Today’s gonna be a good day y’all. Between March Madness & SXSW, along with recuperating from St. Patty’s day, this is definitely one of those unofficial holidays. With North Carolina out of the picture & Michigan State most likely gone by the end of the weekend, the door is open for a new champion to walk away with the crown.
And I mean wide open.
Last year, you could count on three fingers who was going to be the champ last year. But this year, there are eight or nine teams that could make a competitive case as to why they’ll be cutting down the nets. Don’t get me wrong, the number one seeds are the front runners for sure, but the separation between them and the rest of the pack isn’t as great as in previous tourneys. And it’s due more to their flaws than strengths. All the above factors combined should equate to an entertaining tournament.
We’ll divulge our first rounds picks for your amusement and to open up the conversation, along with a few games that have upset potential written all over them. So happy bracketing and enjoy the day.
(6) Notre Dame Vs. (11) Old Dominion
Before the Big East Tournament, Notre Dame was looking at being one of the lower seeds in the tournament. With the return of Luke Harangody and a loss to West Virginia in the semi-finals, the Fighting Irish were rewarded with a six seed. That’s quite a jump in the span of a week & one of the many questionable choices the committee made (along with giving Kansas – the overall number one seed – the toughest region while media darling Duke was given a cake walk). In Old Dominion, Notre Dame will face a team that plays in a league that may not have as much talent as the Big East but is still competitive. That’s not to say that Notre Dame can’t win, but they could lose just as easily.
(1) Kansas Vs. (16) Lehigh
(8) UNLV Vs. (9) Northern Iowa
J. Tinsley — UNLV
(6) Tennessee Vs. (11) San Diego State
J. Tinsley — San Diego State
(3) Georgetown Vs. (14) Ohio
(5) Butler Vs. (12) UTEP
(4) Vanderbilt Vs. (13) Murray State
J. Tinsley — Murray State
(7) Brigham Young University Vs. (10) Florida
J. Tinsley — BYU
(6) Marquette Vs. (11) Washington
Despite similar records, Marquette is favored for playing more consistently through out the season & playing in the stronger conference. Washington is a good team that has been up and down all year, but has benefited from playing in the weaker Pac Ten. The Huskies looked reinvigorated going through their conference tourney & if they can play their uptempo style against the Golden Eagles, they’ll have more than a fighting chance in this one. Which means Marquette wants to keep it slow and the score low. Classic clash of playing styles & there can only be one winner.
(2) Kansas State Vs. (15) North Texas
(1) Kentucky Vs. (16) East Tennessee State
(8) Texas Vs. (9) Wake Forest
(3) New Mexico Vs. (14) Montana
(3) Baylor Vs. (14) Sam Houston State
(7) Richmond Vs. (10) Saint Mary’s
(2) Villanova Vs. (15) Robert Morris
Agree? Disagree? Who you got?