Joe Murphy, Getty Images
March 15, 2014
Barker: St. Joseph's-UConn in the East region. I love watching senior-oriented teams in the NCAA tournament. It's as if they have a secret -- poise -- that inexperienced teams can hardly fathom. St. Joseph's will count on its potent senior class against a stellar Connecticut senior, guard Shabazz Napier. It's the sort of matchup you'd expect to see in a later round.
Markus: I guess it would be the one between sixth-seeded Ohio State and 11th-seeded Dayton in San Diego. I love storyline games, and the fact that the Buckeyes haven't played the Flyers during the regular season since 1988 despite being just over an hour apart qualifies. Also add in that Dayton's leading scorer, Jordan Silbert, started his career in Columbus and its coach, Archie Miller, is a former assistant under Ohio State coach Thad Matta.
Shaffer: Give me Kansas State-Kentucky on Friday. I'm sure No. 9 seed Kansas State is a fine and dandy team, a real upstanding model for excellence in its Little Apple community. But this is Kentucky we're talking about, bluest of bluebloods, and seeing the (blue) Wildcats in an 8/9 game is like seeing Alabama in the Military Bowl. It seems to me this can go only two ways: Kentucky implodes, John Calipari gives the most smart-alecky news conference in recorded history, and Big Blue Nation tries to find the guys from "Men in Black" to wipe all the 40-0 talk from its collective memory. Or, alternately: the (blue) Wildcats' five-stars play like five-stars, the (purple) Wildcats get blown out, and college basketball fans the world over wonder why analysts won't acknowledge the existence of any third-round games except Wichita State-Kentucky.
Bracken: No. 6 Baylor vs. #Nebrasketball. The Huskers will be primed for their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998, and motivated for a potential second-round matchup against in-state rival Creighton. I could definitely see Tim Miles' squad pulling an upset here.
Selig: I thoroughly enjoyed watching Delaware play at the CAA tournament here in Baltimore, and I think the Blue Hens' matchup with Michigan State has lots of intrigue. Delaware's guards can score with anybody, and if they find a way to loosen up the Spartans' normally stellar defense, they could ruin a lot of brackets. The biggest worry I have for the Hens is foul trouble, as they seemed to only have one reliable post player who can play big minutes.