NCAAM College Basketball Update:
- Xavier could be laughing all the way to the 2nd round as they ace a MD team that has backed into this tournament in the worst way.
- Other first round upset specials with potential — Middle Tennessee St., Marquette, VCU, Wichita St., Vandy and Rhode Island
And here’s how ChabDog sees the road to the sweet 16 shaking out … region by region:
- East — Duke looks like a strong bet to get to get through, but watch out for SMU, which has athletic ability and size to boot. UVA should be able to slip by Florida, though their lack of scoring ability has to be a concern. Nova should be more than capable of skinning the overrated Badgers, who haven’t looked like world beaters of late.
- West — Gonzaga certainly has the firepower to overwhelm the competition in the first two rounds, though Vandy may make it interesting (after they put away NW). Experienced and ACC-battle tested Notre Dame should be able negotiate a couple of wins, including getting by a hard pressed West Virginia squad that seems to rely on chaos to create its victories. Meanwhile, reckless Florida St. probably has too much talent to lose to either Xavier or MD, and prohibitive favorite AZ should have no problem with the common folk from VCU.
- Midwest — Kansas may well get the scare of its life (which this year is nothing new) from mischievous Miami, but should survive to meet their makers … the dark horse Boilermakers; as for Purdue, they should be able to use their size and strength to stomp on Big 12 tourney champ Iowa St. Without their star, Oregon should have enough left to stick around for a battle with Louisville, though Michigan will likely give Pitino’s pack a run for their money.
- South — North Carolina is too big and too belligerent to let puny Seton Hall stand in its way, while Butler should escape to live another day against Middle Tennessee St. Alford’s Bruins have the weapons to devastate Wake Forest, and should find themselves with a marquis Sweet Sixteen date with Coach Cal; however, Wichita St. will have something to say about that, and it will be noisy.