LIU Brooklyn vs. JMU
PICK: JMU :: Well, I made my pick before it was announced that Rayshawn Goins, JMU’s leading scorer and rebounder, will be suspended for the first half due to a recent arrest. Here’s to hoping Goins makes the second half his own.
Indiana vs. JMU
PICK: INDIANA :: Rayshawn Goins plays the whole game, so does Victor Oladipo. Oladipo outshines Goins.
NC State vs. Temple
PICK: NC State :: You don’t beat the No. 1 during the regular season and lose in the first game of the tournament. Or do you?
UNLV vs. California
PICK: UNLV :: Did you know that all five of Lon Kruger’s teams he rebuilt are in this year’s tournament? UNLV just keeps boosting Kruger as one of the greatest rebuilding coaches of all time with a victory.
Syracuse vs. Montana
PICK: SYRACUSE :: Last time Syracuse was the No. 4 seed, they lost to the No. 13 seed. That was back in 2005. Times changes and so does the Orangemen’s outcome.
Butler vs. Bucknell
PICK: BUTLER :: After not making the tournament last year, Brad Stevens’ coaching gets its shining moment once again.
Marquette vs. Davidson
PICK: MARQUETTE :: Know how you’ve already read about coaches who build things that last? Before he got to Indiana, Tom Crean built a lasting team with Marquette. It probably helps that he had Dwyane Wade. Besides that, Marquette takes this one because they are 38-31 in the NCAA’s and 12-1 all-time against the Southern Conference.
Illinois vs. Colorado
PICK: COLORADO :: Colorado gave the college basketball world its first inclination that Baylor wasn’t going to be a NCAA Tournament team this season. They keep surprising with the upset.
Miami vs. Pacific
PICK: MIAMI :: Shane Larkin, son of Barry Larkin, and the U start their run to prominence.
Indiana vs. NC State
PICK: INDIANA :: NC State gets close at taking down another No. 1, but Christian Watford gets hot from beyond the arc and buries the Wolfpack.
UNLV vs. Syracuse
PICK: SYRACUSE :: Syracuse’s sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams graces the front of the regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week. It doesn’t jinx him.
Butler vs. Marquette
PICK: MARQUETTE :: Butler’s roster has been depleted too much thanks to the NBA. It’s going to take Brad Stevens a couple more years to get back to the final round of the Big Dance, but not too long.
Colorado vs. Miami
PICK: MIAMI :: Jim Larranaga has this thing he does with his players where he tells them to envision what they want. Once you envision it, it’s easier to get there. Miami envisions the Sweet Sixteen. They get there.
Indiana vs. Syracuse
PICK: INDIANA :: Indiana junior guard Victor Oladipo also graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. He shows up Carter-Williams with his boastful dunks.
Marquette vs. Miami
PICK: MIAMI :: Miami’s envisioning the National Championship. They get one step closer.
Indiana vs. Miami
PICK: INDIANA :: This is one of the other top matchups in the bracket. A showdown of two fantastic coaches and two teams that have come from rough times laying it all out on the line.