Month: March 2011

Southeast Region Breakdown

1. Pittsburgh Panthers:
Locations:
Pittsburgh, PA
Record: 27-5
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Ashton Gibbs (16.7 ppg), Brad Wanamaker (12 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.1 apg), Gilbert Brown (10.9 ppg), Nasir Robinson (9 ppg, 5 rpg), Gary McGhee (7.6 rpg)
Strength: Once again, the Panthers are one of the toughest teams in the nation. Defensively and on the glass; Pitt wants to impose its will on opponents. The Panthers hold foes to just 39.8 percent shooting from the field and they out-rebound their opponents by over 10 rebounds per game. This has been the formula for the Panthers for nearly a decade and this year it could finally lead them to the Final Four.
Weakness: Pitt still lacks that explosion that most great teams have. Pitt is comfortable playing in the low-70’s and that’s just not going to cut it in the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers make it harder on themselves as they sometimes struggle to score. They are one of the more efficient teams offensively in the country, but the problem with Pitt in NCAA Tournaments is that they have difficulty scoring against unfamiliar competition. If Pitt is to make it to Houston, it must find away to put more points on the board.

2. Florida Gators
Location:
Gainesville, FL
Record: 26-7
At-Large Bid: Southeastern Conference
Key Players: Erving Walker (14.4 ppg), Kenny Boynton 14.1 ppg), Chandler Parsons (11.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg), Vernon Macklin (11.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Alex Tyus (8.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
Strength: Florida’s balance is the envy of many teams nationally. Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton comprise what may be the best backcourt in the SEC. However, Vernon Macklin and Alex Tyus are very good post players as well. This balance gives the Gators tremendous options offensively. Florida has been difficult to beat all year because of its balance and that will be no different in the NCAA Tournament.
Weakness: The Gators were third in the SEC in scoring margin and that’s probably a good thing because their free-throw shooting would’ve cost them some wins in close contests. The Gators are ninth in the conference, shooting just 66.7 percent from the field. That is lousy for a team that shoots so well from field and the three-point line. At some point, the Gators will be in close game and they will have to prove they can knock down free-throws.

3. BYU Cougars
Location:
Provo, UT
Record: 30-4
At-Large Bid: Mountain West Conference
Key Players: Jimmer Fredette (28.5 ppg), Jackson Emery (12.6 ppg), Noah Hartsock (8.5 ppg)
Strength: Everybody in the nation knows what BYU’s strength is. It’s the nation’s leading scorer in Jimmer Fredette. Fredette, along with Connecticut’s Kemba Walker, is a favorite for national player of the year. Fredette is deadly from behind the three-point line, but is equally as dangerous getting to the hoop. Fredette is capable of scoring 50 on a given night and if he does that, the Cougars will be tough to beat.
Weakness: With the suspension of Brandon Davies, the Cougars are very weak in the post. Davies was BYU’s best post player and complemented Fredette very well. With him in the lineup, BYU was able to sweep San Diego St twice. Without him, the Aztecs dominated the Cougars in the paint. This team is one-dimensional without Davies and that’s a deficiency that could cost them a shot at the Final Four.

4. Wisconsin Badgers
Location:
Madison, WI
Record: 23-8
At-Large Bid: Big Ten Conference
Key Players: Jon Leuer (18.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg), Jordan Taylor (18.1 ppg), Keaton Nankervis (10 ppg)
Strength: The Badgers have an inside-outside punch that rivals any in America. Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer are a match-up problem for anyone they face. Taylor is a sharpshooting guard who is deadly from behind the arc. Leuer is a physical big man who can rebound and step behind the three-point line himself. These two have carried the Badgers all year and they have the talent to take the Badgers on a long tournament run.
Weakness: Wisconsin has virtually no quality depth. The Badgers really only go seven-men deep in their rotation with the two men off the bench providing nothing more than a quick breather for starters. Leuer, Taylor and Keaton Nankivil have carried much of the scoring load for the badgers, but they’re also playing big minutes. If the Badgers want to make a run, someone else is going to have to step up to the challenge.

5. Kansas State Wildcats
Location:
Manhattan, KS
Record: 22-10
At-Large Bid: Big XII Conference
Key Players: Jacob Pullen (19.5 ppg), Rodney McGruder (11.4 ppg, 6 rpg), Curtis Kelly (10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Jamar Samuels (8.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
Strength: Kansas St has one of the best frontcourts in the country. Jacob Pullen gets a lot of the publicity, but the trio of Jamar Samuels, Rodney McGruder and Curtis Kelly can do a lot of damage in the low-post. The Wildcats sometimes forget about them and that’s when the team struggles. However when all three are on, it opens the game up for Pullen on the outside. When that happens, the Wildcats can beat anybody.
Weakness: Kansas St hasn’t found a replacement for Denis Clemente at the point guard position. Pullen has tried to fill his shoes, but he has struggled in that role and it really hurt his production earlier in the season. It’s been killing the team as well. Kansas St’s 15 turnovers per game is 11th in the Big XII. This team doesn’t do anything else well enough to overcome that so if this team doesn’t get solid point guard play, it could have a short stay in the dance.

6. Saint John’s Red Storm
Location:
Queens, NY
Record: 21-11
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Dwight Hardy (18 ppg), Justin Brownlee (12.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
Strength: St. John’s plays one of the most effective full-court pressure defenses in the country. The Red Storm gets its opponents to play faster than they want and then it capitalizes on their mistakes. St. John’s has used that defense to force over 16 turnovers a game. St. John’s has flustered Duke, Pittsburgh, and Connecticut with it’s pressure so there’s no doubt that it’ll be effective against the competition it’ll face in the Big Dance.
Weakness: St. John’s will have to replace D.J. Kennedy’s contributions after he tore his ACL in the Big East Tournament. Kennedy averaged over 10 points and over five rebounds per game and was one of their most athletic players. Kennedy helped make their full-court press effective and without him it remains to be seen how good this team is. The Red Storm has depth, but can that depth fill the void Kennedy left?

7. UCLA Bruins
Location:
Los Angeles, CA
Record: 22-10
At-Large Bid: Pac-10 Conference
Key Players: Reeves Nelson (13.9 ppg, 9 rpg), Malcolm Lee (13 ppg), Tyler Honeycutt (12.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Joshua Smith (10.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Lazeric Jones (9.4 ppg)
Strength: Coach Ben Howland’s teams always have one staple and that’s toughness. This years’ version of the Bruins is no different. UCLA plays tough hard-nosed defense and crashes the boards with the best of them. In fact, the Bruins are the best rebounding team in the Pac-10 as they out-rebound their opponents by nearly five boards per game. A defense that keeps opponents’ field-goal percentage under 42 percent isn’t too shabby either.
Weakness: In the tournament, teams have to be able to knock down three pointers consistently, but that’s not something the Bruins have proven they can do. UCLA is ninth in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting percentage at just 32. 9 percent. The three-point shot has changed the game of college basketball and not being able to hit it with regularity dooms teams and can very much be the reason why the Bruins leave the tournament early.

8. Butler Bulldogs
Location:
Indianapolis, IN
Record: 23-9
Automatic Bid: Horizon League Champions
Key Players: Matt Howard (16.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg), Shelvin Mack (15.2 ppg), Andrew Smith (8.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg), Shawn Vansant (8.1 ppg)
Strength: Not many teams are as experienced and tournament tested as this Butler club. Gordon Hayward may be gone, but there’s plenty of talent left from Butler’s run to last year’s national championship game. Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack are still two of the best players in America, while Shawn Vanzant and Ronald Nored were also huge contributors on that team last year. This team won’t get frazzled and will be tough to beat this March.
Weakness: Butler’s depth continues to be an issue. The Bulldogs can only legitimately go eight men deep in their rotation and some of those guys can only be relied on to defend. Outside of Howard and Mack, no one else on the roster is a real threat offensively and that’s what kept Butler from enjoying the success it did last season. Butler is going to have to control tempo because it just doesn’t have enough bodies or scorers to compete in a fast-paced game.

9. Old Dominion Monarchs
Location:
Norfolk, VA
Record: 27-6
Automatic Bid: Colonial Athletic Association Champions
Key Players: Frank Hassell (15 ppg, 9.6 rpg), Kent Bazemore (12.5 ppg, 5 rpg), Ben Finney (9.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Chris Cooper (5.7 rpg)
Strength: Put the Monarchs in the Big East or Big Ten and they’d fit right in. This is one of the toughest teams in America. Defensively, ODU ranks at the top of nearly every category in the CAA. They also out-rebound their opponents by over 12 boards per game. They grind games out and just pound opponents into submission. This team is for real and will be a tough out in the tournament.
Weakness: This team isn’t easy on the eyes offensively. Old Dominion’s scoring is dependent on it getting offensive rebounds. That isn’t a strategy that will win games in the NCAA Tournament. ODU averages less than 66 points per game and doesn’t shoot the ball particularly well from behind the arc or the free-throw line. If the Monarchs don’t find a way to score, they’ll be out of the tournament early.

10. Michigan State Spartans
Location:
East Lansing, MI
Record: 19-14
At-Large Bid: Big Ten Conference
Key Players: Kalin Lucas (17.2 ppg), Draymond Green (12.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg), Durrell Summers (11.5 ppg), Delvon Roe (5.1 rpg)
Strength: This is a Tom Izzo-coached team so there is only one way it knows how to win and that’s with toughness. Michigan St still bangs with the best of them on the boards and still defends as well as any team in the country. Led by the versatile Draymond Green in the paint, the Spartans are third in the Big Ten in rebounding and fourth in field-goal percentage defense. That’s the way the Izzo has dominated in the NCAA Tournament for the past decade.
Weakness: The Spartans have been wildly inconsistent this season. The Spartans were a preseason top-5 team, but hasn’t come close to living up to those expectations. They’ve dealt with suspensions and a disgruntled coach. Any time Izzo questions his team’s toughness, that’s a bad thing, but that’s exactly what he did after a loss to Syracuse earlier this season. If the team that beat Purdue shows up, it can go a long way, but if the team that lost to Iowa shows up, it can get blown out.

11. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Location:
Spokane, WA
Record: 24-9
Automatic Bid: West Coast Conference Champions
Key Players: Steven Gray (13.8 ppg), Robert Sacre (12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg), Elias Harris (12.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg)
Strength: This isn’t the most talent team Mark Few has coached in his tenure at Gonzaga so he had to get them to buy in on the defensive end. The Bulldogs have won with their defense – holding opponents to just 39.8 percent shooting on the year. They lead the conference in steals and are second in blocked shots as well. It took a while for this team to find its identity, but once it did, it found its way back to the NCAA Tournament.
Weakness: It’s March and Few is still tinkering with his rotation. He’s still trying to find the right chemistry on offense. Freshman guard David Stockton seems to be giving the team good minutes off the bench, but Gonzaga is still trying to find a way to score consistently. This team is used to having good guards to keep the offense running smoothly, but there’s a question who on the team can really do that.

12. Utah State Aggies
Location:
Logan, UT
Record: 30-3
Automatic Bid: Western Athletic Conference
Key Players: Tai Wesley (14.7 ppg, 8 rpg), Brockeith Pane (11.6 ppg), Brian Green (10.6 ppg), Pooh Williams (8.4 ppg), Brady Jardine (7.1 rpg), Nate Bendall (5.9 rpg)
Strength: This is one of the most experienced teams in the nation as the Aggies have five seniors who are significant contributors. The Aggies have been in the tournament before and these seniors want to go out with a win. Led by the WAC Player of the Year, Tai Wesley, Utah St will not be rattled by any situation it encounters. This team is mature and tough and will be ready for anything.
Weakness: At this point you have to worry about the psychic of the Aggies. This team has been dominant in the WAC, but all it hears about is not being able to win a game against a quality opponent in the NCAA Tournament. Will this team go in the tank and not respond or will it show some guts and fight. That’s the questions onlookers nationally want answered.

13. Belmont Bruins
Location:
Nashville, TN
Record: 30-4
Automatic Bid: Atlantic Sun Conference Champions
Key Players: Ian Clark (12.4 ppg), Mick Hedgepeth (10.6 ppg, 6 rpg), Scott Saunders (10 ppg, 5.4 rpg), Jordan Campbell (8.4 ppg)
Strength: The depth of the Bruins is impressive for a team at their level. They have 11 guys playing double-digit minutes. Head coach Rick Byrd has a philosophy that his guys can play harder in shorter bursts of time and it’s worked to near perfection for him. They’ve been able to wear teams down with their depth and it has also paid dividends giving them offensive balance. Any team with a short bench is going to have its hands full with this club. The Bruins are dangerous.
Weakness: The same thing that makes Belmont dangerous also can be a detriment. In the tournament, when the team needs one shot, who will Byrd call on. He has plenty of guys who can put the ball in the basket, but who is going to be the alpha dog. That’s something that has to be addressed if Belmont is to make a run.

14. Wofford Terriers
Location:
Spartanburg, SC
Record: 21-12
Automatic Bid: Southern Conference Champion
Key Players: Noah Dahlman (20 ppg, 5.4 rpg), Cameron Rundles (13.8 ppg), Jamar Diggs (12.4 ppg), Tim Johnson (8.6 rpg)
Strength: Wofford is one of the most efficient teams offensively in the country. The Terriers shoot almost 48 percent from field and over 40 percent from behind the arc – good enough for first in the Southern Conference. They also lead the conference in assists and average the least amount of turnovers in the league. This team will not beat itself so it’ll be a tough out in the NCAA Tournament.
Weakness: Wofford’s style allows it to only depend on its seven-man rotation, but that will be an issue in the NCAA Tournament. Foul trouble or a team that full-court presses could doom the Terriers. Wofford managed to survive a decent mid-major conference with no depth, but it will not be playing the likes of the Citadel in the Big Dance. If Wofford is to make a run, it’ll have to get some help from an surprising source.

15. UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos
Location:
Santa Barbara, CA
Record: 18-13
Automatic Bid: Big West Conference Champions
Key Players: Orlando Johnson (21.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg), James Nunnally (16.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg), Jaime Serna (8 ppg)
Strength: The Gauchos are a solid three-point shooting team. At 37.5 percent on the year, they have been winning games with their marksmanship from behind the arc. UCSB features four players who shoot at least 40 percent from behind the arc and that’s hard to guard. If the Gauchos are able to shoot it at that clip in the NCAA Tournament, they’ll be primed to make history.
Weakness: Turnovers have plagued the Gauchos on the season. Only two teams in the Big West had more on this year. This caused UCSB to have a negative turnover margin and an assist-to-turnover ration that was just barely positive. If the Gauchos are to pull an upset, they’ll have to be more careful with the rock or they’ll be sent home painfully.

16a. Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans
Location:
Little Rock, AK
Record: 19-16
Automatic Bid: Sun Belt Conference Champions
Key Players: Solomon Bozeman (16.5 ppg), Alex Garcia-Mendoza (8.6 ppg), Matt Mouzy (8 ppg)
Strength: Solomon Bozeman won the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and with good reason. Bozeman already has five 25-plus point games this season and he does it in an efficient manner. Bozeman shoots over 80 percent from the free-throw line, over 46 percent from the field and over 43 percent from three-point range. If Bozeman gets hot, he can carry this team like he did in the Sun Belt Tournament.
Weakness: The Trojans offensive numbers are downright scary. In a tournament where explosive teams are successful, the Trojans inability to put points on the board will be an issue. Arkansas-Little Rock is 10th in the Sun Belt in scoring, part of the reason why if finished with a below .500 league record. If the Trojans can’t score consistently against Sun Belt competition, they’re going to be in huge trouble scoring against the quality team it’ll play in the Big Dance.

16b. UNC-Asheville Bulldogs
Location:
Asheville, NC
Record: 19-13
Automatic Bid: Big South Conference Champions
Key Players: Matt Dickey (15.3 ppg), J.P. Primm (14.4 ppg), Chris Stephenson (9.4 ppg), D.J. Cunningham (9 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Jaron Lane (8.8 ppg), John Williams (8.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
Strength: The Bulldogs want to play at a break-neck speed and have the talent to do so. They like to get out a pressure the basketball and let their athletes take over. Playing that pace allows UNC-Asheville to force over 17 turnovers per game. That feeds into their transition game allowing them to score close to 75 points per game. If the Bulldogs are able to get out in transition, they may be able to cause a scare.
Weakness: Making only five three-pointers per game is just not going to cut it if the Bulldogs want to pull an upset. Given its low seed, Asheville will be overmatched in the talent category so it will need an equalizer. The only equalizer is the three-point shot. Asheville is going to have to make a lot if expects to do any damage in the tournament. If five is their ceiling with D.J. Cunningham‘s questionable foot, the Bulldogs will definitely be one-and-done in the NCAA Tournament.

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Southwest Region Breakdown

1. Kansas Jayhawks
Location:
Lawrence, KS
Record: 32-2
Automatic Bid: Big XII Champions
Key Players: Marcus Morris (17.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Markieff Morris (13.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg), Tyrel Reed (10 ppg), Tyshawn Taylor (9.1 ppg), Thomas Robinson (8 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
Strength: Kansas may be the most talented team in the country. The Morris twins are a load in the paint, but when either goes to the bench there’s little drop-off. Kansas can come off the bench with Thomas Robinson, who would start on just about any other team in the nation. The fact that Josh Selby, a McDonald’s All-American, isn’t seeing much time lets you know how deep and talented this team is. Kansas is definitely one of the favorites to cut down the nets because when they play to their potential, they’re virtually unstoppable.
Weakness: Chemistry issues have plagued the Jayhawks this year. Coach Bill Self has tinkered with his lineup numerous times to try to find the right fit. He’s still trying to find the guard to run his team after having to suspend Tyshawn Talylor and not being pleased with Selby’s play after his suspension. Kansas is very talented, but Self has to find the right mix to maximize his talent and make sure the team plays together.

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Location:
South Bend, IN
Record: 26-6
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Ben Hans rough (18.5 ppg), Tim Abromaitis (15.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Carleton Scott (11.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Scott Martin (9.9 ppg), Tyrone Nash (9.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg)
Strength: Notre Dame is deadly from behind the arc. Led by Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough, the Irish led the Big East in three-point shooting percentage at 39.2 percent. Hansbrough is great at dribble penetration, which allows him to kick out to his teammates for open threes. The top six guys in Notre Dame’s rotation are all reliable shooters from behind the arc making them hard to guard. Any team that was able to put up those kinds of numbers in the Big East will be a team to be reckoned with.
Weakness: Notre Dame isn’t the most athletic team in the world and has had trouble with teams that can extend defensively and fast break offensively. In a loss to Kentucky, Notre Dame had fits trying to score against the athleticism of the Wildcats. In Notre Dame’s loss to Louisville, the Cardinals were able to wear the Irish down with their full court press. Any good team with superior athleticism can match-up well with Notre Dame.

3. Purdue Boilermakers
Location:
West Lafayette, IN
Record: 25-7
At-Large Bid: Big Ten Conference
Key Players: JaJuan Johnson (20.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg), E’Twaun Moore (18.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
Strength: Purdue has a one-two punch that’s unmatched by most teams in America. JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore are two of the best players in America. They manage to complement each other very well even though they’re both outstanding scorers. The two seniors have picked up the slack the last year and half for the injured Robbie Hummel and they’ll be aiming for a long run in the Big Dance.
Weakness: Purdue is largely a jump-shooting team so when they’re not making jumpers they become a very ordinary team. As good of player as Johnson is, he likes to play out on the perimeter more than he does in the paint. That removes any post presence for the Boilermakers – making them play from the outside in. If they don’t make jumpers, they’ll be doomed.

4. Louisville Cardinals
Location:
Louisville, KY
Record: 25-9
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Preston Knowles (14.8 ppg), Kyle Kuric (10.8 ppg), Peyton Siva (10.1 ppg, 5.3 apg), Terrence Jennings (9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg), Chris Smith (9.1 ppg)
Strength: The Cardinals will pressure their opponent for 40 minutes on defense. Coach Rick Pitino is a mastermind and wearing teams down and taking advantage of fatigue. So many great players have played the Cardinals, but have not been able to make shots at the end of games because of the constant pressure. If the Cardinals are to be beaten, it’ll be by a supremely conditioned team or a club with great depth.
Weakness: Louisville is weak on the free-throw line. Shooting less that 67 percent, the Cardinals can’t be counted on to close in late-game situations. Preston Knowles and Kyle Kuric are outstanding shooters, but Peyton Siva, the teams primary ball handler shoots less than 70 percent and that’s unacceptable. If the point guard can’t be trusted to make free throws at the end of the game, who can you turn to?

5. Vanderbilt Commodores
Location:
Nashville, TN
Record: 23-10
At-Large Bid: Southeastern Conference
Key Players: John Jenkins (19.5 ppg), Jeffery Taylor (15.1 ppg, 5.4 ppg), Festus Ezeli (12.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg), Brad Tinsley (10.6 ppg), Lance Woodbourne (7.3 rpg)
Strength: This is a dangerous team from behind the arc. As a team, Vanderbilt shoots 37 percent from the three-point line. The Commodores are led by John Jenkins, whose made half of his overall field goals from behind the three-point line. The Commodores rely on long-range shooting to win and judging by the success they’ve had this season, it’s treated them very well.
Weakness: This is a team that can get careless with the basketball on occasion. On the year, the Commodores turn the ball over more than their opponents and barely have more assists than turnovers. Turnovers limit the possessions for a team that, at times, wants to to control tempo. Having the ball is key, but if the Commodores don’t value it more they’ll be locked out.

6. Georgetown Hoyas
Location:
Washington, DC
Record: 21-10
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Austin Freeman (17.9 ppg), Chris Wright (13.1 ppg, 5.4 apg), Jason Clark (12.1 ppg), Julian Vaughn (8 ppg, 6 rpg), Hollis Thompson (8 ppg)
Strength: Most years, the conversation about Georgetown begins and ends with its frontcourt, but not this year. Georgetown’s backcourt is possibly the best in the country and when all three are on, they can collectively score 60 points all by themselves. Chris Wright runs the show, but Austin Freeman and Jason Clark can be deadly from behind the arc. This team is only going to go as far as its trio of guards will take it and that could be a long way.
Weakness: This team is struggling entering the tournament with lingering questions over the health of Chris Wright. With Wright playing well, Georgetown is possibly a top-10 team. Without him, the Hoyas struggle to be competitive with anybody. It’s not just the points, assists and defense that’s missed. It’s his leadership and presence on the court. He’s the emotional leader for Georgetown and without him out there it’s a body walking around without its head.

7. Texas A&M Aggies
Location:
College Station, TX
Record: 24-8
At-Large Bid: Big XII Conference
Key Players: Khris Middleton (14.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg), David Loubeau (11.9 ppg), B.J. Holmes (9.8 ppg), Nathan Walkup (9.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
Strength: This is a tough defensive team. The Aggies only allow opponents to shoot 41.1 percent from the floor and 31.8 percent from behind the arc. In addition to that, they do a great job of limiting their opponents’ possessions by rebounding over 70 percent of their foes’ misses. Teams are barely scoring 61 points against the Aggies – a stat that lets you know the key to their success.
Weakness: Defense will keep Texas A&M in games, but it hasn’t been able to score in key games. The Aggies only score 68.9 points per game and that’s good enough for ninth place in the Big XII. It’s a struggle to win when you struggle to score and that’s why they haven’t been able to get over the hump against teams like Texas and Kansas in league play. Texas A&M needs to be able to put points up to have staying power in the Big Dance.

8. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
Location:
Las Vegas, NV
Record: 24-8
At-Large Bid: Mountain West Conference
Key Players: Tre’Von Willis (13.5 ppg), Chace Stanback (13 ppg, 6 rpg), Oscar Belfield (11.1 ppg), Anthony Marshall (9.6 ppg)
Strength: Coach Lon Kruger has taken Big Ten style basketball west and it’s working well at UNLV. The Rebels play defense as well as any team in the nation. UNLV is second in the Mountain West in points allowed, field-goal percentage defense, and three-point field-goal percentage defense. UNLV has proven what it could do against some tough competition this year and should be able to defend well in the Big Dance.
Weakness: The Rebels really don’t have effective size in the post. Carlos Lopez and Brice Massamba provide some depth, but they’re not really threats in the paint. San Diego St and BYU went 5-0 against the Rebels and much of that was because the Rebels had no answer for either team in the paint. It’s clearly the place where teams will attack and if the Rebels aren’t careful, it’ll be the reason they leave the tournament early.

9. Illinois Fighting Illini
Location:
Champagne, IL
Record: 19-13
At-Large Bid: Big Ten Conference
Key Players: Demetri McCamey (14.8 ppg, 6.1 apg), Mike Davis (12 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Mike Tisdale (10.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Brandon Paul (9.2 ppg), D.J. Richardson (8.1 ppg), Jereme Richmond (5 rpg)
Strength: To survive in the Big Ten, teams have to be able to defend. That’s one thing the Illini does as well as any team in the conference. Illinois is first in the Big Ten in three-point field-goal percentage defense and second in overall field-goal percentage defense allowing just 30.5 percent and 40.1 percent respectively. That defense allows the Illini to stay in games and in those close games, a player the caliber of Demetri McCamey can definitely finish a team off.
Weakness: For the second season in a row, the Illini has suffered from inconsistent play. It’s hard to believe that the same team that beat North Carolina, Gonzaga and Wisconsin could also lose to Illinois-Chicago. When Illinois plays their A-game, it can be one of the best teams in America. When it doesn’t, it can fall flat on its face. An outcome that is seems very likely.

10. Florida State Seminoles
Location:
Tallahassee, FL
Record: 21-10
At-Large Bid: Atlantic Coast Conference
Key Players: Chris Singleton (13.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Derwin Kitchen (9.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Michael Snaer (8.6 ppg), Bernard James (8.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg)
Strength: It’s really simple, teams that play Florida St do not score. This is the best defensive team in the ACC and it’s really not close. The Seminoles have held Florida, Ohio St and Duke to 61 points or less this year. They lead the ACC in field-goal percentage defense by forcing their opponents to shoot just 36.4 percent from the field. Defense has been a staple of Leonard Hamilton since he’s been at Florida St and he’s hoping that defense can finally win him a game in the NCAA.
Weakness: If the Seminoles weren’t such a good defensive team they’d be in real trouble because teams don’t normally enjoy the success they have struggling to score like the Seminoles do. Florida St. is ninth in the ACC in field-goal percentage at 43.6 percent and that’s what keeps them from taking that next step. First-round flame-outs have ended good seasons the past two years for the Seminoles and if they don’t score, history will repeat itself.

11a. Virginia Commonwealth Rams
Location:
Richmond, VA
Record: 23-11
At-Large Bid: Colonial Athletic Association
Key Players: Jamie Skeen (15.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Bradford Burgess (14 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Brandon Rozzell (11.3 ppg), Joey Rodriguez (10.6 ppg)
Strength: VCU wants to play a fast paced game. It likes to speed its opponents up to the point where they’re playing at an uncomfortable pace. It looks like they play on roller skates, but it’s very effective. The Rams use that style of play to force nearly 15 turnovers per game – half of those coming on steals. Those turnovers fuel their offense making them one of the most dangerous teams in the country in the open court.
Weakness: The Rams are a very poor rebounding team. They get out-rebounded by nearly four boards per game, which puts them in 10th place in the CAA in that category. Jamie Skeen and Bradford Burgess do their best to pick up the slack in that department, but the rest of the ball club is really more interested in getting out and running instead of hitting the boards. Any team with good size could really punish the Rams.

11b. USC Trojans
Location:
Los Angeles, CA
Record: 19-14
At-Large Bid: Pac-10 Conference
Key Players: Nikola Vocalic (17.3 ppg, 10.2 rpg), Jio Fontan (10.4 ppg), Alex Stephenson (10 ppg, 9.2 rpg), Donte Smith (9.9 ppg), Maurice Jones (9.9 ppg)
Strength: Coach Kevin O’Neil decided to take a page of the notebook of cross-town rival, UCLA, and get his team to commit to defense. The Trojans are No. 1 in the Pac-10 in points allowed and No. 2 in field-goal percentage defense. It’s that defense that held Texas to 56 points, Arizona to 57 and Tennessee to 64. If USC can play defense like this in the NCAA Tournament it can pull of a win or two.
Weakness: The Trojans depth is nonexistent. USC has some real talent in its starting five, but after that there’s really not much there. If any proof is needed, USC played only seven players in its Pac-10 tournament loss to Arizona and that was the second game in two days. Teams with depth will run a lot of guys at the Trojans and if they tire them out, it will be a short NCAA stay for them.

12. Richmond Spiders
Location:
Richmond, VA
Record: 27-7
Automatic Bid: Atlantic-10 Champions
Key Players: Justin Harper (17.9 ppg, 7 rpg), Kevin Anderson (16.5 ppg), Dan Geriot (9.9 ppg)
Strength: Richmond’s style of play is very difficult to prepare for. The Spiders run a very effective modification of the Princeton offense. They use that to get back cuts and open three-pointers, which they make 39.7 percent of. The fact that the Spiders have two players tailor made for the offense in Justin Harper and Kevin Anderson just makes them more dangerous and capable of a run to the second weekend.
Weakness: This is one of the worst teams in the tournament on the boards. Richmond is 12th in the 14-team A-10 in rebounding margin. It’s actually last in offensive rebounding make it doubly important for the team to make shots. The Spiders only rebound 28 percent of its misses and that is downright pathetic. If they don’t find a way to rebound, they will make a quick exit for the second year in-a-row.

13. Morehead State Eagles
Location:
Morehead, KY
Record: 24-9
Automatic Bid: Ohio Valley Conference Champions
Key Players: Kenneth Faried (17.6 ppg, 14.5 rpg), Demonte Harper (16 ppg), Terrance Hill (10.4 ppg), Sam Goodman (8.4 ppg)
Strength: Led by the nation’s leading rebounder in Kenneth Faried, Morehead St pounds its opponents on the boards. The Eagles led the OVC in rebounding margin; out-rebounding their opponents with a 9.2 per game average on the season. Where they really can hurt teams is on the offensive glass where they pull down close to 14 per game. This is a team that crashes the boards and there’s not a team in the nation that’s going to stop them.
Weakness: Due to the fact that Morehead likes to get up and down the court, its prone to turnovers. The Eagles finished eighth in the 10-team OVC with 15.1 turnovers per game. They turn the ball over only slightly less than there opponents and it’s been their Achilles heel all season. They don’t shoot the ball particularly well enough to overcome this so if they want to pull off an upset they’ll have to value the basketball.

14. Saint Peter’s Peacocks
Location:
Jersey City, NJ
Record: 20-13
Automatic Bid: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champions
Key Players: Wesley Jenkins (12. 8 ppg), Jeron Belin (11.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Nick Leon (10.6 ppg), Ryan Bacon (10 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Darius Conley (5.1 rpg)
Strength: The Peacocks are one of the best defensive teams in the MAAC. They lead the conference in field-goal percentage defense – holding their opponents to a tad over 37 percent shooting. They’re also second in blocked shots and third in steals. That has allowed them to keep their opponents under 60 points per game on the year. Nothing travels better than good defense and the Peacocks defend as well as anyone in America.
Weakness: As good as St. Peter’s is defensively, it is equally horrendous offensively. The Peacocks barely score 61 points per game on the year on 40 percent shooting. They also have a negative turnover margin and a horrible assist-to-turnover ratio. St. Peter’s defense allowed it to stay competitive in the MAAC, but in the NCAA Tournament, if it doesn’t figure out a way to be competent offensively it will be a very short and painful stay.

15. Akron Zips
Location:
Akron, OH
Record: 23-12
Automatic Bid: Mid-American Conference Champions
Key Players: Nikola Cvetinovic (11.9 ppg, 7 rpg), Brett McKnight (10.3 ppg), Brett McClanahan (10.1 ppg), Zeke Marshall (8.6 ppg), Steve McNees (8.6 ppg), Darryl Roberts (8.6 ppg)
Strength: Akron has one of the deepest teams on the mid-major level. The Zips have nine players who average double-figures in minutes and six players who score eight points or more. That allows them to survive foul trouble and gives them numerous options offensively. If they can get significant contributions from all of their guys, the Zips can spring an upset.
Weakness: The Zips are a poor rebounding team. On the season, teams are out-rebounding Akron by nearly three boards per game. That’s bad at any level but is magnified when it happens in a down year in the MAC. Akron finished with a mediocre 9-7 record in conference play and much of that was due to getting punished on the boards. If they can’t rebound in the tournament, the Zips will get dispatched quickly.

16. Boston Terriers
Location:
Boston, MA
Record: 21-13
Automatic Bid: America East Conference Champions
Key Players: John Holland (19.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg), Darryl Partin (14.5 ppg), Patrick Hazel (5.9 rpg)
Strength: Boston is one of the best defensive teams in the America East. Boston holds its opponents to just 39. 6 percent shooting from the field and 32.1 percent from behind the arc. The Terriers also lead the league in blocked shots as they challenge everything going towards the basket. This hard-nosed defense helped the Terriers to a 12-4 conference record and they hope that it will help them cause a first-round scare.
Weakness: This team will struggle in the tournament because it doesn’t have great depth. The Terriers’ seven-man rotation is good enough for the America East, but the Terriers won’t be playing the likes of New Hampshire in the tournament. Boston just doesn’t have the talent to overcome its lack of depth and against the team it’ll be facing, that will prove to be deadly.

West Region Breakdown

1. Duke Blue Devils
Location:
Durham, NC
Record: 30-4
Automatic Bid: Atlantic Coast Conference Champions
Key Players: Nolan Smith (21.3 ppg, 5.2 apg), Kyle Singler (17.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg), Seth Curry (9.5 ppg), Mason Plumlee (8.5 rpg)
Strength: Duke is one of the most experienced teams in the country as it returns much of the team that won the national championship last season. Led by seniors, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, the Devils picked up where they left off last season. This team has been focused and primed for a repeat and are very capable of doing that. The Blue Devils may have been the most surprising No. 1 seed to ever win a national championship last season, but they won’t shock anyone if they repeat.
Weakness: This is a solid three-point shooting team, but if it’s off it really throws them into a tizzy. Almost 35 percent of Duke’s field goal attempts are from behind the arc so if its not making a good percentage of them it makes it very difficult for it to score. Duke has size inside, but it must learn to lean on it a bit more or it could come back to haunt it.

2. San Diego State Aztecs
Location:
San Diego, CA
Record: 32-2
Automatic Bid: Mountain West Conference Champions
Key Players: Kawhi Leonard (15.4 ppg, 10.7 rpg), Malcolm Thomas (11.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg), D.J. Gay (11.2 ppg), Billy White (9.9 ppg), Chase Tapley (8.4 ppg)
Strength: This is a very tough team. The Aztecs are grown men on the boards as they are first in the Mountain West in rebounding margin. They also defend as they only allow their opponents to shoot 39.6 three from the field and 30.9 percent from three. They do a great job taking teams out of what they like to do and just pound teams into submission. Any team that wants to beat them will have to match their toughness and judging by their record, that’s been easier said than done.
Weakness: The Aztecs have been able to get through the Mountain West schedule with a seven-man rotation, but that’s not going to cut it in the NCAA Tournament. D.J. Gay, Malcolm Thomas and Kawhi Leonard all play a lot of minutes and that could come back to haunt the Aztecs. This is a supremely talented team, but it’s going to take more than just the talent in the starting five to make it to the Final Four.

3. Connecticut Huskies
Location:
Storrs, CT
Record: 26-9
Automatic Bid: Big East Champions
Key Players: Kemba Walker (23.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Jeremy Lamb (10.3 ppg), Alex Oriakhi (10 ppg, 8.5 rpg), Shabazz Napier (8.3 ppg), Roscoe Smith (5.1 rpg)
Strength: The world knows by now that to beat Connecticut you have to find a way to contain Kemba Walker. Walker, a national player of the year candidate, has been hard for everybody to stop. Teams have tried zone and man against him and somehow, he’s managed to still score and carry his team. The show he put on in the Big East Tournament was amazing and he’s fully capable of duplicating that in the Big Dance.
Weakness: Outside of Walker, the Huskies just haven’t gotten consistent production from the rest of the roster all year. There have been nights when Jeremy Lamb or Alex Oriakhi have really scored, but not on a night-in night-out basis. Due to that, many teams have played zone against Connecticut and it has worked. The Huskies shoot only 43.3 percent from the field. If Walker’s supporting cast doesn’t step up Connecticut could ripe for an upset.

4. Texas Longhorns
Location:
Austin, TX
Record: 27-7
At-Large Bid: Big XII Conference
Key Players: Jordan Hamilton (18.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg), Tristan Thompson (13.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg), Gary Johnson (11.5 ppg, 7 rpg), Cory Joesph (10.5 ppg), J’Covan Brown (9.8 ppg)
Strength: Texas may have the most talented starting five in America. Texas has any number of guys who can fill it up led by freshman Tristan Thompson. The Longhorns have shown they can beat anyone in the country as evident by their win at Kansas. They are hard to guard together and can score in bunches. This team will be tough to beat and is capable of making a deep run in the Big Dance.
Weakness: Texas is still a very young team. The Longhorns get a lot of production from underclassmen and that could be a detriment in the tournament. They’ve already shown a lack of maturity in some of their losses this year and it’s quite possible that it can happen again. Texas’ young players are no doubt talented, but that was also the case in 2007 with Kevin Durant and that ended with a second round loss to USC. There’s plenty of evidence here to say that may happen again.

5. Arizona Wildcats
Location:
Tucson, AZ
Record: 27-7
At-Large Bid: Pac-10 Conference
Key Players: Derrick Williams (19.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg), Lamont Jones (9.6 ppg), Kyle Fogg (8.3 ppg)
Strength: It’s easy to see why the Wildcats have had a renaissance year and he wears No. 23. Derrick Williams is an All-American and a load in the paint. He has carried this team all season long with his stellar play. He really has no peer at his position in college basketball and his teammates have done a good job of playing off of him. Williams is a great college basketball player – one with the talent to take the Wildcats on a long run.
Weakness: The Wildcats struggle mightily when they turn the ball over. They sit in eight place in the Pac-10. The team can be really explosive when they’re playing well, but they can also give games away with their carelessness. Even Williams, as good as he is, is a turnover factory as he leads the team with 86 turnovers and just 37 assists. If the Wildcats don’t take care of the ball they could lose to anybody.

6. Cincinnati Bearcats
Location:
Cincinnati, OH
Record: 25-8
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Yancy Gates (11.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg), Dion Dixon (11.6 ppg), Sean Kilpatrick (9.9 ppg), Cashmere Wright (8.9 ppg), Rashad Bishop (8.1 ppg)
Strength: The Bearcats, just like most teams in the Big East, are an awesome defensive team. Cincinnati’s 41.1 percent field-goal percentage defense yields just 59.2 points per game from opponents; good enough for first in the conference. Their guards are great at pressuring the basketball and they have enough length to bother jump shooters. Cincinnati may have flown under the radar, but they’ll prove to be a match-up nightmare in the NCAA Tournament.
Weakness: Cincinnati struggles mightily to score. The Bearcats are one of the worst shooting teams in the Big East as they only shoot 43.6 percent from the field on the year. In fact, the Bearcats second through fifth leading scorers don’t come anywhere near shooting 50 percent. Cincinnati has to make games ugly to win, but if they play against a team that gets hot, there won’t be much it can do to stay in it.

7. Temple Owls
Location:
Philadelphia, PA
Record: 25-7
At-Large Bid: Atlantic-10 Conference
Key Players: Ramone Moore (14.9 ppg), Lavoy Allen (11.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg), Juan Fernandez (10.7 ppg), Khalif Wyatt (10 ppg), Rahlir Jefferson (5.1 rpg)
Strength: Temple has one of the most frustrating styles of play to prepare for. The Owls play a deliberate style where they control tempo on offense and play tough defense. They’re physical and tough inside with Lavoy Allen. Their experienced on the perimeter with the unflappable Juan Fernandez. It’s not the most beautiful brand of basketball to watch, but it is very effective.
Weakness: Injuries have really depleted the Owls this season. Temple’s rotation is virtually nonexistent now. Temple only played seven players in their Atlantic 10 semifinal loss to Richmond. The Owls cannot afford any foul trouble because all that’s left at this point are walk-ons. If Temple plays a team with great depth, it may be in serious trouble.

8. Michigan Wolverines
Location:
Ann Arbor, MI
Record: 20-13
At-Large Bid: Big Ten Conference
Key Players: Darius Morris (15.2 ppg, 6.7 apg), Tim Hardaway Jr. (13.9 ppg), Jordan Morgan (9.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Zack Novak (8.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg)
Strength: Coach John Beilein has one of the most unusual styles of play in America. The Wolverines love to spread teams out and shoot three pointers. They have outstanding guards, who’ve led the team to shoot a respectable 35.3 percent from behind the arc. Once teams decide to guard Michigan on the three point line, it opens up the lane for layups. Beilein’s West Virginia team got hot and made it to the Elite 8 in 2005 so there’s no reason to believe this Michigan team can’t have success too.
Weakness: The Wolverines are extremely weak on the boards. It’s surprising that Michigan was successful in the rugged Big Ten. Michigan was 10th in the conference in rebounding Margin with the likes of Iowa and Indiana finishing ahead of it. That’s part of the reason why the Wolverines were a middling team in the conference and could be the reason why they are booted out of the Big Dance quickly.

9. Tennessee Volunteers
Location:
Knoxville, TN
Record: 19-14
At-Large Bid: Southeastern Conference
Key Players: Scotty Hopson (17.4 ppg), Tobias Harris (15.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg), Cameron Tatum (8.9 ppg), Melvin Goins (8.1 ppg), Brian Williams (7.7 rpg)
Strength: Scotty Hopson had a great season for Tennessee. He is one of the most explosive players in the nation and has put up huge numbers against solid defensive teams. Hopson scored 27 on Pittsburgh and 32 on Georgia. He has solid teammates around him who complement his talents very well. If Hopson gets going in the Big Dance, he can carry Tennessee to the second weekend.
Weakness: There was only one team in the SEC that got to the free-throw line more than Tennessee, yet it is only eighth in free-throw percentage. Three key guys in the Volunteers’ rotation shoot sub-70 percent from the charity stripe. This is key in pressure situations when free-throws are so important. The Vols have to get the right people to the line or they may give a win away.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions
Location:
State College, PA
Record: 19-14
At-Large Bid: Big Ten Conference
Key Players: Talor Battle (20.1 ppg), Jeff Brooks (13.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg), David Jackson (9.8 ppg), Andrew Jones (5.5 rpg)
Strength: Penn St goes as Talor Battle goes. The Nittany Lions follow the lead of Battle who is one of the best players in the nation. Battle has toiled in relative obscurity in State College for four years, but he finally gets his moment in the sun making the first NCAA Tournament of his career. If he gets hot, he can be the catalyst to get the Nittany Lions to the second weekend.
Weakness: Watching Penn St play on offense is not a pleasant experience. The Nittany Lions are one of the worst teams in the tournament offensively as they score only 63 points per game. They have no explosion offensively and cannot get down by double digits. The Lions want to grind wins out, but on offense, it seems as though that strategy backfires.

11. Missouri Tigers
Location:
Columbia, MO
Record: 23-10
At-Large Bid: Big XII Conference
Key Players: Marcus Denmon (17.1 ppg), Laurence Bowers (11.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Ricardo Ratliff (10.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Kim English (10.2 ppg), Michael Dixon (10.2 ppg)
Strength: Coach Mike Anderson’s “fastest 40 minutes in basketball” is basketball on roller skates. It’s fun to watch, but it’s also difficult to prepare for and that’s what makes Missouri tough. The Tigers employ one of the nation’s most effective full court pressure defenses. They force over 18 turnovers a game and they use those turnovers to fuel their offense. If the Tigers can impose their will with their style of play, they can make a little noise in the Big Dance.
Weakness: This is one of the worst rebounding teams in the Big XII. The tigers get out-rebounded by nearly two boards per game. A lot of that has to do with the Tigers wanting to get out and run, but it also has to do with the fact that Missouri’s big men don’t give consistent production going to the glass. Rebounds can be had against this team and if it gives up too many, it could be one-and-done.

12. Memphis Tigers
Location:
Memphis, TN
Record: 25-9
Automatic Bid: Conference-USA
Key Players: Will Barton (12.3 ppg, 5 rpg), Joe Jackson (9.9 ppg), Tank Black (9.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg), Wesley Witherspoon (9 ppg)
Strength: Memphis is one of the most athletic teams in the country. Josh Pastner has built this team in the mold that his predecessor, John Calipari, built his teams. The Memphis roster is full of guys who love to get up-and-down the court and they do it well. The Tigers are treacherous on the fast break and can turn a game into a highlight reel in a hurry. It’s the way they like to play and it’s the way they earned their way to the tournament.
Weakness: Memphis is young and very mistake-prone. The Tigers are ninth in Conference-USA in turnover margin as they turn the ball over 15.3 times per game. The Tigers can be exciting to watch, but they can also be frustrating at the same time. They’ve lost games with their out-of-control play this year and they’ll have to reign it in if they expect to have staying power in the Big Dance.

13. Oakland Grizzlies
Location:
Rochester, MI
Record: 25-9
Automatic Bid: Summit League Champions
Key Players: Keith Benson (18 ppg, 10.1 rpg), Reggie Hamilton (17.4 ppg, 5.4 apg), Will Hudson (12.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Travis Bader (10.5 ppg), Larry Wright (9.8 ppg)
Strength: This team can score and can do it in bunches. Oakland is second nationally in points per game at 85.6. The Grizzlies have four guys who average double figures led by Keith Benson, a future pro. This team is difficult to guard and that’s evident in their win over Tennessee where it scored 89 points. If this team gets hot, it’s not only a threat to win one game, but don’t be shocked to see it in the Sweet 16.
Weakness: The Grizzlies can be so focused on scoring that they can forget that they have to play defense as well. Oakland allows its opponents to score over 76 points per game, second worst in the Summit League. The Grizzlies will not be able to outscore everyone, especially given the talent level in the Big Dance. If Oakland doesn’t make a commitment to the defensive end, it could be one-and-done.

14. Bucknell Bison
Location:
Lewisburg, PA
Record: 25-8
Automatic Bid: Patriot League Champions
Key Players: Mike Muscala (14.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Bryson Johnson (11.7 ppg), G.W. Boon (8.8 ppg), Darryl Shazier (8.3 ppg, 5.6 apg)
Strength: Bucknell was able to rip through Patriot League competition on the strength of its defense. The Bison were first in the Patriot League in field-goal percentage defense, three-point field-goal percentage defense, and points allowed. That kind of success on the defensive end yielded only one loss in league play and can make the Bison competitive in the Big Dance. Bucknell has a history of success in the NCAA Tournament. If it is able to defend like it has all season, it may add to that.
Weakness: Bucknell likes to play close to the vest and control tempo because of its lack of depth. That may be an issue if the Bison get in any foul trouble. Bucknell has seven players averaging 20 minutes or more per game and then there’s a huge drop off in before the next closest player. The book on Bucknell will be to press them or get them into foul trouble and if Bucknell isn’t able to manage that it may have a very short stay in the tournament.

15. Northern Colorado Bears
Location:
Greeley, CO
Record: 21-10
Automatic Bid: Big Sky Conference Champions
Key Players: Devon Beitzel (21.4 ppg), Neal Kingman (10.6 ppg), Chris Kaba (9.5 ppg), Mike Proctor (5.6 rpg), Taylor Montgomery (5.7 rpg)
Strength: Northern Colorado is one of the best rebounding teams on the mid-major level. The Bears are No. 1 in the Big Sky in rebounding margin at 5.4 per game. They’re also second in the conference in offensive rebounds and first in offensive rebound percentage getting over 35 percent of their misses. If the Bears are able to out-rebound their opponent, they may be able to cause a scare.
Weakness: This is a team that is too reliant on Devon Beitzel to score. Beitzel, the conference’s player of the year, is a great player, but he’s going to need help for Northern Colorado to be successful. If he has an off night this team isn’t capable of being close to anyone in the tournament. Beitzel not only has to score, but he’s going to have to get some partners in crime to be successful.

16. Hampton Pirates
Location:
Hampton, VA
Record: 24-8
Automatic Bid: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champions
Key Players: Darrion Pellum (17.7 ppg), Kwame Morgan (16.5 ppg), Charles Funches (10.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
Strength: Hampton is easily one of the best defensive teams on the mid-major level. The Pirates hold their opponents to just 37.9 percent shooting – good enough for first in the MEAC. It’s allowed Hampton to do major things in the non-conference portion of it’s schedule, including beating George Washington, Colorado St and fellow NCAA Tournament team, Boston University. Teams only averaged 57 points per game against the Pirates in the MEAC Tournament and they hope to duplicate that play in the Big Dance.
Weakness: The Pirates offensive efficiency is some of the worst you’ll see in the NCAA Tournament. Hampton shoots only 40.7 percent from the field and 32.5 percent form behind the three-point line. The Pirates are even bad from the free-throw line only making 65 percent of those as well. This all leads to a poorest 67.2 points per game in the MEAC. If the Pirates can’t score in the tournament, they’ll have no chance to even be close.

East Region Breakdown

1. Ohio State Buckeyes
Location:
Columbus, OH
Record: 32-2
Automatic Bid: Big Ten Conference Champions
Key Players: Jared Sullinger (17.2 ppg), William Buford (14.4 ppg), Jon Diebler (12.5 ppg), David Lighty (11.8 ppg)
Strength: The Buckeyes are one of most balanced teams in America. Led by all-everything freshman Jared Sullinger, the Buckeyes can score in anyway imaginable. Sullinger demands double-teams in the post, but that allows him to kick out to open shooters on the perimeter and they’re knocking their shots down. This is one of the favorites to win the national championship and it’s because they can do everything.
Weakness: Ohio State may be a great team, but its not a very deep one. The Buckeyes have four guys who play over 30 minutes and that’s a lot. That will be difficult to manage in a tournament situation with a short turnaround. This is a great team, so in all honesty, it may be able to overcome the depth issue. However, if the Buckeyes lose, this could very well be the reason why.

2. North Carolina Tarheels
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Record: 26-7
At-Large Bid: Atlantic Coast Conference
Key Players: Harrison Barnes (15 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Tyler Zeller (14.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg), John Henson (11.4 ppg, 10.1 rpg), Kendall Marshall (5.8 apg)
Strength: Though he’s just a freshman, Kendall Marshall has completely changed the make up of the Tarheel squad. Marshall is a true point guard and has run this team like a seasoned vet. His play has sparked the confidence of his teammates, especially fellow freshman Harrison Barnes, who is playing the best basketball of the season. If Marshall keeps playing well, this North Carolina team can realistically dream about the Final Four.
Weakness: There are still worries about the youth of this team. Coach Roy Williams is leaning on a lot of underclassmen to be successful. Barnes, Marshall and sophomore John Henson are talented players, but not very experienced. This will be the first NCAA Tournament experience for them all so its unknown how they’ll handle the big stage. If they can’t handle it, the Tarheels will have a problem getting out of the first weekend.

3. Syracuse Orange
Location:
Syracuse, NY
Record: 26-7
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Kris Joseph (14.4 ppg, 5 rpg), Rick Jackson (13 ppg, 10.6 rpg), Scoop Jardine (12.8 ppg, 5.8 apg) Brandon Triche (11.3 ppg)
Strength: The Syracuse 2-3 zone is the best in the country. Jim Boeheim has perfected the zone and he has the right personnel to play it well. With Rick Jackson, the Big East Player of the Year, anchoring the back of the defense; the Syracuse zone is almost impenetrable on the interior. Syracuse, then has the length and quickness on the wing and perimeter to challenge outside shots. The zone is a thing of beauty and in a tournament scenario, it is difficult to prepare for.
Weakness: For Syracuse to be successful, it must get steady play from the point guard position. Scoop Jardine can hit tough shots and make big plays because he’s a risk taker. Jardine can also kill Syracuse’s chances because he’s a risk taker. If Jardine is playing well, he can be one of the great point guards in college basketball, but when he’s not the Orange is a very average basketball team. Average doesn’t win games in the NCAA Tournament.

4. Kentucky Wildcats
Location:
Lexington, KY
Record: 24-8
Automatic Bid: Southeastern Conference
Key Players: Brandon Knight (17.5 ppg), Terrence Jones (16.5 ppg, 9 rpg), Doron Lamb (13.2 ppg), Darius Miller (11.2 ppg), DeAndre Liggins (8.6 ppg), Josh Harrellson (8.8 rpg)
Strength: This is an explosive team. The Wildcats put up points in bunches. Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb may only be freshmen, but they can put up points in a hurry. Knight is finally settling into his role as point guard and Jones is an absolute nightmare with his versatility. This team is super talented and if it makes jump shots it has a legitimate shot at the Final Four.
Weakness: Kentucky’s youth will be severely tested in the NCAA Tournament. There’s always a risk when a team relies so heavily on underclassmen, even if those underclassmen are as good as Knight, Jones and Lamb. Last season, you saw a team not adjust to the defense West Virginia played and panicked by shooting a lot of ill-advised threes. Kentucky has to show more poise this year.

5. West Virginia Mountaineers
Location:
Morgantown, WV
Record: 20-11
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Casey Mitchell (14.1 ppg), Kevin Jones (13.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Darryl Bryant (10.9 ppg), John Flowers (9.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
Strength: As with all Bob Huggins-coached teams, this year’s edition of the Mountaineers is tough as nails. They rebound the basketball well as they finished second in the conference in offensive rebounds and offensive-rebound percentage. They also play tough, in your face defense as they only allow their opponents to shoot 40.9 percent from the field. Any team with desires to defeat West Virginia better know it’s in for a fight for 40 minutes.
Weakness: West Virginia has some awful offensive numbers. The Mountaineers have to be a great offensive rebounding team out of necessity, because they struggle to score. West Virginia is 12th in the Big East in field-goal percentage and 11th in three-point field-goal percentage. Outside of Casey Mitchell, no one on this team is capable of going for 25-plus so if this team meets its match on the boards, it could have a short stay in the tournament.

6. Xavier Musketeers
Location:
Cincinnati, OH
Record: 24-7
At-Large Bid: Atlantic-10 Conference
Key Players: Tu Holloway (20.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.5 apg), Mark Lyons (13.8 ppg), Kenny Frease (11.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Jamel McLean (10.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg)
Strength: The Musketeers have a team with great balance. The Atlantic-10 Player of the Year, Tu Holloway leads the Musketeers, but they’re not a one-trick pony. Xavier has Mark Lyons to complement Holloway in the backcourt while Jamel McLean and Kenny Grease are a load to handle in the post. That balance makes the Musketeers difficult to guard and gives them an excellent chance to advance in the tournament.
Weakness: Xavier has a very short bench. The Musketeers really only have a seven-man rotation and the two reserves don’t provide much more than a brief respite for Xavier’s starters. Xavier has a talented starting five, but it’s not talented enough to overcome foul trouble or an opponent that likes to employ pressure defense. For Xavier to make a run, it’ll need a contribution from an unexpected source.

7. Washington Huskies
Location:
Seattle, WA
Record: 23-10
Automatic Bid: Pac-10 Conference Champions
Key Players: Isaiah Thomas (16.8 ppg, 6 apg), Matthew Bryan-Amaning (15.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg), Justin Holiday (10.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg), C.J. Wilcox (8.1 ppg)
Strength: Not many teams can score with the Huskies. Washington has one of the best point guards in America in Isaiah Thomas. Thomas loves to play in transition and that’s where Washington is at its best. The Huskies are third nationally scoring 83.5 points per game and they do it on 47 percent shooting. The Huskies have talent and are hard to guard. This is a dangerous team.
Weakness: This is a team that gives games away. The Huskies are one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the Pac-10 at 66.7 percent. The fact of the matter is that Thomas, while not the worst shooter, should be shooting a much higher percentage than 70.6 percent as the point guard of the team. Matthew Bryan-Amaning, the team’s second-leading scorer and best low-post presence shoots just 61.4 percent. The Huskies struggles at the line could cost them postseason success.

8. George Mason Patriots
Location:
Fairfax, VA
Record: 26-6
At-Large Bid: Colonial Athletic Association
Key Players: Cam Long (15.1 ppg), Ryan Pearson (14.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg), Luke Hancock (10.9 ppg), Andre Cornelius (10 ppg), Mike Morrison (5.5 rpg)
Strength: George Mason is one of the most efficient offensive teams on the mid-major level. The Patriots lead the CAA in assist-to-turnover ratio, field-goal percentage and three-point field-goal percentage. That efficiency led to a 15-game winning streak and a dominant season in one of the best mid-major conferences in America. They pass the ball well and have several guys who can score. George Mason will be hard to guard in the Big Dance.
Weakness: Any team that can’t be trusted at the free-throw line can’t be trusted in the Big Dance. George Mason is eighth in the CAA in free-throw percentage at 69 percent. There aren’t a lot of weaknesses in the Mason attack, but this could potentially be a major one. If the Patriots don’t knock down shots from the charity stripe, they could have a short stay in the tournament.

9. Villanova Wildcats
Location:
Villanova, PA
Record: 21-11
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Corey Fisher (15.4 ppg), Corey Stokes (15 ppg), Maalik Wayns (14 ppg), Antonio Pena (9.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Mouphtaou Yarou (8.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
Strength: Villanova has one of the best backcourts in the country. When Corey Fisher, Maalik Wayns and Corey Stokes are playing well, this is a very difficult team to beat. They’re tough in transition and you must respect their jumpers. These guys are explosive and if they all get going they can make a serious run in the tournament. Coach Jay Wright loves guard-laden teams and he has one that can do some damage.
Weakness: Team chemistry was an issue last season for the Wildcats and it appears to be a problem again. Villanova’s late-season slide went from troubling to embarrassing. The lost to South Florida in the Big East tournament was a bad sign reminding everyone of what happened to the team last season. Villanova barely beat Robert Morris in the first round last season before flaming out against St. Mary’s. It looks quite possible that the Wildcats could be one and done this year.

10. Georgia Bulldogs
Location:
Athens, GA
Record: 21-11
At-Large Bid: Southeastern Conference
Key Players: Trey Tompkins (16.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Travis Leslie (14.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Gerald Robinson (12.2 ppg), Jeremy Price (9.2 ppg, 5 rpg), Dustin Ware (8.1 ppg)
Strength: Georgia is one of the most athletic teams in America. Led by the high-flying Travis Leslie, the Bulldogs are an exciting team in transition. Their athleticism also helps them defend as well. Georgia holds its opponents to just 39.6 percent shooting from the field. Georgia has the kind of athleticism teams just can’t simulate and that’s what will make it a match-up nightmare in March.
Weakness: Georgia’s five starters are as good as any in America, but after that there’s a tremendous drop-off. The Bulldogs’ bench production is minuscule. They only get 9.8 points per game from it’s bench. That’s not good enough. Some teams in America get that much from one reserve, let alone, all of them. Foul trouble or fatigue could doom the Bulldogs to a quick exit in the Big Dance.

11. Marquette Golden Eagles
Location:
Milwaukee, WI
Record: 20-14
At-Large Bid: Big East Conference
Key Players: Jimmy Butler (16 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Darius Johnson-Odom (15.9 ppg), Jae Crowder (11.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg), Dwight Buycks (9.2 ppg)
Strength: There aren’t many teams in the country with the versatility Marquette enjoys. The Golden Eagles have several players that can play multiple positions and can do multiple things. Jimmy Butler can play three positions, Vander Blue and Darius Johnson-Odom can play both guard spots while Jae Crowder is tough enough to play all three frontcourt positions. This team has interchangeable parts and loves to throw different lineups at its opponents. It’s the way the Golden Eagles keep their opponents off-balance on their way to 20 wins.
Weakness: Marquette is usually a perimter-oriented ball club and this year that’s still the case. The only problem with that is it leaves the Golden Eagles soft on the interior. Marquette is in the bottom half of the Big East in rebounding, but what’s worse is it still struggles to defend quality low-post scorers. If Marquette is to make a run, it’ll eventually play a team with a competent scorer in the frontcourt and if Marquette can’t defend then it can’t win.

12a. Clemson Tigers
Location:
Clemson, SC
Record: 21-11
At-Large Bid: Atlantic Coast Conference
Key Players: Demontez Stitt (14.3 ppg), Jerai Grant (12.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg), Andre Young (10.7 ppg), Milton Jennings (8 ppg, 5.2 rpg), Devin Booker (5.4 rpg)
Strength: Despite a slight change in its style of play, Clemson is still one of the ACC leaders in forcing turnovers. Under former head coach Oliver Purnell, the Tigers applied full-court pressure for 40 minutes, but under current coach Brad Brownell, they’ve decided to play in the half court more. Despite that, they’ve still been able to use their athletes to play outstanding defense. That defense could win Clemson a game or two in the Big Dance.
Weakness: Clemson is not the most efficient team offensively. The Tigers are ninth in the ACC in scoring, seventh in free-throw and field-goal percentage, and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio. Those are just ugly numbers for a team that managed to have a winning record in the league. The problem for Clemson is there will be no Wake Forest, Georgia Tech or Virginia in the Big Dance. That kind of inefficiency just won’t cut it.

12b. UAB Blazers
Location: Birmingham, AL
Record: 22-8
At-Large Bid: Conference-USA
Key Players: Jamarr Sanders (17.7 ppg), Cameron Moore (14.3 ppg, 9.4 rpg), Aaron Johnson (12 ppg), Ovie Soko (9.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
Strength: Coach Mike Davis has turned his UAB squad into one of the best defensive teams in Conference-USA. The Blazers are third in the conference in field-goal percentage defense, only allowing 41 percent shooting from their opponents. That helps them hold opponents to a little over 62 points per game. Davis is a tough, in-your-face kind of coach and his team has taken on his personality.
Weakness: UAB’s surprising inclusion into this year’s field is partly because of how ordinary its been offensively. The Blazers have offensive numbers that are average in Conference-USA so that should tell you how pedestrian they’ve been on offense. This is a team that scores in the 60’s routinely and sometimes struggle to even hit that mark. At just 44 percent shooting, the Blazers may not have the chops to do much damage in the tournament.

13. Princeton Tigers
Location:
Princeton, NJ
Record: 25-6
Automatic Bid: Ivy League Champions
Key Players: Kareem Maddox (13.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Ian Hummer (13.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg), Dan Mavraides (12.7 ppg), Douglas Davis (11.9 ppg)
Strength: Everyone knows what the strength of Princeton is. It’s the Princeton offense. No matter how many times you watch the Tigers play, their offense is always difficult to defend. It takes patience and concentration to defend for a full 35 seconds, but that’s what that offense makes teams do. Teams have to guard against three pointers and backdoor cuts. It’s the offense perfected by the Tigers, who can definitely spring an upset using it.
Weakness: Princeton is a team that relies heavily on its starters. The Tigers like the control the pace of the game and that allows their starters to play a lot of minutes without going in the tank, but they’ll be facing competition that’s a couple steps up in the talent department. Princeton’s opponents will force it out of its comfort zone. Will Princeton’s starters be able to handle that?

14. Indiana State Sycamores
Location: Terre Haute, IN
Record: 20-13
Automatic Bid: Missouri Valley Conference Champions
Key Players: Dwayne Lathan (11 ppg), Carl Richard (9.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg)), Jake Odum (9.4 ppg), Aaron Carter (8.7 ppg), Jake Kelly (8.7 ppg), Myles Walker (5.3 rpg)
Strength: Just like most other Missouri Valley Conference teams, the Sycamores will lock you down defensively. Indiana St is No. 1 in the MVC in field-goal percentage defense, holding its opponents to 40.3 percent on the year. In addition to that, Indiana St. is No. 1 in blocks and No. 2 steals in the conference as well. None of the Sycamores opponents in the MVC Tournament scored more than 56 and that’s what makes this team dangerous.
Weakness: With only one starter at 6’8 and not a lot of quality frontcourt guys on the bench, the Sycamores can be exposed inside. Indiana St has been an average rebounding team on the year and it’s low-post scoring has been minuscule. When possessions are placed at a premium in the tournament, Indiana St is going to wish it had someone it could dump the ball to in the paint.

15. Long Island Blackbirds
Location:
Brooklyn, NY
Record: 27-5
Automatic Bid: Northeast Conference Champions
Key Players: Julian Boyd (12.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg), Jamal Olasewere (12.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg), David Hicks (11 ppg), Kyle Johnson (10.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg), C.J. Garner (9.3 ppg)
Strength: Long Island has a difficult style of play to prepare for as they like to play in the open court for 40 minutes. The Blackbirds are sixth in the nation in scoring at 82.6 points per game. They want to impose their will on their opponent and induce them into playing at their pace. This team can score and run and can pose serious trouble for a team in the Big Dance.
Weakness: Due to their pace, Long Island can keep teams in games with their turnover problem. The Blackbirds have a negative turnover margin and assist-to-turnover ratio. Any team it faces in the tournament will be talented enough to exploit their turnovers. If they want to have any success in the tournament, they’ll have to cut down on the miscues or it’ll be one-and-done.

16a. UT-San Antonio Roadrunners
Location:
San Antonio, TX
Record: 19-13
Automatic Bid: Southland Conference Champions
Key Players: Devin Gibson (17 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.6 apg), Melvin Johnson III (14.8 ppg), Jeromie Hill (13.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
Strength: The Roadrunners force teams into a lot of misses. UTSA finished second in the Southland Conference in field-goal percentage defense. The Roadrunners also force over 14 turnovers per game with over half of those coming on steals. The Roadrunners defense led them to a surprising run in the Southland Conference Tournament and it could also lead them to a win in Dayton.
Weakness: UTSA is a team that relies heavily on three players. Devin Gibson, Melvin Johnson and Jeromie Hill are all outstanding players, but they can’t be what the entire team leans on. If one of them has a bad game, it could be disastrous for the Roadrunners. All three of them have to be great for UTSA to have any chance. If just one of them is off, it’ll ruin the Roadrunners’ hopes.

16b. Alabama State Hornets
Location:
Montgomery, AL
Record: 17-17
Automatic Bid: Southwestern Athletic Conference Champions
Key Players: Tramayne Moorer (12.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg), Tramaine Butler (10.9 ppg), Kenderek Washington (8.7 ppg)
Strength: The best defensive team in the SWAC; Alabama St holds its opponents to just 40.3 percent shooting on the year. That helped Alabama St through their conference tournament where they held their opponents to an average of 58.3 points per game. The Hornets will be looking to carry that defense into Dayton where they have a realistic shot at getting the schools first NCAA Tournament victory.
Weakness: The Hornets struggles on offense have forced it to defend well. Alabama St only scores 61.3 points per game, 2.3 points less than what they yield on the season. That’s why the Hornets had a sub-.500 record against Division I opponents and have to play the opening round game in Dayton. If the Hornets can’t put points on the board, it won’t matter who they play because they’ll be going home.

BRACKETOLOGY SUNDAY MARCH 13 FINAL (Welcome Duke, Richmond, Kentucky, Ohio St)

EAST
1.Ohio St(B10)16.Arkansas-Little Rock(SBelt)/UT-San Antonio(SLC) Cleveland
8.Gonzaga(WCC)9.George Mason
5.Texas A&M12.Alabama/USC Tucson
4.Syracuse13.Belmont(ASun)
6.Georgetown11.Richmond(A10) Tampa
3.Kentucy(SEC)14.St. Peters(MAAC)
7.UNLV10.Penn St Washington, D.C.
2.Connecticut(BEast)15.Long Island(NEC)
WEST
1.Duke(ACC)16.UC-Santa Barbara(BWest) Charlotte
8.Utah St(WAC)9.UCLA
5.West Virginia12.Michigan Denver
4.BYU13.Oakland(Summit)
6.Xavier11.Illinois Tulsa
3.Texas14.Indiana St(MVC)
7.Vanderbilt10.Memphis(CUSA) Chicago
2.Notre Dame15.Boston U(AEast)
SOUTHEAST
1.Pittsburgh16.Hampton(MEAC) Cleveland
8.Temple9.Colorado
5.Arizona12.Virginia Tech/Georgia Denver
4.Purdue13.Morehead St(OVC)
6.Cincinnati11.Missouri Washington, D.C.
3.North Carolina14.Wofford(SoCon)
7.Old Dominion(CAA)10.Villanova Tampa
2.Florida15.Akron(MAC)
SOUTHWEST
1.Kansas(B12)16.UNC_Asheville(BSouth)/Alabama St(SWAC)Tulsa
8.Marquette9.Washington(P10)
5.St. John’s12.Butler(Horizon) Chicago
4.Wisconsin13.Princeton(Ivy)
6.Kansas St11.Florida St Tucson
3.San Diego St14.Bucknell(Patriot)
7.Tennessee10.Michigan St Charlotte
2.Louisville15.Northern Colorado(Bsky)

In Graphical Form

BRACKETLOGY: Sunday Morning March 13, 2011 (Welcome Memphis, Boston, Hampton, Princeton, UT-San Antonio, Alabama St, Akron, Connecticut, San Diego St, Utah St, Kansas, UC-Santa Barbara, Washington)

Last Four In: Alabama, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Clemson
Last Four Out: USC, Boston College, Saint Mary’s, Harvard

Good for games through 3/12

EAST
1.Ohio St16.Arkansas-Little Rock(SBelt)/UT-San Antonio(SLC) Cleveland
8.Marquette9.George Mason
5.Texas A&M12.Butler(Horizon) Tucson
4.Kentucky13.Belmont(ASun)
6.Cincinnati11.Richmond Tucson
3.San Diego St(MWC)14.St. Peters(MAAC)
7.Tennessee10.Michigan St Washington, D.C.
2.Connecticut(BEast)15.Long Island(NEC)
WEST
1.Duke16.UC-Santa Barbara(BWest) Charlotte
8.Gonzaga(WCC)9.UCLA
5.West Virginia12.Michigan Denver
4.BYU13.Oakland(Summit)
6.Georgetown11.Illinois Tulsa
3.Texas14.Indiana St(MVC)
7.Vanderbilt10.Memphis(CUSA) Chicago
2.Notre Dame15.Boston U(AEast)
SOUTHEAST
1.Pittsburgh16.Hampton(MEAC) Cleveland
8.Utah St(WAC)9.Colorado
5.Arizona12.Alabama/Clemson Denver
4.Purdue13.Morehead St(OVC)
6.Xavier11.Missouri Chicago
3.Louisville14.Wofford(SoCon)
7.UNLV10.Penn St Charlotte
2.North Carolina15.Akron(MAC)
SOUTHWEST
1.Kansas(B12)16.UNC_Asheville(BSouth)/Alabama St(SWAC)Tulsa
8.Temple9.Washington(P10)
5.St. John’s12.Virginia Tech/Georgia Tampa
4.Wisconsin13.Princeton(Ivy)
6.Kansas St11.Florida St Washington, D.C.
3.Syracuse14.Bucknell(Patriot)
7.Old Dominion(CAA)10.Villanova Tampa
2.Florida15.Northern Colorado(Bsky)

In Graphical Form

BRACKETOLOGY: Saturday March 12, 2011 (Welcome Bucknell)

Last Four In: Clemson, Georgia, Penn St, Virginia Tech
Last Four Out: USC, Memphis, Boston College, Saint Mary’s

Good for games through 3/11

EAST
1.Ohio St16.McNeese St/Arkansas-Little Rock(SBelt) Cleveland
8.Utah St9.Colorado
5.West Virginia12.Virginia Tech/Georgia Tucson
4.San Diego St13.Harvard
6.Temple11.Florida St Washington, D.C.
3.Syracuse14.Bucknell(Patriot)
7.Marquette10.Alabama Tulsa
2.Texas15.St. Peter’s(MAAC)
WEST
1.Duke16.Boston U Charlotte
8.Old Dominion(CAA)9.Michigan St
5.Arizona12.Butler(Horizon) Denver
4.Connecticut13.Morehead St(OVC)
6.Cincinnati11.Missouri Denver
3.BYU14.Indiana St(MVC)
7.Tennessee10.Michigan Chicago
2.Notre Dame15.Northern Colorado (BSky)
SOUTHEAST
1.Pittsburgh16.Hampton Cleveland
8.UCLA9.George Mason
5.Texas A&M12.UTEP Tucson
4.Wisconsin13.Oakland(Summit)
6.Xavier11.Illinois Tampa
3.Florida14.Kent St
7.UNLV10.Villanova Charlotte
2.North Carolina15.Long Island(NEC)
SOUTHWEST
1.Kansas16.UNC_Asheville(BSouth)/Alabama St Tulsa
8.Georgetown9.Gonzaga(WCC)
5.St. John’s12.Penn St/Clemson Tampa
4.Kentucky13.Belmont(ASun)
6.Kansas St11.Richmond Washington, D.C.
3.Purdue14.Wofford (SoCon)
7.Vanderbilt10.Washington Chicago
2.Louisville15.Long Beach St

In Graphical Form