NCAA Tournament: Friday Night Preview/Predictions

    
March 20th, 2009

So many games, so little time. CollegeHoops.net helps you out by cutting to the core of each Tournament game. Click on team names for stats, results, and more. "Matchup" links include helpful injury news, betting tips and information.

 

First Round: Thursday Night

CBS

 

Arizona vs Utah

7:10

 

Favored: Utah by 1.5

Over/Under: 135

More: Matchup

 

Star Watch: Arizona relies on its Big Three, but Utah needs 7-2 Luke Nevill (17 ppg) to play like a man

Nutshell: Arizona shouldn't even be in the Tournament, but will cause a lot of problems for over-seeded Utah

At Stake: With BYU losing yesterday, Utah must save the MWC's credibility

CHN Prediction: Utah (55% certainty)

 

Looming next: Wake Forest

 

Announcers: Eagle/Spanarkel

Watchability:

 

 

Morehead St.vs Louisville

7:10

 

Favored: Louisville by 21

Over/Under: 132

More: Matchup

 

Star Watch: Morehead's Kenneth Faried (13 ppg) has been on a tear. The sophomore is legit.

Nutshell: Perhaps Morehead hangs tight early, but Cardinals have way too much talent in the end.

At Stake: Honestly, not much.

CHN Prediction: Louisville  (95% certainty)

 

Looming next: Ohio St

 

Announcers: Lundquist/Raftery

Watchability:

 

 

USC vs Boston College

7:20

 

Favored: USC by 2.5

Over/Under: 135

More: Matchup

 

Star Watch: BC is 11-2 when Tyrese Rice (17 ppg) score 20 or more, including the UNC/Duke wins.

Nutshell: Two teams who accomplished virtually nothing in non-conference play.

At Stake: Whether USC's Pac-10 title run was just your run of the mill conference tourney fluke.

CHN Prediction: USC (55% certainty)

 

Looming next: Michigan St

 

Announcers: Johnson/Wenzel

Watchability:

 

 

Portland St. vs Xavier

7:25

 

Favored: Xavier by 10

Over/Under: 135.5

More: Matchup

 

Star Watch: Xavier must stop inconsistent PG Jeremiah Dominguez (13 ppg) from going off for 20+

Nutshell: Xavier's had a fine season, but their lack of a true PG is a problem with no solution.

At Stake: A loss by Xavier would be a huge blow to the Non-BCS conferences.

CHN Prediction: Xavier  (70% certainty)

 

Looming next: Florida St

 

Announcers: Bolerjack/Wenzel

Watchability:

 

 

Siena vs Ohio St.

9:40

 

Favored: Ohio St by 3

Over/Under: 142

More: Matchup

 

Star Watch: Ohio St star Evan Turner (17 ppg) would easily average 20+ on a higher tempo team.

Nutshell: Siena, everyone's mid-major darling hasn't beaten a tourney-quality team all season.

At Stake: Whether Siena's SOS-induced high RPI is just a statistical oddity.

CHN Prediction: Ohio St  (60% certainty)

 

Looming next: Louisville

 

Announcers: Lundquist/Raftery

Watchability:

 

 

Cleveland St. vs Wake Forest

9:40

 

Favored: Wake Forest by 7.5

Over/Under: 137.5

More: Matchup

 

Star Watch: In January Jeff Teague (19 ppg) was arguably the nation's top player. He needs to reclaim the mojo.

Nutshell: Contrasting styles as methodical CSU will try and slow down up-tempo Wake.

At Stake: A win by Gary Waters would be another huge slap in the face to former employer Rutgers.

CHN Prediction: Wake Forest  (70% certainty)

 

Looming next: Utah

 

Announcers: Eagle/Spanarkel

Watchability:

 

 

Robert Morris vs Michigan St

9:50

 

Favored: Michigan st by 16.5

Over/Under: 133

More: Matchup

 

Star Watch: Everything RMU does revolves around senior Jeremy Chappell (17 ppg)

Nutshell: The Big Ten champs get oddly little respect, but should roll against the Colonials.

At Stake: Whether the Spartan doubters are in the right.

CHN Prediction: Michigan St  (90% certainty)

 

Looming next: USC

 

Announcers: Johnson/Elmore

Watchability:

 

 

Wisconsin vs Florida St.

9:55

 

Favored: FSU by 2.5

Over/Under: 121

More: Matchup

 

Star Watch: FSU's Toney Douglas (21 ppg) has been solid all season, but most fans have recently jumped on the bandwagon.

Nutshell: Never count out a Bo Ryan team, but this year's Badgers seem awfully similar to the '06 team that lost in Round 1.

At Stake: FSU has a similar reputation to Clemson for under-achievement. Will the Noles choke out early like the Tigers?

CHN Prediction: Florida St  (60% certainty)

 

Looming next: Xavier

 

Announcers: Bolerjack/Wenzel

Watchability:

 

 

Enjoy the games. Stop back at CollegeHoops.net tonight and tomorrow for post-game reactions!