I know I've been harping on my wrist pain the last few days but it's the reason my first round preview is delayed and because it is a LOT shorter than I had hoped for. I apologize for that. Here's the best I can muster:
Five Games to Watch (for sure):
The winner of this one can give Pittsburgh a lot of trouble in round two.
Dionte Christmas and James Harden are going to put on a show.
The Trojans are finally playing great basketball while Boston College is up and down. No telling which teams are going to show up.
How in the world does Ohio State get to play in Dayton? Who knows, but giant killer Siena could truly care less.
Both of these teams are as inconsistent as they come. Will December Clemson show up to take on November Michigan? If that happens these two teams can beat anyone.
Five Upsets that Could Happen (not counting 8-9 and 7-10s):
Both of these teams are over-seeded. Portland State already has a win over Gonzaga to its credit. I actually have this one in my bracket.
Is this even an upset? Everyone has this one picked. Beware though, when the whole world jumps on an upset the opposite usually happens.
If you see this and shake your head join the crowd. Let's just call this one a hunch.
I'm sure the Huskies aren't happy that they are a 4 seed that still has to take on the SEC Champions. Mississippi State will create matchup problems everywhere.
Kansas-North Dakota State
Kansas is young and not playing well. North Dakota State is led by Ben Woodside and ready to win its first ever tournament game.
The 1-16 Game that will be closest will be: Connecticut-Chattanooga
The Huskies never get up for these games. If there's any 1-16 game that stays between 15 points or so this would be my guess. Also keep an eye on East Tennessee State. They should really be a 14 or 15 seed and not a 16 against Pittsburgh.
The 2-15 Game that will be the closest will be: Michigan State-Robert Morris
Last year Duke was challenged by Belmont but the guess here is that Binghampton won't play as well. I think Robert Morris can play with Michigan State for a little while.
The first round's biggest blowout will be (not counting 1-16 games): Missouri-Cornell
The Tigers are going to run Cornell up and down the floor all night long.
Dantheman's First Round Picks by Region
Louisville over Morehead State
Siena over Ohio State
Arizona over Utah
Wake Forest over Cleveland State
West Virginia over Dayton
Kansas over North Dakota State
USC over Boston College
Michigan State over Robert Morris
Pittsburgh over East Tennessee State
Tennessee over Oklahoma State
Florida State over Wisconsin
Portland State over Xavier
UCLA over VCU
Villanova over American
Texas over Minnesota
Duke over Binghamton
Connecticut over Chattanooga
Texas A&M over BYU
Northern Iowa over Purdue
Washington over Mississippi State
Marquette over Utah State
Missouri over Cornell
Maryland over California
Memphis over CS Northridge
North Carolina over Radford
LSU over Butler
Illinois over Western Kentucky
Gonzaga over Akron
Arizona State over Temple
Syracuse over Stephen F. Austin
Michigan over Clemson
Oklahoma over Morgan State
Dantheman's Final Four:
Louisville, Marquette (I cannot pick all four #1 seeds), Pittsburgh, North Carolina
About the Marquette pick here's what I think. Are the Eagles one of the best four teams in the country? No but if they get by Utah State (a big if) they get Missouri. I really think that matchup favors Marquette even without Dominic James. Then they get Memphis (more than likely) which I think could be an upset. After that they get Connecticut, a team they've seen in the Big East already this year. It's just a hunch.
MMOD: And remember if you haven't signed up for March Madness on Demand you need to before tomorrow!
Live Blog: My live blog will be back tomorrow for the complete weekend. Send all questions to my email!