*UConn struggled mightily this year, but they still have two lottery prospects in Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb. Iowa State has zero impressive road wins to its credit this year. I'm encouraged enough by the Huskies' performance at MSG last week that I like them to advance in this first round matchup. I don't, however, foresee much chance of them surviving the weekend.
*I watched South Dakota State play in the the Summit League finals against Western Illinois and saw nothing that would lead me to believe they can upset Baylor in Round 1 (I know it's technically Round 2 but that's crap). Nate Wolters has never seen athletes like Perry Jones III or Quincy Acy before. I'm not buying the Seth Davis-infused Jackrabbits hype.
By the way, if your name includes III and you are a stud athlete, it is now mandatory you attend Baylor.
*As a fan, I'm going to love the VCU-Wichita State matchup. As a bracket picker, I hate it. Still haven't decided who to back in this one.
*New Mexico State has a guy named Sim Bhullar that's 7'5". He won't help this year since he hasn't played a minute all season, but this Aggies team has a bunch of my upset potential criteria: size in the middle (check), a dynamic scorer (Wendell McKines), at least three double-digit scorers (check; they have four), and a random dude with an awesome name (check; Tshilidizi Nephawe). They've also won 12 of their last 14. To top it off, IU just lost their emotional leader Verdell Jones. If the bigs for NMSU can keep Cody Zeller in check, an upset could be abrewing.
*Impostor alert: Colorado Buffaloes. This team is grossly overseeded. They played well this week in the (pathetic) Pac 12 Conference tournament. Prior to that, though, they gave no indication they could play at a high level. They have no size, and I expect UNLV to dominate inside and on the boards on the way to victory.
*It's Duke so we knew they would get a big break somehow, and they did. The ir first two games of the tournament will basically be home games in Greensboro. God, I wish they were playing Detroit and not Lehigh.
*Notre Dame seems primed to bow out of the NCAA Tournament early... again.
Projected Region Winner: Kentucky over Baylor. Too much talent on this team.