Memphis vs UT-Arlington
Dream scenario for UTA: Dorsey comes in a little over-amped, picks up a charge a minute into the game. A couple minutes later, he is called for a little body contact in attempting to block a Vereen shot. Meanwhile, UTA is sinking back into a zone, giving
Mississippi State vs Oregon
These are very different teams, but I think very even teams.
There are going to be some interesting matchups here: who guards Porter and (more importantly) who does Porter guard. Varnado can clean up after his defenders if they do lose some of their quicker opponents, but the key for
On the other side of the court, the Bulldogs will be posting up
This really is a coin flip, but I’m going to take Oregon as Miss St’s problems at the free throw line may come back to haunt them.
Another key battle here will clearly be the Neitzel/Christmas battle. Hard to say who has the edge here, may be a wash.
As far as interior players, while the Spartans certainly have their fair share of big men, none are particularly dominant. Suton can step away and knock down the perimeter shot, which could be a key here.
The key weakness for MSU is scoring the ball. If Neitzel can get his against Christmas and one other player can deliver strong contributions offensively (with that player most likely being either Morgan, Suton or possibly Summers, who has played well recently), then
Early guess: Michigan St 69
Pitt vs Oral Roberts
Any way you slice this game, it will be a battle. At the point position, Jarvis should be able to give Fields all he can handle. ORU will throw Ogunoye at Sam Young. Shawn King can bang with DeJuan Blair down low. Ehambe will give Ramon and Benjamin trouble. Pitt may be one of the hottest teams in the country, but this Oral Roberts team will not be intimidated and they will not back down.
While both teams are more comfortable getting into a halfcourt game and going at their opponent, each team has plenty of athletes who will take advantage of transition opportunities when they become available.
I think Pitt has enough to get through this round (and possibly well beyond), but it would behoove them to get to Denver early, get adjusted to the altitude and, perhaps most importantly, make their free throws early in the game, as well as late.
Early guess: Pitt 65 Oral Roberts 62
Marquette vs Kentucky
This actually sets up pretty well for
Neither of these teams will (ideally) take, or make, a lot of 3s. They are going to rely on their guards getting some penetration and creating offense.
Free throws could be an issue here for
This is really a very even matchup. I think matchups like McNeal/Jasper and James/Bradley are going to be amazing to watch. I have a suspiscion that
Stanford vs Cornell
Bzzzt. Bzzzt. Incomplete data alert! I have never seen Cornell play.
I think to beat Stanford you have to have some big guys who are at least able to hang with the Lopezes and some quickness in the back court to take advantage of Stanford’s weaknesses. With absolutely no data to base this on, other than a good 5 minutes researching Cornell, I suspect Cornell does not have what it takes to hang with Stanford.
Early guess, based on little more than a shot in the dark: Stanford 71 Cornell 58
At first glance here, the matchups that intrigue me are McClinton vs. Golden and Simpson vs. whoever
A possible key for St. Mary’s could be Tron Smith, who has the athleticism to stick with McClinton, and a bit of a size advantage.
Offensively, I think Simpson will probably be too quick for either Collins or Graham, and Simpson can also be an equalizer on the defensive end, erasing some shots if one of the less athletic Gael defenders loses their man.
This will be a bit of a contrast in styles at times, as St. Mary’s will get up and down and shoot up a lot of 3s, and should certainly be a interesting tight game.
Texas vs Austin Peay
If Austin Peay were to have a chance in the first round, it would be against a team without the backcourt of