East Region first round games
At New Orleans: No.16 East Tennessee State (20-14) vs. No.1 Kentucky (32-2) – The Wildcats have nothing to worry about in this one. John Wall and company have been great this season. Outside of a couple of lapses, there hasn’t been much for John Calipari to really get crazy about. Look for Wall and DeMarcus Cousins to go crazy.
At San Jose: No.11 Washington (24-9) vs. No.6 Marquette (22-11) – Both of these squads were bubble teams a few weeks ago, meaning this game could be a toss up. Marquette’s Lazar Hayward is one of the tournament’s more versatile players. He hits the boards, hits free throws and can shoot it outside of the paint. Washington’s Quincy Pondexter (19.8 ppg) and Isaiah Thomas (17.1) will prove a tough duo to stop for Marquette.
Midwest Region first round games
At Oklahoma City: No.9 Northern Iowa (28-4) vs. No.8 UNLV (25-8) – The Runnin’ Rebels have quietly built something special. But Tre’Von Willis (17.3 ppg) may not be enough to deal with a tough Northern Iowa squad. The Panthers play great defense. Look for a score somewhere in the high 50s or low 60s. The Panthers have two capable three-point shooters in Adam Koch and Kwadzo Ahelegbe.
At Providence: No.14 Ohio (21-14) vs. No.3 Georgetown (23-10) – Austin Freeman’s health won’t be an issue in this game. Along with Chris Wright, Georgetown has one of the best scoring backcourts in the country. The key is Greg Monroe. The 6-10, 250-pound sophomore can do everything with the ball. This one should be easy for the Hoyas.