Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NCAA First Round Preview: East Region

7:15 Thursday, New Orleans69.7 possessions
16 E. Tennessee St.8.2%60.840.420.130.922.0
1 Kentucky91.8%78.254.421.749.733.5
This is the most likely least unlikely 16-over-1 game on this year's board, but it still ain't happening. Those of us who aren't in Kentucky or the Tri-Cities of Tennessee will get a live look-in of this game during halftime of the UNLV-Northern Iowa, Washington-Marquette, or Ohio-Georgetown games.

7:20 Thursday, San Jose69.1 possessions
11 Washington50.2%74.149.818.936.127.1
6 Marquette49.8%74.049.916.432.133.5
In the closest matchup of the entire first round of the tournament, only 0.06 points separate these two teams.

9:45 Thursday, New Orleans74.5 possessions
9 Wake Forest33.3%
8 Texas66.7%77.546.317.549.626.3
I could say something snarky here about the lack of interest these two teams are likely to bring, but every person in the world seems to have beaten me to the punch. If both teams show up, though--and, hey, it could happen--this could be one hell of a fun game to watch.

9:50 Thursday, San Jose63.4 possessions
14 Montana31.2%65.752.518.623.624.1
3 New Mexico68.8%71.650.714.643.231.4
New Mexico, like Pittsburgh in the West, would be the underdog to either Washington or Marquette in the second round. Unlike the Panthers, though, the Lobos face an opponent in the first round who's got enough ammunition--you've seen what Anthony Johnson can do, no--to make the first round potentially interesting as well.

12:15 Friday, Buffalo65.2 possessions
15 Morgan St.6.5%61.442.819.531.431.9
2 West Virginia93.5%79.852.
I understand that guarantee games pay for the bulk of the athletic budget at schools like Morgan State, but it's insane that the Bears had to play 15 of their first 19 games away from home.

12:30 Friday, Jacksonville60 possessions
12 Cornell36.8%60.349.016.423.518.9
5 Temple63.2%64.349.915.335.623.2
Obviously the selection committee forced these teams to play each other instead of BCS schools because they know how much Americans hate to watch upstart mid-majors take it to the football-money teams.

2:45 Friday, Buffalo72.5 possessions
10 Missouri54.8%71.347.321.733.524.4
7 Clemson45.2%69.748.627.442.925.7
Those who want to watch a cleanly-played game might want to look elsewhere on Friday afternoon. The Tigers and Tigers combine for about 36 turnovers and 38 personal fouls in this matchup. Between all those whistles and what will likely be a close game, it's a good thing for whoever would have to play the following game that this isn't the first game of the session. There'd be a whole lot of standing around in the tunnel waiting for the game to end.

3:00 Friday, Jacksonville57.3 possessions
13 Wofford13.5%52.443.918.323.530.3
4 Wisconsin86.5%64.352.014.332.530.2
This is likely to be the slowest game of the first round, more than 2½ possessions slower on average than Utah State-Texas A&M.

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