clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Our (Initial) Stab At The First Round

Here's our first take on the brackets. We sometimes get a real strong
feeling about a game, but that hasn't happened yet. We'll revise this if
it does.

Our feeling, every year, is that only an idiot would try to predict the whole
tournament from beginning to end. So we do one round at a time.

All the # 1's should advance. Duke's opponent, Alabama State, we don't know a
lot about yet, to be honest. They play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Their web site opens with a picture of a packed football stadium, then the
schedule launches immediately to football, but they stopped updating their
basketball schedule on February 2nd, which makes you think that maybe they don't
take it as seriously as say Duke does. But before you get too cocky, that's
Mississippi Valley State's conference, and as you may remember, they weren't a
particularly easy nut to crack. ASU finished 16-14 in the SWAC, behind
Mississippi Valley State, and won the conference tournament.

After that, who knows? Here's our guesses:

St. Louis

  • Kentucky
  • UAB over Washington
  • Providence over Pacific
  • Kansas of IL-Chicago
  • Utah over B.C.
  • Tech over Northern Iowa
  • Michigan State over Nevada
  • Gonzaga over Valpo

East Rutherford

  • St. Joe's
  • Charlotte over Texas Tech
  • Manhattan over Florida
  • Wake Forest over VCU, but closer than you think
  • Richmond over Wisconsin - Jerry Wainright is a much better coach than
    people think. Plus he's very hardnosed.
  • Pitt over Cent. Florida
  • South Carolina over Memphis
  • Oklahoma State over E. Washington


  • Duke
  • Seton Hall over Arizona - better competition, tough point in Andre
  • Illinois over Murray State
  • ETSU over Cincinnati
  • UNC vs. Air Force....hmmm....a team which wants to run vs. a team which
    wants to run the Princeton Denver...with Air Force used to the
    altitude. Can UNC play defense for long stretches in that
    environment? They don't do a great job at sea level. Very tentatively,
    and with the oxygen the prime factor, we'll say Air Force in a
    shocker. If UNC's kids were more experienced, we wouldn't make this
  • Texas vs. Princeton. Similar, except Texas isn't as dedicated to
    running as UNC is. Princeton is extremely dangerous, but given Rick
    Barnes' dedication to rebounding and defense, we'll take Texas.
  • Xavier vs. Louisville. Louisville has tanked at the end of the
    season. Right now, we'll take Xavier.
  • Mississippi State over Monmouth


  • Stanford
  • Southern Illinois over Alabama
  • Syracuse over BYU? Probably so...
  • Maryland-UTEP. After the way they played this past weekend,
    Maryland. It doesn't always translate, though.
  • Vandy over Western Michigan. On second thought, no, the MAC is pretty
    tough. It's one of our favorite conferences, actually. So
    Western Michigan over Vandy.
  • State over UL-Lafayette
  • DePaul over Dayton
  • UConn over Vermont