Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness - Opening Thursday Preview

Greetings! Let's take a look at each game from one of the two greatest days on the sporting calendar... (in chronological order)
  • 12:15 pm CBS - #6 Murray State (-4) vs. #11 Colorado State - I really like Murray State here. The Ohio Valley conference isn't quite what it used to be, but Murray has one-loss on the entire season, and veteran leadership to win this one against a probably over-seeded CSU team.
  • 12:40 pm TruTV - #8 Kansas State (-5) vs. #9 Southern Miss - I'm not a Frank Martin fan at all, but this version of K-State is a really tough-minded team that grinds out wins. They're great on the glass, which helps override their lack of shooting, and I think they will this one.
  • 1:40 pm TBS - #4 Louisville (-7.5) vs. #13 Davidson - I'm not a Louisville guy at all, and nearly pulled the trigger on Davidson to win this one outright. Louisville can't score the ball effectively, and Davidson will be bombs-away. If Davidson hits threes, they can win.
  • 2:10 pm TNT - #4 Wisconsin (-9) vs. #13 Montana - I'm a Wisconsin sucker to the point where my bracket name on Yahoo! is "Wisconsin Kryptonite". I love Jordan Taylor and company, and they aren't losing here.
  • 2:45 pm CBS - #3 Marquette (-5.5) vs. #14 BYU - BYU is better than a 14-seed and Marquette isn't as good as 3-seed. That said, Marquette is the better team here, and it took an epic Iona collapse for BYU to be here. I like the Eagles.
  • 3:10 pm TruTV - #1 Syracuse (-15) vs. #16 UNC-Asheville - Sixteens never beat ones. That said, UNC Asheville is the highest rated #16 seed in the history of (the leading stat guy for college hoops, if you didn't know) and Syracuse is without Fab Melo, so if there was ever a time...?
  • 4:10 pm TBS - #5 New Mexico (-4) vs. #12 Long Beach State - I'm upset that these teams are playing each other. New Mexico was one of my deep sleepers, and I love them, but LBSU has one of my favorite players in the country in Casper Ware. Gun to my head? I like the Lobos.
  • 4:40 pm TNT - #5 Vanderbilt (-5.5) vs. #12 Harvard - Warning! 5-12 game upset! I like the Crimson here, just because Vandy has shown us year after year that they aren't to be trusted.
  • 6:50 pm - #1 Kentucky (-25.5) vs. #16 Western Kentucky - This should be the biggest blow-out of the first two days.
  • 7:15 pm CBS - #5 Wichita State (-6.5) vs. #12 VCU - Another 5-12 matchup, but I like the #5 here. VCU will be overrated in this tournament because of last year, but it isn't the same team, and Wichita State is the nation's best team that isn't in a major conference. Love the Shockers.
  • 7:20 pm TNT - #7 Gonzaga (-1) vs. #10 West Virginia - I'm a Zags homer, but they have a really tough assignment here having to go to Pittsburgh to play WV. Bob Huggins will have his guys ready, and while I have Zaga as the better team, it's a virtual road game.
  • 7:27 pm TruTV - #3 Baylor (-7.5) vs. #14 South Dakota State - I don't trust Baylor and you shouldn't either, but they are so much better athletically here that they shouldn't lose... yet.
  • 9:20 pm TBS - #8 Iowa State (+1.5) vs. #9 UConn - UConn can't be trusted. They have top-10 talent and don't perform at that level. I'm picking Iowa State because I know what they are.
  • 9:45 pm CBS - #4 Indiana (-6) vs. #13 New Mexico State - This was a near upset pick for me. I kind of like Indiana, but they're overseeded here as a #4 and the Aggies are a feisty bunch.
  • 9:50 pm TNT - #2 Ohio State (-17.5) vs. #15 Loyola (MD) - I'm all in on the Buckeyes.
  • 9:57 pm TruTV - #6 UNLV (-5) vs. #11 Colorado - One of my favorite games of the first 2 days. Remember when UNLV blitzed UNC earlier in the year? That was legit, and they can make noise here, but Colorado is really hot right now.

Enjoy it!

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