Gonzaga has accomplished a lot of firsts this season, and after climbing to the top of the polls and claiming the country’s #1 ranking they now find themselves as the #1 seed in the west region.
Intriguing second round match ups
#8 Colorado State (25-8) vs. #9 Missouri (23-10) 9:20pm Thursday Lexington
The #8/#9 game between Colorado State and Missouri a couple of very good rebounding teams. In fact it is 2 of the country’s top 4 rebounding squads. The Rams pull down 40.4 a game, 4th best in the nation and the Tigers are even better at 41.4 per game, 2nd in the country.
#6 Arizona (25-7) vs. #11 Belmont (26-6) 7:20pm Thursday Salt Lake City
A talented but young Arizona front court with the likes of Brandon Ashley, Caleb Tarczewski, Grant Jarrett and Angelo Chol takes on one of the best back courts in the tournament in Belmont’s Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson.
Anticipated 3rd round game
#4 Wisconsin (23-11) vs. #5 Kansas State (27-7) Sunday Kansas City
There is the possibility of a #4/#5 match-up between what might as well be two Big Ten teams as the 4th seeded Wisconsin Badgers could take on long-time Illinois, now Kansas State coach Bruce Weber. The game would not be Big Ten-esque in the coaching box but also on the floor as both teams like the grind it out beat you up toughness style of the conference and hope to keep the game in the 60s with Kansas State being just a little more up tempo.
In-game Match-up to watch
#7 Notre Dame (25-9) vs. #10 Iowa State (22-11) 9:45pm Friday Dayton
How will the 6-9 245 Lb. Jack Cooley who likes to stay rooted in the paint for Notre Dame handle the versatile 6-7 246Lb. Georges Niang of the Iowa State Cyclones? Niang is not adverse to drifting out on to the perimeter and knocking down some threes. Will Cooley be able to stay down low and defend the rim against the high-scoring Cyclones?