2014 NCAA Tournament Haiku previews

Jayhawks have high hopes. How healthy is Embiid's back? KU is a two. (USATSI)

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We do it every year. A simple, slimmer type of NCAA Tournament preview. A look at the Thursday and Friday games, but with commentary in Haiku form. Haiku, of course, is a form of Japanese poetry that infuses/mandates 17 syllables in a 5/7/5 pattern.

The longer previews can be helpful but cumbersome. Sometimes, things are better left said as briefly as possible. In my case, sometimes even briefer than that. Ah, well. Here it is, the field of 2014, as poetically as I can put it.


Florida (1) vs. Albany (16): Great Danes are small pups / Now or never for seniors / Three straight Elite Eights

Colorado (8) vs. Pittsburgh (9): What a toss-up here / The most boring 8/9 game / Love #rolltad hashtag

VCU (5) vs. Stephen F. Austin (12): Chic upset choice here / We know what the "F" stands for / Rams role reversal

UCLA (4) vs. Tulsa (13): Bruins have such speed / Tulsa, it's been awhile / Logical dark horse?

Ohio State (6) vs. Dayton (11): In-state non-rivals / Ohio State has no O / So it is "Hi State"

Syracuse (3) vs. Western Michigan (14): This one smells funny / Can Orange get back to form? / Return of the MAC?

New Mexico (7) vs. Stanford (10): This is sneaky good / Johnny Dawkins first time here / Beware Cam Bairstow

Kansas (2) vs. Eastern Kentucky (15): EKU: KO / Rock, chalk, Jayhawk, St. Loooou ... is / Embiid back? The Q

Tommy Amaker. The Crimson are a12 seed. Great times still ahead? (USATSI)


Virginia (1) vs. Coastal Carolina (16): You'll ignore this one / Quietest 1 seed ever / Love that pack-line D

Memphis (8) vs. George Washington (9): G-dub undersold / Pastner yet to make 16 / You'll miss on this game

Cincinnati (5) vs. Harvard (12): Ivy always tempts / Why can't Bearcats get respect? / Mick Cronin hates you

Michigan State (4) vs. Delaware (13): "If they are healthy ... " / Keep saying it 'til it's true / "If they are healthy ... "

North Carolina (6) vs. Providence (11): Enigmatic Heels / Ten years since Friars made it / Dangitdaggumgarsh

Iowa State (3) vs. North Carolina Central (2): Love the Mayor, but / Don't let "MEAC" label fool / Will be in doubt late

Connecticut (7) vs. Saint Joseph's (10): The best 7/10 / Ollie, Ollie; Calhoun-free / Grandson: TV star

Villanova (2) vs. Milwaukee (15): Think Wildcats win big / Panthers robbed us of Green Bay / Bracket gods aware


Arizona (1) vs. Weber State (16): Battle of Wildcats / Classic 1/16 trouncing / Aaron Gordon: fly

Gonzaga (8) vs. Oklahoma State (9): Zags stumble in March / Smart: Your final college chance / Markel Brown: OH MY!

Oklahoma (5) vs. North Dakota State (12): It's pronounced "Bye-zin" / This is your 12/5 upset / Lon Kruger could ball

San Diego State (4) vs. New Mexico State (13): Aggies can rumble / Xavier Thames: new X man / Aztecs true sleeper

Baylor (6) vs. Nebraska (11): Tim Miles smiles / Drew due for next Elite Eight? / Huskers the darlings

Creighton (3) vs. UL Lafayette (14): Jays: Best O in hoops / Best nickname matchup out there / From way downtown: bang

Oregon (7) vs. BYU (10): The Ducks could romp this / Cougars missing key scorer / Will be in 80s

Wisconsin (2) vs. American (15): Can we trust Bucky? / Bo Ryan always makes dance / A boring blowout

Coach Kevin Ollie. UConn back after two years. Huskies have Shabazz. (USATSI)


Wichita State (1) vs. Texas Southern/Cal Poly (16): History been made / History still yet to come / Legendary team

Kentucky (8) vs. Kansas State (9): Cal's kids are angry / K-State is no pushover / Best of the 8/9s

Saint Louis (5) vs. North Carolina State (12): Billikens have slipped / First Four: like a trampoline / Best name: Jordair Jett

Louisville (4) vs. Manhattan (13): Cards will be tested / I lack guts to pick Jaspers / Don't leave us, Russ Smith

Massachusetts (6) vs. Iowa/Tennessee (11): Welcome back, UMass! / Will adjust this for Thursday / Chaz Williams: must-watch

Duke (3) vs. Mercer (14): Bears beat Dunk City / Jabari as Carmelo? / Both slot as three seeds

Texas (7) vs. Arizona State (10): No one knows Texas / Sun Devils a true sleeper / Love these late tip-offs

Michigan (2) vs. Wofford (15): UM can shoot it / Not as good as last year's team / WOFF-ord, not WUFF-urd

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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