Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friday Picks

View my bracket here. | View contest results here.

Here are Kevin's picks for the first second round games, and here are my picks for Friday's games.

8 George Mason over 9 Villanova
Nova has talent, but they played so poorly in the final month of the season that I'm not convinced they belong in this tournament. Mason won an even-stronger-than-usual CAA and hasn't had a real let down since Christmas.

1 Ohio State over 16 Texas-San Antonio
UTSA dominated its First Four game, but the Roadrunners won't survive the poisonous nuts.

2 North Carolina over 15 Long Island

6 Xavier over 11 Marquette

Xavier finds its way to the Sweet 16 just about every year, so I'm not going to pick against the Musketeers in the first round.

10 Georgia over 7 Washington
Not sure why I picked Georgia here. I probably should have gone with Washington. Too late now. Both of these teams have some incredible athletes, and both fell short of pre-season expectations. Washington made a nice run in the Pac 10 Tournament, but teams that overachieve in conference tournaments tend to underachieve in the NCAA Tournament. I guess that's a reason to pick Georgia.

3 Syracuse over 14 Indiana State
I'd really like to pick the Sycamores here, but I can't, in good faith, pick any team that lost twice to Evansville to upset a 3 seed.

4 Texas over 13 Oakland
I would have picked Oakland over any other 4 seed, but when Texas plays well, they're among the best teams in the country.

9 Tennessee over 8 Michigan
If the Volunteers aren't too distracted by speculation about coach Bruce Pearl's future, they should take care of the Wolverines.

12 Memphis over 5 Arizona
I can't think of any good reason to pick Memphis here. The Tigers haven't looked good all season, not even in the games they've won. But I think they have enough talent (albeit young talent) to pull the upset.

1 Duke over 16 Hampton

2 Notre Dame over 15 Akron
No amount of encouraging text messages from LeBron James will save the Zips from elimination at the hands of Notre Dame. (Why the Selection Committee didn't schedule the Fighting Irish on St. Patrick's Day is beyond me.)

7 Texas A&M over 10 Florida State
Chris Singleton, the Seminoles' leading scorer and rebounder, is questionable for Friday's game. Even with Singleton healthy, I think Texas A&M is probably a better team than Florida State.

1 Kansas over 16 Boston University
I would like nothing more than for the Terriers to upset top-seeded Kansas, but I have more confidence that purple-skinned space aliens will colonize eastern Europe this weekend than that Boston U. will win this game.

3 Purdue over 14 St. Peter's
My faith in the Boilermakers is waning, but I fully expect them to take care of the Peacocks.

8 UNLV over 9 Illinois
With apologies to my extended family in the Land of Lincoln, Illinois may be the worst at-large team in this tournament.

11 VCU over 6 Georgetown
It all comes down to Chris Wright's left hand, doesn't it?


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