CJBL Tournament - South Bracket Preview

  • By Michael Miller, Day 161, 2021

South Bracket

Texas (#1) vs. Western Michigan (#16)
Memphis (#8) vs. Michigan State (#9)
North Carolina (#4) vs. Sacred Heart (#13)
Wisconsin (#5) vs. San Diego State (#12)
Stanford (#2) vs. North Carolina-Asheville (#15)
Missouri-Kansas City (#6) vs. University of California (#11)
Kentucky (#3) vs. Pennsylvania (#14)
Lipscomb (#7) vs. Indiana State (#10)

Draft Prospects to Watch

SF DeAnthony Hunter - Texas
PF Andrew Fishback - Texas
SF Jacob Rogers - Stanford
PG Mehdy Brown - Kentucky
SG Malik Phillips - Kentucky
SG Jerrell Newman - North Carolina
PF/C Jawon Tyndell - North Carolina
PG Deleon Slay - Memphis
Pf/C Omari Woodley - Memphis
SF Dejuan Brooks - Michigan State
PF/SF Jericho Cartwright - Michigan State

Opening Round Preview - Putting the Texas juggernaut aside for a moment, the first round matchup between Memphis and Michigan State has the talent quality of an Elite 8 game. Michigan State, led by stud freshman DeJuan Brooks, has a wing rotation. Do not discount Memphis's prior experience, however, as PF/C Omari Woodley was a starter on the Tiger's Sweet 16 team last season. 6'8" PG Deleon Slay has not played up to his size all season, so this is a good opportunity for him to solidify his position as a lottery pick in a weak PG class. Interestingly, PG Mehdy Brown is probably the second best potentially draft eligible PG and also plays in this bracket. He and Malki Phillips highlight a Kentucky team that has some steady sophomores. Kentucky should have little trouble advancing into the Sweet 16 as Lipscomb is perhaps the softest #7 seed you can find and the higher seeds do not seem to have any real talent to hang with such a talented squad as the Wildcats. Similarly, Stanford, who had the second highest RPI in the CJBL, is an underrated team ready to make a strong run. SF Jacob Rogers, currently projected as a second round pick, was the leading scorer on a strong team with 18.7 ppg and was the second leading scorer in the entire Pac-12 conference, behind only Trenton Knox. Which puts us back to Texas, last year's CJBL runners up. They have the second best efficiency ranking of all teams in the AP Top 25, they won the Big 12 regular season conference championship by 3.5 games and won their 3 games in the Big 12 Conference Championship by an average of 25.67 points per game. DeAnthony Hunter and Andrerw Fishback are experienced juniors who almost tasted glory with Josh Gamble in last year's deep run, and it will be difficult to doubt them with their dominating performance to date.

Predicted Sweet 16 Matchups - Texas (#1) vs. North Carolina (#4), Stanford (#2) vs. Kentucky (#3)

Most Likely Cinderella - Memphis

Predicted Regional Winner - Texas, so consistently good and with great experience and depth, it is hard to see anyone else get through.