West Region first round game
At Milwaukee: No.14 Oakland (26-8) vs. No.3 Pittsburgh (24-8) – Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker have shocked the world for Pittsburgh this season. There were few who believed the Panthers would’ve been this good so fast. The Panthers flew under the radar this season, with Syracuse, West Virginia and Villanova grabbing most of the headlines. Oakland has Keith Benson (17.1) and three other capable players, but they haven’t played against this type of program before.
East Region first round game
At Spokane: No.13 Siena (27-6) vs. No.4 Purdue (27-5): The Siena Saints have tournament experience and one of the country’s top play makers in Ronald Moore. Purdue has struggled on offense without Robbie Hummel. That doesn’t mean Siena will roll. Purdue has some depth, which could still be enough to edge Siena. This game will be tight from to start to finish. E’Twaun Moore (16.6) and JaJuan Johnson (15.2) will have to pick up Hummel’s slack in this one.
At: Jacksonville, Fl: No.13 Wofford (26-8) vs. No.4 Wisconsin (23-8) – This matchup is a little more interesting than most think. Despite having the smallest enrollment of any school in the tournament (1,450), Wofford has a steady scorer in Noah Dahlman and five other players averaging between 6.0 points and 9.5 points. Wofford lost by three to Pittsburgh, beat Georgia and South Carolina. While the two latter teams aren’t that good, the Terriers don’t have a starter over 6-6. Queens product Trevon Hughes (15.4 ppg, 4.6 reb) leads Wisconsin. But the Badgers play halfcourt basketball, which could make the game interesting.