Set of games for block 2 on Thursday:
KState vs. North Texas:
If I pick anything other than KState, I might be beaten. And, the 'Cats are going to win anyway. There is not much else I can say about that.
The Pick: KState
Vanderbilt vs. Murray State:
Vandy is also from the overrated SEC, but they are actually a decent team. They will win. I don't really know that much else about either of these teams, other than the player to watch for Vandy, Jeff Ogilvy. He's really good.
The Pick: Vandy
Baylor vs. Sam Houston State:
Baylor is a very good team. They are 25-7 and 3 of those losses have been to teams from the amazing state of Kansas. Baylor has one of the best offenses in the nation and have a likely NBA lottery pick in Ekpe Udoh. He led the Big XII in blocks and has been the biggest reason for Baylor's lofty record. Sam Houston State is in the tournament. That's about all I can say.
The Pick: Baylor
St. Mary's College vs. Richmond:
Much has been said this year about Richmond. They took care of business (mostly) in a very deep Atlantic 10 conference. The Spiders had a short column in Sports Illustrated talking about their turnaround and their amazing attitude. St. Mary's, on the other hand, has had little publicity (as is the case with many west coast teams). They won the West Coast Conference tournament to get in the field of 65, beating a very talented Gonzaga team. This might be the game of the day. It also reminds me that the selection committee hates Mid major teams. Matching up two fine teams against each other is common and it adds no excitement to the dance. But probably makes money, which is all the committee cares about. I digress...
The Pick: Richmond, too much talent. SMC's roster is full of foreign players, which does not translate well to the American college game.
The extra Game:
UTEP vs. Butler:
The only late afternoon game on the schedule. This is again Mid Major vs. Mid Major. And it's one of the dangerous 5 vs. 12 matchups. I think that Butler, having been in the Top 25 for the last couple of years, has too much talent and (now) bid game experience to lose. UTEP is a very good team and should challenge the Bulldogs, but can't match up with a team that finished 11 in the AP Top 25 and 8 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. The player you should know (if you don't) is Gordon Hayward. 6'9" guard/forward, who learned how to be a guard and then had a huge growth spurt. He has great ball handling skills and is a matchup nightmare.
The Pick: Butler
Notes from the first half this morning.
- Villanova looks like crap. I having them winning in the next round, so you don't say I cheated. But they look awufl. Robert Morris is up by 6 at half?!?!?!?!?
- ODU is haning tough with Notre Dame, after falling behind by double digits early.
- Florida/BYU is a really good game. Both are shooting well, and they should make for a good game against KState.
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