sports site for almost a year now. Check it out: it’s called Noahsports.net. I have a few posts a week, news updates every day and a video analysis series almost every weekday starting this Monday. You should subscribe. Thanks and keep up the good work! 🙂

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  2. Wow!!!!!! Either Notre Dame is overrated or significantly under achieving. My thoughts about ND is when expectations are high … ND underachieves and when expectations are low, ND overachieves. Also it bothers me that Brey wears mock turtle necks instead of neck ties. He probably sits when he pees too.

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    • Your thoughts are right on point…but I think this team will find it’s way. Too talented to not be a Top 25 team in my opinion. Brey has ditched the mock turtleneck for a couple years and solely goes unbuttoned dress shirt now. Still absolutely refuses to wear a tie.

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