NCAA Tournament Preview: Picking the First Round

NCAA Tournament Preview: Picking the First Round

This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.


No. 16 Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers/Albany Great Danes vs. No. 1 Florida Gators

Site: Orlando, Fla.
Gametime: Thursday, 4:10 p.m.
Records: Mount St. Mary's 16-16/Albany 18-14; Florida 32-2
RPI: Mount St. Mary's 193/Albany 182; Florida 1
KenPom: St. Mary's 190/Albany 171; Florida 3
Spread: NA (Albany -2)
Matchup: The 16s get one game to compete and, for whoever survives, one game to watch in person what may be the nation's best team. Albany plays stiff defense, the Mount shoots the three. Either way, Florida uses it as a warm-up for the weekend.

No. 15 Eastern Kentucky Colonels vs. No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks

Site: St. Louis
Gametime: Friday, 4:10 p.m.
Records: Eastern Kentucky 24-9; Kansas 24-9
RPI: Eastern Kentucky 99; Kansas 3
KenPom: Eastern Kentucky: 129; Kansas 9
Spread: Kansas -13
Matchup: It's bombs away for the Colonels who can shoot from anywhere. But so can Kansas. The Jayhawks won't need injured 7-footer Joel Embiid to pound undersized Eastern Kentucky, one of the worst rebounding teams in the nation.

No. 14 Western Michigan Broncos vs. No. 3 Syracuse Orange

Site: Buffalo
Gametime: Thursday, 2:45 p.m.
Records: Western Michigan 23-9; Syracuse 27-5
RPI: Western Michigan 69; Syracuse 13
KenPom: Western Michigan 113; Syracuse 15
Spread: Syracuse -13
Matchup: It takes an inside/outside game to crack Syracuse's 2-3 zone. Well, look at what we have here. A fifth-year senior, guard David Brown led the MAC with 19.4 points per game. In the middle for the Broncos is 6-11 senior Shayne Whittington.

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Jason Thornbury
Thornbury is a senior editor at RotoWire. A former newspaper reporter and editor, he has also worked in sports television and radio, including co-hosting RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM.
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