North Carolina (1) v Florida Gulf Coast (16)
Do we really need to spend any time here? Carolina by 30.
USC (8) v Providence (9)
This will be a tale of two teams with similar fates. Both USC and Providence crawled across the finish line in conference play and had a strong enough resume to make the tourney. Both squads are streaky, so expect an exciting battle to the finish. Kris Dunn will just be too much for the Trojans to neutralize. Providence by 6.
Indiana (5) v Tennessee Chattanooga (12)
Indiana has the size and talent to run away with this one, and eventually they will. Chattanooga has been riding a strong wave of success lately and will come out swinging, but Indy will prove to be just too much in the end. We’ve got Indiana by 14.
Kentucky (4) v Stony Brook (13)
Most people didn’t even know Stony Brook existed a week ago, but they soon will. Having lost only 6 games this year, Stony Brook will be more than ready bring to their stingy defense (63.4 oppg) Thursday. Size at all positions is Kentucky’s main asset and they’ll eventually wear them down. Oh yea, and they have that Tyler Ulis guy, he’s pretty good. Kentucky by 15.
Notre Dame (6) v (11) Michigan\Tulsa
Notre Dame is a very beatable team and both Michigan and Tulsa have a proverbial chip on their shoulder for having to participate in a play-in game for an 11th seed. Either way it wont be an easy game for the Irish… To be continued…
West Virginia (3) v Stephen F. Austin (14)
SFA has been a great story. Low major school in East Texas-turned Cinderella- turned-Southland Conference powerhouse. At an impressive 18-0 conference record, the Jacks literally haven’t lost a game in months… Problem is they haven’t faced a team as athletic as West Virginia yet. West Virginia has made a living pressing the living daylights out of opponents and getting a ton of turnovers. SFA will battle hard, but the Mountaineers eventually overwhelm the Jacks… WVU by 16.
Wisconsin (7) v Pitt (10)
The Panthers simply aren’t equipped to win this game. They amongst the worst shooting team in the league, and if they have any chance to keep up with Wisconsin, they have to be lights out. Aint happening. The Badgers are young, hungry and ready to make noise in this tournament. Wisconsin by 11.
Xavier (2) v Weber State (15)
Unless Damian Lillard finds another year of non-existing eligibility the Wildcats will get thumped pretty good here. Xavier is too deep and too skilled all around to be challenged here. Expect them to force a ton of turnovers and break away early in transition. Xavier by 25.