NCAA Bracket 2012: 5 Most Intriguing Opening Round Matchups

MichaelContributor IIMarch 11, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31:  Tyler Richardson #22 of the Wichita State Shockers celebraates with his teammates after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide to win the 2011 NIT Championship game on March 31, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Wichita State defeated Alabama 66-57.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

After watching Bracketology 101 for two hours, I have come to the conclusion that this year's NCAA tourney is wide open.

All four No. 1 seeds have shown signs of vulnerability throughout the season at some point.

Most likely, all No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will advance with ease, but then there are those 4-13 games, the 5-12 games and so on.

In every March Madness, there are some upsets that most people do not see coming. The question is, which matchups are those this time around?

Take a look at these five matchups that I believe are the most intriguing in the 2012 March Madness tournament.


1. Wichita State vs VCU

Can Shaka Smart pull of another unbelievable run? Unfortunately, I don't think it's going to happen for VCU this year.

Although it is not an upset, this game will be back and forth all night.

Look for the game-winning bucket to come from the Shockers with under 30 seconds to play, as these mid majors give the national audience a memorable first-round game.


2. NC State vs San Diego State

Clearly the most intriguing games will come from a matchup with at least one mid-major.

NC State caught fire late in the season and played their way into the tourney.

San Diego State is a team that is very well disciplined due to their great coaching staff.

As much as I like the Aztecs, look for the Wolfpack to pull off an upset in this one.


3. Belmont vs Georgetown

The Hoyas always cause chaos when it comes to opening round games.

This year, I see it no differently.

Although I have G-Town taking this game, Belmont will be tough.

This Bruins team has some great talent, and I believe will keep the game within one possession until the final buzzer.

No upset, but one possession game. I'm predicting G-Town, 61-59.


4. Vanderbilt vs Harvard

The Ivy League is back!

So far, every analyst has picked Vandy to be a possible Final Four pick.

I am not on that bandwagon. They played mediocre ball throughout most of the season and came on strong towards the end.

Although I am against the majority of people, I am taking Harvard 56-50 in a slow-paced game. A 5-12 upset happens a lot, and I believe this is one this year.


5. Gonzaga vs West Virginia

Some people may have thought WV got lucky getting into the tourney with an early round exit against UConn in the Big East tourney.

Either way, the Mountaineers are in and ready to play. Unfortunately, they have an experienced Gonzaga team on the other side of the court.

Mark Few is a great coach and will have this team ready for its matchup against Bob Huggins' club.

This game will be a battle and has the chance to be epic. I am predicting a 70-69 win for the Zags.

Set your TiVo or DVR for these games because these are matchups you will not want to miss.