MD Pool Lap Number 8: NCAA Tournament Breakdown

Marc DaleyAnalyst IMarch 3, 2008

The top four seeds remain from last week but in a new order.  A couple newcomers enter the pool as well.


East ( Charlotte)

(1) UNC v. (16) Morgan State - This region sets up very nicely for the Tar Heels to make their ninth Final Four trip since 1990.

(2) Xavier v. (15) American - This may be a bit high for the Musketeers, but they have a high enough RPI and ranking to justify the lofty accolades.

(3) Vanderbilt v. (14) UMBC - Is this the year the 'Dores break through to the Final 8?

(4) Purdue v. (13) Davidson - Rob Hummel and Stephen Curry could put the best shooting display since the OK Corral.

(5) Marquette v. (12) So. Illinois - The Salukis are barely hanging on.

(6) Notre Dame v. (11) Texas A & M - The craziness of the past week is the only reason the Aggies, who couldn't find the hoop with directions against Oklahoma, are still around.

(7) Miami (Fla.) v. (10) USC - The football classic returns for the second straight week.

(8) UNLV v. (9) Oklahoma - 8/9 matchups are typically close.  Rest assured, this would be a Rebel blowout. 


South (Houston)

(2) Duke v. (15) Austin Peay - The Govs' tournament starts tomorrow.

(3) UConn v. (14) Belmont - The Huskies have come a long way this year.

(4) Butler v. (13) CORNELL - Cornell gets all caps because they are the first team to officially make the dance.  Congrats, Big Red!

(5) Wisconsin v. (12) Arizona - Wildcats make up a lot of the last of the at-larges. True, 'Zona has a nice RPI but that's their only selling point.

(6) Washington State v. (11) Florida - The Gators sneak in but they could make it to the second round with this matchup.

(7) Baylor v. (10) Illinois State - The Bears played their way back in.

(8) South Alabama v. (9) West Virginia - West Virginia should have cemented their chances if the current result of their game holds.


Midwest (Detroit)

(1) Tennessee v. (16) Robert Morris - A 16 seed has never beaten a one. It will happen one day when there is controversy regarding the merits of the one seed. While the Vols have a tenuous hold on top-dog status the Colonials simply don't have the horses to make history.

(2) Kansas v. (15) Portland State - Bill Self is a great coach during the regular season. But I don't know if he can take a team to the Final 4. 

(3) Louisville v. (14) Siena - On the other hand Pitino could get his fifth Final Four this year.

(4) Stanford v. (13) Oral Roberts - The Golden Eagles ruined their chances at getting an at-large bid with a loss to the Jackrabbits, but are favored to win the Summit tourney.

(5) Indiana v. (12) VCU - VCU will be the most popular wise-guy pick in the first round of office pools everywhere.

(6) BYU v. (11) Virginia Tech - The Hokies came within an overtime loss of making the Final Four in their first Dance in '67.  They haven't been close since.

(7) Gonzaga v. (10) Arkansas - Dogs and Hogs do battle.

(8) Pitt v. (9) Kansas State - Beasley should go for his usual 30/20 against the Panthers.


West (Phoenix)

(1) UCLA v. (16) Lamar - Stephen F. Austin went from a mid-40s RPI to falling out of the pool.

(2) Georgetown v. (15) CS-Fullerton - The Titans came suffered an overtime loss in their only NCAA appearance ('78).

(3) Texas v. (14) Boise State - The Broncos have never won a NCAA tournament game. The skid continues.

(4) Michigan State v. (13) Western Kentucky - The 'Toppers are getting some slight at-large glances. I still think they have to win the Sun Belt tourney.

(5) Drake v. (12) New Mexico - Thanks to last week the Lobos are still in this.

(6) Clemson v. (11) Kentucky - The Wildcats will put up a valiant effort but I think they'll be crapped out and lose their first opening round matchup since '87.

(7) St. Mary's v. (10) UMass - The Minutemen have enhanced their chances.  Unfortunately for the A-10 I think only two get in.

(8) Kent State v. (9) Mississippi State - This says something about the SEC. The Bulldogs could still have the best overall conference record.