Home > Current Updates > 2016 Tourney: First-Four picks

2016 Tourney: First-Four picks

Dave2015For us college basketball fans, there’s still something special about Noon on Thursday. Anticipation. Excitement. The eve of Madness.  For me, that will probably never change.  The First Four is more like an hors d’ oeuvre.  Tasty, but not like the main course.  But I digress, quickly.

Whether you agree or disagree with the inclusion of Vanderbilt, Michigan, Wichita State and Tulsa, they should provide some entertaining moments tonight and Wednesday.

Vanderbilt vs. Wichita State … On paper, the Commodores should be a Top 25 team.  They have that type of talent.  But they were also remarkably inconsistent.  Will an NCAA tournament berth be the spark they need?  That’s tough to answer.  We thought the same might be true at the SEC tournament with a potential NCAA bid on the line.  The result?  A loss to Tennessee.  Meanwhile, Wichita State arrives in Dayton with a chip on its shoulder. When the Shockers have been healthy, they’ve been good.  Something tells me that Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet won’t let this team lose before the big bracket begins. Pick: Wichita State

Florida Gulf Coast vs. Fairleigh Dickinson … If you look purely at who these teams played and how they fared, the edge goes to FGCU.  So we’ll go with the numbers.  Plus, how do you pick against Dunk City?  Pick: Florida Gulf Coast

Michigan vs. Tulsa … If you look at common opponents, Michigan lost to Connecticut and Tulsa split its games with the Huskies. That’s sort of a draw.  Outside the league, Michigan beat Texas; Tulsa beat Wichita State, maybe a slight edge to Michigan.  Tulsa lost to Memphis – twice.  Michigan’s worse loss (not counting double-digit margins) was at Ohio State. Advantage: Michigan.  Which brings us to coaching. I suspect John Beilein will have the Wolverines ready.  Pick: Michigan

Holy Cross vs. Southern … Southern won at Mississippi State, which may not be great, but its probably better than any of the wins for Holy Cross, which finished just 14-19 against Division I teams.  They lost 16 games to sub-150 opponents despite winning four straight in their conference tournament.  Pick: Southern

Enjoy the Madness.

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