College / Mar 13, 2011 / 6:00 pm

NCAA Tournament Instant Analysis: Upsets, Matchups and Story Lines

Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger (photo. The Ohio State University)

As the NCAA Tournament field was announced, we wanted hit you with some initial thoughts on the seedings and matchups. We will have a lot more content coming your way in terms of previews, features and more in-depth analysis, but this is what struck me off the bat. Let us know what you think and stay tuned for more…

- The four No. 1 seeds make total sense: Ohio State (No. 1 overall seed), Kansas, Pitt, and Duke. After watching all of these teams one after another this past week, it seems absurd to think of the other potential high seeds, specifically Notre Dame or San Diego State, as being among the top 4. The only legit case would have been North Carolina. They split the first two games with Duke and won the ACC regular season, but after getting cracked this afternoon, they more than took themselves out of the equation.

THE EAST BRACKET

- The first matchup that jumps out to me is No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 14 Indiana State – it absolutely reeks of a huge potential upset. The ‘Cuse won’t be playing Larry Bird, but they will be playing a very good team that can shoot the basketball.

- Kentucky vs. PrincetonThis Princeton team doesn’t exactly play the old Pete Carrill motion offense, but they still will probably have no choice but to try and slow down the game to a snail’s pace to counter the speed and athleticism of John Calipari‘s guards. The makings of an NCAA classic.

THE WEST BRACKET

- We love the potential of a Duke/Michigan matchup if they both advance. Coach K vs. John Beilein would undoubtedly be one of the best coaching matchups of the entire tournament.

- The Selection Committee always goes for storyline matchups to build pre-game drama, and that is on full display with the Memphis/Arizona game. It brings Tigers coach Josh Pastner head-to-head with Arizona, the program where he made his name.

- No. 7 Temple vs No. 10 Penn State has upset written all over it as well. The Owls have shown that they can and will lose to anybody at any time. Matched up with a Nittany Lions squad that just made an improbable run to the final game of the Big 10 Tournament will undoubtedly have Penn State thinking upset.

THE SOUTHWEST BRACKET

- I love John Jenkins‘s game, but I am feeling a potential 5/12 Vanderbilt upset at the hands of the Atlantic 10 champs, the Richmond Spiders. Tough, full of veterans and well-coached, they’re gonna be a handful for the Commodores.

- This bracket strikes me as being the weakest of the four. It sets the stage for a team like Purdue to rampage all the way through to a potential Elite 8 spot.

THE SOUTHEAST BRACKET

- Hey Wofford, welcome to the dance. Now prepare to have your faces shot off by Jimmer Fredette.

- With no D.J. Kennedy in the mix for St. John’s, they’re not the same team that we’ve seen building momentum over the last several weeks. Be careful when you are selecting them to win multiple games. That sets the stage for Gonzaga to do some damage and possibly make it past the third round – they can absolutely beat a weakened BYU squad.

BUBBLES BURST

Colorado and Alabama have legit gripes about getting left out of the field. But the team I’m going to miss the most? St. Mary’s. They were awesome in last year’s tournament and I was looking forward to watching Mickey McConnell and Matt Dellavedova wreak havoc once again.

What else jumped out at you from the Selection Show?

Follow Pat Cassidy on Twitter

Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter

Become a fan of Dime on Facebook

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    I agree with Jay Bilas that Seth Greenberg and Virginia Tech got a raw deal. Again. Or as he put it, “jobbed.” Jobs are on the line here, and they won 21 games.

  • JDeal

    Will we EVER see a #16 seed beat a #1 seed?

  • jshuertas12

    while st johns may not have the very versatible dj kennedy, i think think they can get to the sweet 16, they have a good 3 man rotation of bigs in brownlee, evans, and burrel, a long athletic wing in polee, and another 3 man rotation of guards in hardy, paris horne and malik boothe, they are coached by steve lavin who knows how to coach in the ncaa tournament.

  • Let’s Go Hawks

    I think Belmont will win 2 games and I think people are sleeping on Wofford. Without Brandon Davies, BYU can be upset there