Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness predictions for Friday (NCAA Round One, Day Two)

After going 13-3 in day one of our March Madness predictions, we feel brave enough to post predictions for all sixteen games of day two. We start in chronological order, the order the games will tip off.

The one and only Bill Raftery tips off Friday's games with Tennessee steamrolling American. American is a great story, but the Bruce Pearl express is loaded in numbers and in talent, the Patriot league team has no chance! But it would be a really nice upset if it happened. A very big IF!

Then Billy Packer gets his hands dirty by calling a mid-major game, where Davidson continues their streak of not winning NCAA games. That means Gonzaga will not be GoneZaga in the first round! The depth and versatility of the Zags will ultimately get them the W. Look for key contributions from Bouldin, Kuso and Pendo.

Then the annoying Tim Brando and the G-Man will call Drake beating Western Kentucky in a game that will be a lot closer than Keno Davis and Drake fans would think considering their #5 seed.

The fourth game of the first wave will have the first upset, Saint Mary's beats up the Miami Hurricanes, and Patty Mills scores 33. Randy Bennett said Miami reminds them of San Diego, and they haven't beaten San Diego lately, but we think that ultimately St Mary's has what it takes to beat the Canes.

Second wave of games
Three of the four games will be cakewalks, Texas over Austin Peay, Georgetown over UMBC, and UConn over San Diego. But Butler will have its hands full yet ultimately survive and advance over South Alabama.

Afternoon games, first wave
Phil Martelli will get his shiny bold dome broadcast live on CSTV (CBS College Sports), in addition to having the game shown on various CBS affiliate regions. We think that St Joe's has enough to beat Oklahoma, although it wont be easy. Their beating Xavier twice will give them the confidence needed to pull such a victory over a BCS team.

We do not see Vandy having any trouble with Siena, and North Carolina won't have to climb a mountain to beat Mount Saint Mary's.

The Oregon vs Mississippi State game looks very promising, but because the Nike Ducks are bombing away, Batman won't have as much impact on the game, and we predict that Oregon will beat Rick Stansburies.

Last block of games
Memphis and Louisville will have no troubles advancing. However our crystal ball is having a hard time getting a good read on the other two games, so our predictions for the next two games are not as strong as the previous ones. Ultimately we think that talent will rise to the top and the combo of Eric Gordon and DJ White will be too much for Arkansas, and the Hoosiers will advance and face UNC in a good (on-paper) game.

Last but not least, we have Clemson vs Villanova. This is a hard game to pick. We simply cannot see clearly, but we will give Clemson the slight edge to beat the Fighting Massiminos.

For all the TV listings of the NCAA, NIT and CBI, be sure to check our March Madness TV listings post.

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