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WHO IS SEEDED TOO HIGH?
WHO IS SEEDED TOO LOW?
#8 Boise State: The Broncos have every right to be throwing a fit. Here’s why. They won both the Mountain West regular season and the Conference Tournament championship as well. This league was extremely tough and had four teams make the tournament. The brilliant committee seeded Colorado State 6th and Boise State 8th, despite the fact that the Rams finished 2nd to the Broncos in the regular season, and lost in the semifinals to San Diego State in the conference tournament. And, if that wasn’t enough, they have to play #1 overall seed Gonzaga, if they get by Memphis.
FAVORITES TO MAKE IT TO THE SWEET SIXTEEN:
#1 Gonzaga: They are the overall top seed of the tournament and they have their usual great team. As we all know, they play in a league that is decent at the top and weak at the bottom. So, they are always a little bit untested, and are susceptible to upsets every year. They should get by the first game, but then they have a 2nd round toughie with the Boise State-Memphis winner. Boise State is my pick as their opponent and they will be a good test.
#4 Arkansas: The Razorbacks have cooled off some, from the torrid streak they were on a couple of weeks ago. But they are still good enough and tough enough to win their first two games. They can’t look past opening opponent Vermont who is a 28-win team, and obviously, do a lot of things correct. They then would meet the UConn-New Mexico State winner.
#5 UConn: The Huskies and Razorbacks are in similar positions. Both have difficult opening games. New Mexico State is the WAC champion and they are 26-6 and will be a difficult out. If they win, the Arkansas matchup will be an all-out war. UConn is tough, physical, and stubborn. That 4-5 matchup will be a good one.
BEST CHANCE FOR A LOWER SEED TO CRASH INTO THE SWEET SIXTEEN:
#8 Boise State: The Broncos are an excellent 27-7 team. They could beat a bunch of teams seeded above them in this tournament. They are fully capable of beating Memphis and Gonzaga if things go their way.
WHO MAKES IT TO THE REGIONAL FINALS:
#1 Gonzaga: I like the Zags, although that potential Sweet Sixteen matchup with either Arkansas or UConn, is ripe to pick as an upset and I won’t be a bit surprised if it happens. Both of those teams could be higher seeds and Gonzaga can prove a lot with a win over either one of those 2.
WHO IS SEEDED TO HIGH:
#2 Duke: The Blue Devils are not the juggernaut that past Duke teams have been. They took advantage of a weak ACC conference and lost in the conference tournament finals 82-67 to a 12-loss Virginia Tech who had to win the tournament to make the Big Dance. They are a 2 because they are Duke.
#3 Texas Tech: They probably would be better suited as a 4 or 5.
#6 Alabama: This is a 19-13 team from a good conference so that is a plus.. They didn’t win a game in the conference tournament and lost 13 out of 32, that is a big negative. They should be a 10 or 11.
FAVORITES TO MAKE IT TO THE SWEET SIXTEEN
#2 Duke: You have to include Duke as a favorite, and they might very well make it through the first two rounds because, quite frankly, this part of the bracket is weak. They open up with CSU-Fullerton and they should get by the Titans. Their 2nd round game is interesting as they will get the Michigan State-Davidson winner. The trendy pick will be Davidson over the Spartans, but I’m not sure the Wildcats are good enough, if Michigan State plays as well as they did in the Big Ten tournament. This is not a great Duke team by any stretch, and they can play poorly at times. They are not a cinch to win the 2nd round game against either one of those teams.
#3 Texas Tech: The Red Raiders get the benefit of a very good seed and then a 2nd round matchup equally as favorable. They are a team that is unimpressive because of their style of play, but they win a bunch of games and are tough to beat. Montana State is 27-7 and they are capable of an upset in the first round. Tech doesn’t blow anyone out and the Bobcats will hang around and they have a shot. If the Raiders are fortunate to win, their 2nd round game will be against either Rutgers or Notre Dame (which incredibly enough has to win a game to get in the tournament) or an unbelievably overseeded #6 Alabama. I think Rutgers or Notre Dame beats Alabama and Tech ekes their way to the Sweet Sixteen.
I want to pick a darkhorse team from this bunch, but I just can’t make a good case for anyone. Michigan State is a logical choice, but they have burned me repeatedly every time I back them. I like Davidson a bunch and have deep respect for them, but I don’t think they are good enough. That leaves me with Alabama, Notre Dame, or Rutgers. Of those three, I like Notre Dame the most, but the Irish faltered down the stretch in the ACC. So, regrettably I have to go very, very softly with #3 Texas Tech.
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