Welcome back for another college basketball tournament day hoops fans. Which No.1 will fall today? Syracuse, Duke? We'll see.
West Region second round games
At Buffalo: No.8 Gonzaga (27-6) vs. No1 Syracuse (29-4) - The Orange are loaded. At guard, at forward and at center. Even without Arinze Onuaku, Syracuse will be tough in the paint. The Orange are deadly on the outside with Wes Johnson. If Andy Rautins, Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche are directing the offense properly. The Zags could lose big. Of course Gonzaga's top players Matt Bouldin and Elias Harris will have something say about that. It won't be easy for the Orange, but they'll get it done.
At Milwaukee: No.6 Xavier (25-8) vs. No.3 Pittsburgh (25-8) - Jordan Crawford has been the be all, end all for Xavier so far. The Pittsburgh will do everything it can to slow him down, so the Musketeers need someone else to be consistent on offense. Look for Terrell Holloway to assist Crawford today. Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker have been an excellent one-two punch for the surprising Pitt Panthers. But look for their run to end here.
Midwest Region second round games
At Milwaukee: No.10 Georgia Tech (23-12) vs. No.2 Ohio State (14-4) - Evan Turner didn't have a great game for the Buckeyes in round 1. But Jon Diebler picked things up with seven three-pointers and 23 points. Now the Yellow Jackets will have two scorers to deal with today. Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors will need to play above and beyond expectations. If they can't do that, the Buckeyes will have an easy time.
At Spokane: No.5 Michigan State (25-8) vs. No.4 Maryland (24-8) - Kalin Lucas has been the man for the Spartans all season. That won't change today. But Raymar Morgan was excellent in Michigan State's 70-67 win over New Mexico State in the first round. Greivis Vasquez, Maryland's do-it-all guard, is going to need to do more than he normally does. The Spartans are an excellent defensive team and usually play "up" once the tournament begins. This should be a great matchup.
South Region second round games
At Spokane: No.5 Texas A&M (24-9) vs. No.4 Purdue (28-5) - Purdue show its mettle in its first round win over Siena. JaJuan Johnson beat up Siena for 23 points and 15 rebounds. The Aggies are going to have a tough time dealing with the 6-10 Johnson. Texas A&M got a big game out of Khris Middleton with 19 points. The Aggies top threat Donald Sloan had just 10 points. If Sloan is back on his game, Texas A&M could roll today.
At Jacksonville Fl: No.8 California (24-10) vs. No.1 Duke (30-5) -The Golden Bears, like fellow PAC 10 member Washington, wants to prove it is worthy of inclusion among the elite teams. Cal as the offense in Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle to hang with the Blue Devils. The question is can they defend the Blue Devils? Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler can light it up. If Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek gives Duke anything in the paint, Cal will struggle on defense.
East Region second round games
At Buffalo: No.10 Missouri (23-10) vs. No.2 West Virginia (28-6) - Kim English is going to have to be on point to get it done against a rugged West Virginia. The Tigers can score, but they use balance and passing to get it done. Someone will need a career game against the Mountaineers. Speaking of those Mountaineers, Da'Sean Butler is tough as nails. He wants the ball at crunch time and usually prevails. Add to that Kevin Jones and Devin Ebanks and you have a Final Four caliber team.
At Jacksonville, Fl: No.12 Cornell (28-4) vs. No.4 Wisconsin (24-8) - Ryan Wittman and Jeff Foote gave Temple a ton of problems. Foote, a 7-footer, knows how to work his feet and is patient. Wittman is a dead-eye shooter. That combination could give the Badgers the same problems. Trevon Hughes has had a banner year for the Badgers. Forward Jon Leuer has been just as potent. If Hughes is shooting well, Wisconsin is tough to stop. Look for Cornell's discipline to make this a tight one.