Kansas gets the top seed and stays close to home beginning in Kansas City. But can they survive to the second weekend?
Intriguing 2nd round games
#5 Virginia Commonwealth(26-8) vs. #12 Akron (26-6) 9:45pm Thursday Auburn Hills
VCU’s style of play is well known by now. “Havoc” makes opponents feel uncomfortable and if you don’t have a confident ball handler in control of the offense your team could be in serious trouble. Akron had that in point guard Alex Abreu until he got arrested for marijuana trafficking just before the MAC tournament. The Zips went on to win the tournament but now have to rely on freshmen guards to beat VCU.
#6 UCLA (25-9) vs. #11 Minnesota (20-12) 9:57pm Friday Austin
A young UCLA team makes it to the PAC 12 championship but lost freshman guard Jordan Adams to a broken foot in the tournament. Larry Drew III has had a resurrection as the Bruins point guard and freshmen Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson give the Bruins athleticism. Minnesota stumbled down the stretch but they have a veteran squad led by seniors Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams and Julian Welch that is capable of taking down UCLA.
Anticipated 3rd round game
#1 Kansas (29-5) vs. #8 North Carolina (24-10) Sunday Kansas City
It looks like the committee has a sense of humor here. The possibility of Roy Williams taking on Kansas (as a #1 seed) in Kansas City is no doubt going to be must-watch television on Sunday. But not only that, the Tar Heels have had a lot of success since going to a 4-guard line-up and have the talent to give the Jayhawks a big test .
In-game Match-up to watch
#4 Michigan (26-7) vs. #13 South Dakota State (25-9) 7:15pm Thursday Auburn Hills
Guards, guards guard. A National Player-of-the-Year candidate against one of the nation’s top scorers? Yes please. Michigan’s Trey Burke and his 3.31 assist to turnover ratio will take on South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters and his 22.7 points per game.