Obviously Kansas is the favorite, with Louisville and OR rounding things out. One of those teams in each matchup is overseeded. No. 3 OR lost center Chris Boucher to an ACL tear, an injury that may cost the Ducks a shot at a national title.
While he's only caught bits and pieces of two games - MI versus SC and Purdue - Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood has prepared his team to essentially play itself in Indianapolis.
Jacksonville State (20-14), in head coach Ray Harper's first year, won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed, defeating UT-Martin 66-55 in the final.
On paper, this might be the weakest of the four regions.
The Gamecocks are seeded 15th in the Midwest region and the Cardinals (24-8) from the ACC are seeded No. 2. Kansas has great guards and wings - notably senior Frank Mason, a national player of the year candidate, and heralded freshman Josh Jackson, who almost attended Michigan State. March, ' " said Izzo, referring to the nickname by which he is known from coast to coast.
Purdue F Caleb Swanigan: The Wooden Award favorite has been a double-double machine and is virtually unguardable man-on-man at this level. He's done a good job there but it's ok not to like him for a weekend.
No5 Iowa State v No12 Nevada. Should Morris' teammates score and find a way to get stops, this team might have a long run in it. Unlike in years past, the Spartans weren't exactly considered a lock, but this is the type of team that could surprise some people. Michigan State once again showed the ability to outhit a top team, as it had three times as many hits as SC. The Mustangs face the victor of Wednesday's First Four game between Providence and USC. The Catamounts edged Albany for the America East championship Saturday and feature the versatile Payton Hudson, the AE Player of the Year. Then, just as it appeared the Spartans all but clinched a berth with a victory over Wisconsin in the home finale, they lost their final regular season games at IL and Maryland. It had lost to the Anteaters by 30 points a week earlier. Jacksonville State is averaging 69 points per game and they are shooting 45.7 percent from the floor and 36.7 percent from beyond the 3-point arc while defensively they are allowing 68.2 points and their opponents are shooting 42.2 percent.
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Nairn believes the loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament will help more than anything he can tell them. If they can hold Iowa State under 40 percent, limit Deonte Burton's mid-range and his off-the-dribble game and allow their high-scoring guard Marcus Marshall to operate in space offensively, we could see another 12-over-5 upset.
Creighton-Rhode Island has the makings of a popular upset pick in your bracket pools.
UofL coach Rick Pitino has to be elated with the seeding, plus the fact that his team didn't land in the same region as Kentucky, which is seeded No. 2 in the South, or Minnesota, which is coached by his son, Richard.
To do so, MSU, a ninth seed, must beat Miami and Kansas. But their bigs aren't players who dominate the low post. They do not have much depth.
But in truth, his team was given a break by being put in the NCAA tournament field. Then that team goes on to make a great run.
K-State was one of six teams from the Big 12 to make the tournament, and it's the 29th appearance in school history. "North Carolina won the regular-season title".