Upset picks and high matchups


It may very well be wild West Region within the males’s NCAA Tournament, so maintain on to your cell telephones, scholar journalists!

Yes, we’re referring to you, Riley Hall, the Arkansas staffer who knocked a telephone out of a scholar journalist’s hand telephone and threw it to the bottom Friday after the Razorbacks misplaced to Texas A&M within the SEC Tournament.

Now the Razorbacks get one other likelihood – to behave themselves, and to show they’re higher than you may suppose.

Speaking of coaches, can Rick Pitino keep targeted on his job at Iona whereas hypothesis heats up that he is about to go away for a greater job?

And can Howard, UNC Asheville or Grand Canyon can pull off a monumental upset?

BRACKET TIPS: How to fill out your match projections and win your pool

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Best first-round match: Arkansas vs. Illinois

Plenty of expertise right here. But there was a motive Arkansas coach Eric Musselman was dropping f-bombs after his workforce’s loss to Texas A&M within the SEC Tournament. His workforce misplaced 4 of its previous 5 video games. But they’re hardly quick on expertise with three McDonald’s All-Americans (guards Jordan Walsh, Anthony Black and Nick Smith Jr., with Black and Smith projected as high 10 picks for the NBA draft). Illinois has stumbled late, too, however don’t neglect the Illini beat UCLA in November and Texas in December. Their high two scorers, guard Terrence Shannon Jr. and ahead Matthew Mayer, are each senior leaders.

REGIONAL BREAKDOWNS: East | South | Midwest | West

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Potential upset: UNC-Asheville over UCLA

If UCLA hadn’t misplaced defensive whiz Jaylen Clark to damage within the regular-season finale, there’s a great likelihood the the Bruins would have had a No. 1 seed and a path to the Final Four. Now, they’re dealing with a doable letdown – with dynamic middle Adem Bona having suffered a shoulder damage in the course of the Pac-12 match semifinal. An UNC-Asheville upset would hinge on Drew Pemper, the Tennessee switch and senior middle who scored a school-record 48 factors towards Presbyterian on Jan. 25. He leads UNC Asheville with 21.1 factors per recreation and 9.4 rebounds per recreation. Sure, UNC Asheville ranks 146th total within the Pomeroy effectivity rankings and UCLA ranks second. Yes, UNC Asheville has one Quad 1 victory and UCLA has seven. That’s why they name it an upset, people.

The sleeper: Northwestern

The Wildcats acquired a No. 7 seed however gave the impression to be trending down after dropping 4 of their final 5 video games. Dismiss the Wildcats at your individual peril. In its final recreation, Northwestern fell in extra time to Penn State, which practically beat Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament last. The Wildcats have six Quad 1 victories and are thirteenth in defensive effectivity. Northwestern’s Chris Collins was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year for a motive. It’ll be no shock to see the Wildcats, making solely their second look within the NCAA Tournament, attain the Sweet 16.

The winner: Kansas

Good information for the Jayhawks – they wouldn’t should play Texas once more till the Final Four. Even higher information – Kansas head coach Bill Self is predicted to rejoin the workforce. He was discharged Sunday from the hospital, the place he checked in Wednesday with chest tightness and stability issues. While Self was gone, Texas uncovered Kansas’ vulnerabilities by beating the Jayhawks for the second time in 9 days. But Kansas is battle-tested due to Big 12 convention play and has 15 Quad 1 victories – greater than any workforce within the nation. Among Kansas’ talent-rich roster, freshman guard Gradey Dick is the one catching the eyes of NBA scouts.

NCAA Tournament West area schedule

Wednesday, March 15

In Dayton, Ohio

No. 11 Nevada (22-10) vs. No. 11 Arizona State (22-12), 9:10 p.m., truTV

Thursday, March 16

In Des Moines, Iowa

No. 1 Kansas (27-7) vs. No. 16 Howard (22-12), 2 p.m., TBS

No. 8 Arkansas (20-13) vs. No. 9 Illinois (20-12), 4:30 p.m., TBS

In Sacramento, Calif.

No. 7 Northwestern (21-11) vs. No. 10 Boise State (24-9), 7:35 p.m., truTV

No. 2 UCLA  (29-5) vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville (27-7), 10:05 p.m., truTV

Friday, March 17

In Albany, N.Y.

No. 5 Saint Mary’s (26-7) vs. No. 12 Virginia Commonwealth (27-7), 2 p.m., TBS

No. 4 Connecticut (25-8) vs. No. 13 Iona (27-7), 4:30 p.m., TBS

In Denver

No. 3 Gonzaga (28-5) vs. No. 14 Grand Canyon (24-11), 7:35 p.m., truTV

No. 6 TCU (21-12) vs. No. 11 Arizona State/Nevada winner, 10:05 p.m., truTV

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