NCAA Tournament: Thursday Night Preview/Predictions

    
March 19th, 2009

So many games, so little time. CollegeHoops.net helps you out by cutting to the core of each Tournament game.

 

First Round: Thursday Night

CBS

 

Michigan vs Clemson

7:10

 

Favored: Clemson by 5

CHN Prediction: Clemson  (60% certainty)

Over/Under: 138

 

Star Watch: Clemson has better overall talent, but Manny Harris keeps UM in games

Nutshell: Tigers underrated as a 7 seed and should be too much for Michigan to handle.. unless Harris goes nuts.

At Stake: The ACC's #1 league status

Looming next: Oklahoma

 

Announcers: Brando/Gminski

Watchability:

 

 

Minnesota vs Texas

7:10

 

Favored: Texas by 4

CHN Prediction: Texas  (60% certainty)

Over/Under: 127

 

Star Watch: AJ Abrams hasn't shot well all season, but if he regains form, look out.

Nutshell: Minnesota is just one of many mediocre Big Ten teams the committee over-seeded.

At Stake: Another chance for Tubby to rub it in UK's face

Looming next: Duke

 

Announcers: Nantz/Kellogg

Watchability:

 

 

American vs Villanova

7:20

 

Favored: Villanova by 16.5

CHN Prediction: Villanova  (90% certainty)

Over/Under: 129

 

Star Watch: Garrison Carr will need to hit at least 7 threes to give American a shot.

Nutshell: American is a dangerous team. Too bad this game isn't on a neutral court.

At Stake: Low-Major pride.

Looming next: UCLA/VCU

 

Announcers: Enberg/Blackburn/Bilas

Watchability:

 

 

Akron vs Gonzaga

7:25

 

Favored: Gonzaga by 13

CHN Prediction: Gonzaga  (80% certainty)

Over/Under: 133.5

 

Star Watch: If anybody out there has found Jeremy Pargo's game, drop it off in Portland.

Nutshell: How Gonzaga fares against a well-coached Akron team could be a sign of whether this is their year.

At Stake: Mark Few's ability to cash in at a pristine BCS job

Looming next: Illinois

 

Announcers: Harlan/Bonner

Watchability:

 

 

Binghamton vs Duke

9:40

 

Favored: Duke by 21.5

CHN Prediction: Duke  (100% certainty)

Over/Under: 137

 

Star Watch: Binghamton's DJ Rivera is a nice player.. but nice doesn't beat Duke.

Nutshell: Duke always kills mediocre to bad teams.

At Stake: Duke's growing status as Tournament chokers

Looming next: Texas

 

Announcers: Nantz/Kellogg

Watchability:

 

 

Morgan St vs Oklahoma

9:40

 

Favored: Oklahoma by 16.5

CHN Prediction: Oklahoma  (90% certainty)

At Stake: Blake Griffin's clear #1 draft pick status

Over/Under: 136

 

Star Watch: If you don't know who Blake Griffin is, get off this site and return to PerezHilton immediately.

Nutshell: Morgan St has a couple nice BCS wins, but Maryland didn't have Blake Griffin.

Looming next: Clemson

 

Announcers: Brando/Gminski

Watchability:

 

 

VCU vs UCLA

9:50

 

Favored: UCLA by 8

CHN Prediction: UCLA  (60% certainty)

Over/Under: 136

Looming next: Villanova

 

Star Watch: Eric Maynor is VCU's big name, but watch out for Larry Sanders. He's the key.

Nutshell: UCLA is coming off 3 straight Final Four trips.. and still gets zero respect.

At Stake: The legacies of Maynor and Darren Collison

 

Announcers: Enberg/Blackburn/Bilas

Watchability:

 

 

Western Kentucky vs Illinois

9:55

 

Favored: Illinois by 4.5

CHN Prediction: Illinois  (55% certainty)

Over/Under: 125

 

Star Watch: With Chester Frazier out, Illinois needs Demetri McCamey to bring his A+ game.

Nutshell: Many (including Vegas), think this is going to be the day's big upset.

At Stake: The Big Ten being exposed for mediocrity

Looming next: Gonzaga

 

Announcers: Harlan/Bonner

Watchability:

 

 

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