There are few sporting events that compare to the excitement of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. While the games on Thursday and Friday will get the most attention, the round of 32 has some potential classics.
Obviously, nothing is set in stone, and there is no guarantee that either squad will advance to the next round. Even the top seeds could end up being in trouble
Still, college basketball fans of all kinds should be rooting for these matchups because they would be a thrill to watch.
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 North Carolina
The first thing that anyone will discuss if this matchup occurs is the Roy Williams story. The head coach left Kansas in 2003 to coach at his alma mater, North Carolina, after Jayhawks fans were not happy.
Both teams have won a championship since then, so this should really no longer be a big deal.
However, the play on the court should be a thrill to watch. North Carolina might not have any big wins this season, but the Tar Heels are a very good team that is starting to peak at the right time. Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston can shoot from almost anywhere on the floor and they will create mismatch problems throughout the tournament.
In addition, North Carolina runs a very fast-paced game, which is something that could cause some problems for a Kansas team without a steady point guard.
Of course, the Jayhawks have a lot of experience playing at a high level and have the talent to go deep in the tournament. However, this could be a team that knocks them out in the third round.
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 7 Creighton
Throughout the college basketball season, fans have started to become annoyed with low-scoring games. The sport is becoming more physical and players are struggling to put the ball in the net.
That will not be a problem if these two teams play in the round of 32.
Creighton and Duke are two of the best outside-shooting teams in the country, ranking first and fourth, respectively, in three-point shooting. If these defenses do not keep their hands up, threes will be raining down all day long.
With Ryan Kelly on the floor, the Blue Devils have only lost one game this year. However, the defense looked pretty poor in the loss to Maryland in the ACC tournament. If that continues, Creighton will light up the scoreboard.
However, the shooting will be very helpful late in this game, as no team will be out of it until the clock hits zero.
No. 4 Kansas State vs. No. 5 Wisconsin
Games between No. 4 and No. 5 seeds are usually close battles, but this is the best one of the tournament.
Wisconsin has played well of late, winning tough games in the Big Ten tournament. The Badgers play excellent defense and it is a challenge for anyone to get into the lane against them.
Meanwhile, Kansas State has a player who can create plenty of shots for himself in Rodney McGruder. He has the ability to single-handedly break down an opponent to put points on the board when his team needs it.
In addition, this game will take place in Kansas City, and the arena is certain to have plenty of fans dressed in purple.
Either of these squads is capable of going to the Elite Eight or even the Final Four, so expect both sides to put forth a lot of effort in this showdown.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!