The NCAA tournament will officially commence tonight with The First Four in Dayton, Ohio. Most of these games don’t officially count in the bracket pools, so if you are still looking for some advice, perspective, and one man’s take on the chaos about to ensue, be sure to check out the site www.thesportsgeek.com/news/ for full previews on all four regions.
I will breakdown tonight’s second game (or the “real one” for many/most casual fans) between BYU and Ole Miss in full detail, but if I know our readers, I imagine half want to read about tonight’s game and half could care less what game we cover as long as it’s a winner… so I will also include an NIT pick as well as there is a full slate of games tonight and one in particular that I think yields a favorable line.
So, without further ado – let the Madness begin!!
Today’s Free Pick:
Ole Miss Rebels vs. BYU Cougars -3
BYU is an explosive offensive team, a seeming rarity in modern college basketball. They let the ball fly from three point range early and often and can put up points in a hurry. Ole Miss is the one team in the field that I’d have omitted, even over UCLA. They just don’t have the heft on the resume to give much indication they are deserving. Add in the overwhelming mediocrity of the SEC and it seems like their stay in March should be a short one.
I like BYU as a dangerous sleeper in this region and think they’ll make surprisingly easy work of Mississippi tonight in Dayton. Tyler Haws is one of the best scorers in the country and Kyle Collinsworth led the nation in triple doubles. I think their bevy of shooters and aggressive tempo will be too much for Ole Miss to counter.
Free Pick: BYU Cougars -3
BONUS PICK – NIT OPENING ROUND
George Washington Colonials at Pitt Panthers -4
Keep in mind NIT games have a home court advantage until the final four in Madison Square Garden. That bodes well for Pitt tonight. They were 14-3 this season playing in the very tough ACC. Meanwhile, George Washington was just 4-9 on the road and keep in mind how insanely top-heavy the Atlantic 10 was this season (and seemingly every season).
Pitt slumped badly at the end of the season, dropping four games in a row to go from ‘bubble’ to middling NIT team. But I don’t think they’ll end their season with a loss to a similarly slumping smaller conference foe on their home floor in ‘The Zoo.’
Pittsburgh should be the tougher, more aggressive team and have some physical advantages tonight. That’ll be enough to get the home win.
Free Pick: Pitt Panthers -4