16 That Could Go All The Way And The Other 48+1

March 18, 2008 6:00 PM
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CONNECTICUT (Big East)

Record: 24-8, 15-13 ATS

Over / Under: 16-12 over.

Highlights: Went 16-1 at home.

Key results: Defeated Indiana, Marquette, Pitt, West Virginia; Lost to Gonzaga, Memphis, Georgetown; Split with Notre Dame.

NCAA history: 27 appearances, 2 national titles; 2 Final 4’s.

Outlook: Never discount any Jim Calhoun team. The Huskies came on in the second half of the season. They don’t have to face Providence again, so an Elite 8 appearance is possible.

DRAKE (Missouri Valley)

Record: 28-4 SU, 20-8 ATS

Over / Under: 15-14 under.

Highlights: 28 wins most in school history.

Key results: Defeated Butler, Iowa State. Lost to St. Mary’s (CA).

NCAA history: First appearance since 1970-71 season.

Outlook: Watch out for the Bulldogs, who were 5-0 ATS as an underdog. Bracket buster win over Butler shows that this team can definitely handle the pressure.

DUKE (ACC)

Record: 27-5 SU, 16-14 ATS

Over / Under: 18-11 over.

Highlights: Coach K’s 800th career win. 2-0 ATS as an underdog.

Key results: Defeated UNC, Marquette, Wisconsin, Davidson, Cornell; lost to Pitt, Miami FL, Wake Forest.

NCAA history: 3 national titles, 14 times in Final 4.

Outlook: The book on the Blue Devils is they live by the 3-point shot. Any team that can defeat North Carolina in Chapel Hill is very capable of running the table. A definite Final Four contender.

G’TOWN (Big East)

Record: 27-5 SU, 13-16 ATS

Over / Under: 18-11 under.

Highlights: Big East champ, tourney runnerup.

Key results: Defeated Alabama, Marquette, Michigan; Lost to Memphis, Pittsburgh, Syracuse.

NCAA history: A 4-time finalist, won in 1984.

Outlook: Georgetown reached the Final Four last year and are capable of at least an Elite 8 berth. To reach the Final 4 again, Hibbert must step up big at center.

KANSAS (Big 12)

Record: 28-3 SU, 16-12 ATS

Over / Under: 16-13 over.

Highlights: Won first 20 games before losing to K-State.

Key results: Defeated Arizona, USC, Miami, Ohio; Lost to K-State, Texas, Oklahoma St.

NCAA history: 2 national titles, 5-time finalist, 5 times in semis.

Outlook: Kansas last visited the finals in 2003 and has the parts to at least equal that feat. Right now, the Jayhawks are playing as well as anyone in the tourney.

LOUISVILLE (Big East)

Record: 24-8 SU, 17-13 ATS

Over / Under: 18-12 under.

Highlights: Have gone 22-3 since 2-3 start. Won 9 straight.

Key results: Defeated Georgetown, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pitt, Miami, O; Lost to BYU, Purdue, UConn.

NCAA history: 2 national titles, 8 Final Four berths.

Outlook: Typical Louisville, peaking in second half of season after a slow start. Pitino’s team has played inspired ball since David Padgett returned. Can go all the way.

MEMPHIS (C-USA)

Record: 33-1 SU, 15-16 ATS

Over / Under: 17-16 under.

Highlights: Won first 26 games. 2-0 ATS as an underdog.

Key results: Defeated Georgetown, USC, UConn, Oklahoma Arizona, Gonzaga; lost to Tennessee.

NCAA history: 1973 finalist, 1985 Final 4, Elite 8 last two years.

Outlook: Memphis was ranked No. 1 for the first time in 25 years. Outstanding nonconference record makes Memphis a solid bet to reach the Final Four – if they can make free throws.

N.CAROLINA (ACC champ)

Record: 27-2 SU, 17-7 ATS

Over / Under: 17-9 over.

Highlights: Ranked No. 1 three times.

Key results: Defeated Kentucky, Ohio St, Davidson, BYU, Kent St.; Lost to Duke and Maryland.

NCAA history: 5 national titles, last in 2005.

Outlook: With Tyler Hansbrough probable National Player of the Year, the Tar Heels figure to be a No. 1 seed and never leave North Carolina until the semifinals. Final Four team.

PITTSBURGH (Big East)

Record: 26-9, 17-13 ATS

Over / Under: 17-13 over.

Highlights: 12-1 nonconference, 16-2 home, 14-3 as favorite.

Key results: Defeated Duke, Georgetown; Lost to UConn, Notre Dame,Louisville, Marquette; Split with West Virginia.

NCAA history: 19 appearances, 4 Sweet 16’s since 2002.

Outlook: The Panthers are led by Sam Young, a first-team Big East selection. Coach Dixon’s may be able to make the Sweet 16 a fifth time this decade, but not any further.

STANFORD (Pac-10)

Record: 26-7, 17-16 ATS

Over / Under: 15-17 under.

Highlights: Went 16-1 at home, 22-4 as favorites.

Key results: Defeated Washington St., Arizona (twice); Lost to UCLA (twice); split with Southern Cal and Oregon.

NCAA history: National title (1942), two Final 4’s.

Outlook: Cardinal will go as far as 7-foot Twin Tower Lopez twins take them. Coach Johnson’s team just average (8-5) on the road, will need decent seeding to move far into Big Dance.

TENNESSEE (SEC)

Record: 29-4 SU, 16-12 ATS

Over / Under: 13-16 under.

Highlights: First-ever No. 1 ranking after win over Memphis. 5-0 ATS as an underdog.

Key results: Defeated West Virginia, Memphis, Gonzaga, Xavier; Lost to Texas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky.

NCAA history: 3 straight appearances. Best finish a Sweet 16.

Outlook: Vols known for 7 national women’s titles under Pat Summitt, but Bruce Pearl has made his mark. Chris Lofton is a deadly shooter and there’s depth. But producing an NCAA champ out of a weak SEC is pretty doubtful.

TEXAS (Big 12)

Record: 24-6 SU, 14-12 ATS

Over / Under: 14-12 under.

Highlights: Knocked off three No. 1-ranked teams.

Key results: Defeated Tennessee, UCLA, Kansas; Lost to Michigan State, Wisconsin.

NCAA history: 10 straight appearances. Final 4 in 2003.

Outlook: A legitimate championship contender. The Longhorns ended the regular season on an 0-3 ATS slide, but have had an great year without NBAers Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge.

UCLA (Pac 10)

Record: 31-3 SU, 19-13 ATS

Over / Under: 18-15 over.

Highlights: 4 streaks of at least 5 straight wins, longest 9.

Key results: Defeated Michigan St, Davidson, Wash St (2), Arizona (2), Stanford, USC; lost to USC, Texas, Wash.

NCAA history: 11 national titles, last in 1995.

Outlook: The Bruins are a solid pick to reach the Final 4 for the third straight year. UCLA arguably is the top defensive team in the country, which bodes well in the NCAAs.

WASHINGTON ST (Pac-10)

Record: 24-8, 16-15 ATS

Over / Under: 15-15 under.

Highlights: Stellar records nonconference (12-0), as favorite (19-3) and on road (10-3) in cracking the Top 25.

Key results: Defeated Oregon (twice), Gonzaga; Lost to UCLA (twice), Stanford and Arizona.

NCAA history: National title (1917), one Final Four.

Outlook: Bennett’s Cougars have four starters in double-figures and played in one of toughest conferences. Have their work cut out to reach the Sweet 16.

WISCONSIN (Big 10 champion)

Record: 29-4 SU, 16-13 ATS

Over / Under: 19-10 under.

Highlights: Have won 21 of their last 23 games.

Key results: Defeated Texas, Michigan St, Indiana (twice); Lost to Duke, Marquette.

NCAA history: 10 straight appearances, 1 national title (1941).

Outlook: The Badgers have become the most consistent team In the Big Ten over the past three seasons. Wisconsin’s offense has improved and can be considered a title contender.

XAVIER (Atlantic 10)

Record: 27-6 SU, 13-15 ATS

Over / Under: 15-13 under.

Highlights: Won 12 of last 13, beat Virginia by 38.

Key results: Defeated Indiana, Belmont (TN); Lost to Tennessee, Arizona St.

NCAA history: 19 NCAA’s including last 3; Elite 8 in 2004.

Outlook: The Musketeers gave Tennessee a battle, losing by 7. With a solid resume of success in the Dance, it would not surprise to see Xavier in the Round of 16, at least.

NCAA THE REST OF THE FIELD

AMERICAN (Patriot)

Record: 21-11 SU, 0-1 ATS

Over / Under: 1-0 under

Highlights: 9-1 in last 10 games.

Key results: Defeated Maryland; Lost to Morgan St,

Dayton, Maryland-Baltimore County.

NCAA history: First appearance.

Outlook: The Eagles have finally landed in the Dance,

but an unimpressive 8-7 nonconference record against

a less than stellar schedule means an early exit.

ARKANSAS (SEC)

Record: 21-10 SU, 12-15 ATS

Over / Under: 14-14

Highlights: 14-2 record at home, 15-3 SU as a favorite.

Key results: Defeated Oral Roberts, Baylor, Vanderbilt; Lost to

Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky; Split with Miss St.

NCAA history: 6 Final 4’s, national champ in 1994.

Outlook: The Razorbacks make the Dance this year on

reputation and a solid home court record. A weak SEC

helped, but the luck should run out early on the Hogs.

ARIZONA (Pac 10)

Record: 19-14 SU, 16-13 ATS

Over / Under: 17-13 over

Highlights: 24th straight Dance longest active streak

Key results: Defeated Texas A&M, UNLV; Lost to Kansas,

Virginia, Memphis, UCLA (twice); Split with USC.

NCAA history: 6 Final 4’s, national champ in 1994.

Outlook: Despite a 20th straight 20-win season, the Cats

were basically .500 against the league. Lute Olson

is coming back next year, but that won’t save 2008.

AUSTIN PEAY (OVC)

Record: 24-10 SU, 10-18 ATS

Over / Under: 17-15 over.

Highlights: Have won 11 of their last 12 games.

Key results: Defeated Belmont; Lost to Akron, Evansville. Played

few teams outside the Ohio Valley Conference.

NCAA history: 4 appearances, last in 2003.

Outlook: The Governors enter the Dance on a six-game win

streak. Peay has won four OVC titles, but a very weak non-league

schedule figures to send the Govs home early.

BAYLOR (Big 12)

Record: 21-10 SU, 13-11 ATS

Over / Under: 18-6 over.

Highlights: 5-OT win over Texas A&M, 116-110.

Key results: Defeated Winthrop, Notre Dame. Lost to Kansas,

Washington St, Arkansas, Texas (twice). Split with A&M.

NCAA history: first appearance since 2003 NCAA scandal.

Outlook: The Bears have had to live with the 2002 death of

forward Patrick Dennehy, but made the Top 25 for the first

time in 35 years. If there is a Cinderella, this is it.

BELMONT (Atlantic Sun)

Record: 25-8 SU, 4-2 ATS

Over / Under: 5-1 over.

Highlights: Currently on 13-game win streak.

Key results: Defeated Alabama, Cincinnati. Lost to Austin

Peay, Xavier.

NCAA history: Third straight NCAA appearances.

Outlook: The Bruins are no UCLA, having been no higher than a

15 seed. The 41-point loss to Xavier gives little hope that

Belmont can last more than a furlong.

BOISE STATE (WAC)

Record: 25-8, 15-11 ATS

Over / Under: 18-8 over

Highlights: Beat New Mexico State in WAC final.

Key results: Defeated San Diego, BYU, Nevada (twice);

Lost to Washington St, Siena, Utah State (twice).

NCAA history: First appearances since 1994.

Outlook: The Broncos have to be taken seriously off

25 wins and could be an early-round Cinderella. One

tends to believe off a 107-102 triple-OT WAC title win.

BUTLER (Horizon)

Record: 29-3 SU, 17-13 ATS

Over / Under: 16-15 under.

Highlights: Ranked in Top 20 most of the year.

Key results: Defeated Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Michigan,

Florida State; Lost to Drake.

NCAA history: fifth appearances this decade, 8-8 record.

Outlook: You can no longer call these Bulldogs a Cinderella,

Similar to another bunch of Bulldogs at Gonzaga. A trip

to the Elite 8 would not be a surprise.

CAL FULLERTON (Big West)

Record: 24-8, 18-8 ATS.

Over / under: 15-12 over.

Highlights: Beat Cal-Irvine by 15 to win Big West.

Key results: Defeated Wright St, Montana (twice); Lost to Arizona,

St. Mary’s, CA.

NCAA history: Second appearance, first since 2003

Outlook: The Titans are known for more baseball, but their record

Against the spread is to be respected. Fullerton enters the Dance

winning 10 of its last 11. Figure to leave early, but could cover.

CLEMSON (ACC)

Record: 24-10, 18-13.

Over / Under: 18-13

Highlights: Defeated Purdue, Miss St, Alabama; Lost to Ole Miss,

North Carolina (three times); Split with Duke, Miami, FL.

NCAA history: First appearance in Dance since 1998.

Outlook: If the Tigers don’t run into their old nemesis North

Carolina, they could make quite a run in the Dance. A definite

bet-on team until they lose.

COPPIN ST (MEAC)

Record: 16-21, 2-2 ATS.

Over / Under: 2-2

Highlights: Defeated Morgan State in MEAC finals.

Key results: No significant wins. Lost to Xavier, Ohio State, Indiana,

Marquette, Missouri, Arizona State.

NCAA history: Fourth trip, first since 1997.

Outlook: The only team in the Dance with more than 20 losses. It’s

A miracle the Eagles are even here. They lost to a number of

NCAA tourney teams and big. They may not even leave Dayton.

CORNELL (Ivy)

Record: 21-5 SU, 9-7 ATS

Over / Under: 11-6 under.

Highlights: 14-game win streak, fifth Ivy title.

Key results: No major nonconference wins. Lost to

Syracuse by 16, lost to Duke by 14.

NCAA history: Third appearance, but first since 1988.

Outlook: Although setting a school-best record for wins

in a season, The Big Red figures to be one and done

off no significant nonconference victories.

DAVIDSON (Southern)

Record: 26-6, 17-12 ATS

Over / Under: 18-11 under.

Highlights: Have won 22 straight after 4-6 start.

Key results: Defeated Winthrop; lost to NC, Duke,

UCLA but covered all three and stayed within 10 points.

NCAA history: 9 appearances, 2 Elite Eight berths.

Outlook: Undefeated (21-0) in conference, Wildcats will

be tough first round draw. Led by Stephen Curry (25.1 ppg),

son of NBA’s Dell Curry. Capable of Sweet 16 run if all goes right.

GEORGE MASON (Colonial)

Record: 23-10 SU, 13-15 ATS

Over / Under: 17-13 over.

Highlights: Beat William & Mary to win conference title.

Key results: Defeated Kansas St, Cleveland St, Dayton. VCU,

South Carolina. Lost to Villanova, Kent St.

NCAA history: five appearances, Final 4 in 2006.

Outlook: The Patriots don’t figure to have the magic of

2006 or Tom Brady, but they do own a number of solid

nonconference scalps. A live underdog.

 

GEORGIA (SEC)

Record: 18-16, 17-13 ATS

Over / Under: 17-12 over.

Highlights: 4 wins in 3 days en route to SEC title.

Key results: Defeated Kentucky, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech;

Lost to Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Kentucky (2), Vandy (2).

NCAA history: Made Final 4 in 1983.

Outlook: Call these Dawgs a team of destiny. If another

Tornado hits, definitely take Georgia and the points. Otherwise,

It’s probably a quick trip back to Athens.

GONZAGA (WCC)

Record: 25-7 SU, 17-15 ATS

Over / Under: 16-16

Highlights: Finished on 8-1 run, WCC runnerup.

Key results: Defeated UConn, W.Kentucky, St. Joseph’s;

Lost to Tennessee, Memphis, Oklahoma.

NCAA history: 10th straight berth, best 1998 quarterfinals

Outlook: Few is a 7-time West Coach Conference

Coach of the Year, testament to the Zags’ steady talent

pool. Consistent first round winner, but not much more.

INDIANA (Big Ten)

Record: 25-7, 13-65 ATS

Over / Under: 15-14 over.

Highlights: 19-3 as favorite and 14-4 in conference.

Key results: Defeated Kentucky, Purdue, Ohio St (twice); Lost to Xavier,

UConn, Wisconsin (twice); Split with Michigan St

NCAA history: 5 NCAA titles, third-most in history. 8 Final 4’s.

Outlook: Hoosiers had both the Conference Player of Year (DJ White)

and Freshman of Year (Eric Gordon). Team has hung together after

Kelvin Sampson firing, but more than second round is doubtful.

KENT STATE (MAC)

Record: 28-6 SU, 17-11 ATS

Over / Under: 15-14 under

Highlights: Best record in the MAC.

Key results: Defeated St. Mary’s (CA), George Mason;

Lost to Xavier, North Carolina.

NCAA history: 5 appearances, Elite 8 in 2002.

Outlook: Any team with 25 wins is a threat, but the Golden

Flashes don’t have much of a non-league resume. They

could reach the Sweet 16 if UNC isn’t in the way.

KENTUCKY (SEC)

Record: 18-12 SU, 14-13 ATS

Over / Under: 15-12 under

Highlights: 11-3 overall in last 14 games

Key results: Defeated Arkansas; Lost to UNC, Louisville, UAB,

Indiana, San Diego; Split with Florida, Vandy, Tennessee.

NCAA history: 7 national titles, second all-time to UCLA.

Outlook: To think the Cats lost to Gardner Webb and made

the Dance is tribute to the amazing midseason coaching job

of Billy Gillispie. But, even with Ashley Judd, UK exits early.

MARQUETTE (Big East)

Record: 24-9, 15-12 ATS

Over / Under: 15-12 over.

Highlights: 11-1 nonconference, 14-2 as a favorite.

Key results: defeated Wisconsin, Oklahoma St, Pitt; lost to Duke,

Syracuse, Georgetown, UConn, Louisville, WVU; split with ND.

NCAA history: National title (1977), three Final 4’s.

Outlook: Played incredibly weak non-conference schedule but Crean’s

Golden Eagles cut teeth in tough Big East. Four starters in

double-figures, but average road mark (6-5) could be damaging.

MIAMI, FL (ACC)

Record: 22-10 SU, 15-9 ATS

Over / Under: 14-11 under

Highlights: Got off to 12-0 start.

Key results: Defeated Miss St, Providence, Maryland; Lost to

Winthrop, Duke, UNC; Split with Clemson.

NCAA history: fifth appearance, made Sweet 16 in 2000.

Outlook: The Hurricanes once gave up basketball in the early ‘70s

and NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry is an alum. Other than that, this

is still a football school. Yet, they can pass the first round.

MICHIGAN ST (Big 10)

Record: 25-8, 16-14 ATS.

Over / Under: 16-14.

Highlights: 19-2 SU as favorite, 12-1 vs nonconference teams.

Key results: Defeated Texas, BYU, Indiana; Lost to UCLA, Wisconsin; split

with Purdue, Ohio St.

NCAA history: 2 NCAA titles, six Final 4’s.

Outlook: Coach Izzo’s Spartans are led by studs Neitzel and Suton

but were in a weak Big 10 and had an unimpressive nonconference

schedule. Hard pressed to make it past two rounds in Dance.

MISSISSIPPI ST (SEC)

Record: 22-10, 14-15 ATS.

Over / Under: 16-11 under

Highlights: SEC West regular season title.

Key results: Defeated Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida; Lost to

Clemson, Miami (FL), South Alabama, Tennessee.

NCAA history: 9 appearances, Final 4 in 1996.

Outlook: The Bulldogs have been under the radar in the SEC with the

likes of Tennessee, Vandy, Kentucky and Florida getting the hype. MSU

played Clemson and Miami tough. Could sneak into Sweet 16.

MISS VALLEY ST (SWAC)

Record: 17-15 1-3 ATS.

Over / Under: 3-1 under

Highlights: SWAC tournament champion.

Key results: No significant wins; Lost to Pittsburgh, Washington St,

Baylor, Tulsa, Air Force.

NCAA history: First trip since 1996.

Outlook: The Delta Devils have won their last nine games, but all

against SWAC opponents. The nonconference slate was a wreck,

Including a horrific 26 points against Washington St. Easy out.

MT ST. MARY’S (Northeast)

Record: 18-14, 1-0 ATS

Over / Under: 0-1 under.

Highlights: Have won eight of nine heading into Big Dance.

Key results: Defeated Navy, Winthrop, Sacred Heart (Northeast final);

Lost to Oklahoma, Oregon.

NCAA history: 3 appearances, first since 1999.

Outlook: The upstart Mountaineers rely heavily on Brice Brooks and

Drew Shubik. Not likely to see their buddy Winthrop in the Dance,

so chances are it’s a quickie visit.

NOTRE DAME (Big East)

Record: 24-7, 15-13 ATS

Over / Under: 18-10 over.

Highlights: 37-game home win streak In South Bend.

Key results: Defeated Kansas St, West Virginia, Pittsburgh; Lost

to Georgetown, Louisville; UConn, Marquette.

NCAA history: 29 appearances, 4 Elite 8’s (last in 1979).

Outlook: AD did team no favors with tepid early schedule. Coach Brey’s

Boys will go as far as star Harangody takes them. But asking the Irish

to win six road games is a weakness they probably can’t conquer.

OKLAHOMA (Big 12)

Record: 22-11, 14-16 ATS

Over / Under: 18-12 under.

Highlights: 6-2 overall in last 8.

Key results: Defeated Gonzaga, Arkansas, West Virginia, Baylor (twice);

Lost to Memphis, USC, Kansas, Texas (twice).

NCAA history: have made either NCAA or NIT in 12 of last 13 years

Outlook: With two losses to Texas and a 30-point whipping from Kansas

figure the Sooners to be later regarding a long Dance run. Could be

a candidate for a first round defeat.

ORAL ROBERTS (MCC)

Record: 24-8, 2-2 ATS

Over / Under: 2-2 under.

Highlights: Third straight Mid-Continent title.

Key results: Defeated Oklahoma St; Lost to Arkansas, Texas,

Utah State.

NCAA history: 5 appearances, Elite 8 in 1974

Outlook: Not much line action in Vegas on the Golden Eagles,

which did little do distinguish themselves in nonconference play.

ORU may dominate Mid-Continent, but not much else.

OREGON (Pac Ten)

Record: 18-13, 15-13 ATS.

Over / under: 15-13 under.

Highlights: 15-4 as favorite, 9-3 nonconference.

Key results: Defeated Arizona (2), Mt St. Mary’s, Kansas St; Split with ASU,

Stanford; Lost to St. Mary’s, USC (2), UCLA (2) Washington St. (3).

NCAA history: 1 national championship, 1 Final Four.

Outlook: The three losses to Washington State and sweep by the SoCal

teams reveal the Ducks just aren’t as good as they were last year. They’re

lucky to be involved.

PORTLAND STATE (Big Sky)

Record: 23-8, 15-12 ATS

Over / Under: 17-9 over.

Highlights: 6-2 in conference, won 14 of last 15.

Key results: Defeated Akron, Portland, Northern Arizona; Lost

to UCLA, Washington St (twice).

NCAA history: First-ever appearance.

Outlook: Coach Bone and his squad are led by Jeremiah Domingues,

Deonte Huff and Scott Morrison, all of whom average over 10 ppg. They

could be a very tough first round opponent, and then again… 

PURDUE (Big Ten)

Record: 24-8, 18-11 ATS.

Over / Under: 15-14 over

Highlights: An overachieving 15-3 in conference play.

Key results: Defeated Louisville, Wisconsin (twice); Lost to Clemson,

Missouri; Split with Michigan State, Ohio State.

NCAA history: 2 Final Fours.

Outlook: Although conference down, Boilermakers not a team you want

to draw in opening round. Two rounds, though, is asking a lot.

SAN DIEGO (WCC)

Record: 20-13 SU, 21-8 ATS.

Over / Under: 17-11 under.

Highlights: Upset top 2 seeds to win conference tourney.

Key results: Defeated St. Mary’s (twice), Gonzaga, Kentucky. Lost to

Gonzaga (twice), St. Mary’s, UNLV, USC, South Alabama.

NCAA history: First tourney berth since 2003.

Outlook: Not likely the Toreros can advance too far, but they are as

good as it gets against the spread. San Diego is 9-1 ATS in its last 10

and 21-8 overall. If getting a bunch of points, look their way.

SIENA (Metro Atlantic)

Record: 22-10 SU, 17-13 ATS.

Over / Under: 18-12 under.

Highlights: Beat Ryder in conference final to gain NCAA berth.

Key results: Defeated Stanford. Lost to Syracuse, Cornell,

St. Joseph’s, Memphis..

NCAA history: Fourth appearance, second round twice.

Outlook: The Saints have Stanford’s number, winning in the Dance

once, beating them as the 20th ranked team another year and

winning again this season.Too bad the other 62 aren’t Stanford.

 

SOUTH ALABAMA (Sun Belt)

Record: 26-6 SU, 18-9 ATS.

Over / Under: 14-13 over.

Highlights: 13-game win streak, including victory over Miss St.

Key results: Defeated Miss St, San Diego, W. Kentucky (twice).

Lost to Vanderbilt (OT), Ole Miss.

NCAA history: Fourth appearance, never past first round.

Outlook: The NCAA resume is without a win, but twice USA lost

to the eventual national champion. So, you may want to take

note of the Jaguars’ first opponent in the Dance.

ST. JOSEPH’S (A-10)

Record: 21-12, 19-12 ATS

Over / under: 18-13 over.

Highlights: 16-5 as favorite, 9-4 nonconference (9-2 ATS).

Key results: Defeated Massachusetts (twice), Villanova; Split with

Xavier; Lost to Gonzaga.

NCAA history: 18 tournament appearances.

Outlook: A-10 a bit down this year and Hawks schedule fairly easy. With

Ferguson, Nivins, Carr and Calathes, St. Joe’s can hold its own in the

irst two rounds. But, that’s about it.

ST. MARY’S, CA (WCC)

Record: 25-6, 17-11 ATS

Over / Under: 18-9 under

Highlights: Breaking into AP Top 25 poll

Key results: Defeated Drake, Oregon, San Diego; Lost to Texas,

San Diego (twice); Split with Gonzaga.

NCAA history: Third appearance, all since 2005.

Outlook: The Gaels are coming out from the shadow of Gonzaga

In the West Coast Conference, though were hurt in seeding with

a second loss to San Diego. Sweet 16 a possibility..

TEMPLE (A-10)

Record: 21-12 SU, 21-9 ATS

Over / Under: 21-12 under.

Highlights: Beat St. Joe’s to win Atlantic 10 tourney.

Key results: Defeated Xavier, UMass, St. Joseph’s (twice);

Lost to Duke, Tennessee, Villanova, Providence.

NCAA history: First appearance since 2001.

Outlook: It’s Fran Dunphy’s team and not the legendary

John Chaney, as the Owls finally make it back to the Dance.

Off seven straight wins, Temple is a dangerous opponent.

TEXAS ARLINGTON (Southland)

Record: 20-10, 1-0 ATS.

Over / under: 1-0 over

Highlights: Beat Northwestern St in Southland final.

Key results: Defeated TCU, Oklahoma St; Lost to Wichita St,

Western Illinois.

NCAA history: First-ever appearance.

Outlook: Started strong (8-0) and finished stronger. Compiled a

Solid 13-3 nonconference road, though most of the opponents

were cupcakes. Could be an interesting first round opponent.

UMBC (American East)

Record: 24-8 SU, 1-0 ATS

Over / Under: 0-0.

Highlights: First-ever American East title.

Key results: Defeated George Washington, American;

Lost to West Virginia, Ohio St.

NCAA history: First appearance.

Outlook: Maryland-Baltimore County breaks new ground

as the American East rep in the Dance. The Retrievers

won’t play American, so a first round exit is almost certain.

USC (Pac-10)

Record: 21-11, 18-12 ATS

Over / Under: 17-13 under.

Highlights: Went 13-5 at first-year Galen Center.

Key results: Defeated Oregon (twice), Oklahoma; Lost to

Wash St. (twice), Kansas, Memphis; split with UCLA, Arizona.

NCAA history: Made Final 4 twice, never national champs.

Outlook: Coach Floyd’s youthful group is led by freshmen

Mayo and Jefferson. Trojans have played a tough enough

schedule to make another nice run this time around.

VANDERBILT (SEC)

Record: 25-7, 15-16 ATS

Over / Under: 17-14 over

Highlights: 16-0 start, upset of No. 1 Tennessee.

Key results: Defeated Austin Peay, UMass, Utah St, Miss St;

Lost to Alabama, Arkansas; Split with Tenn, Kentucky, Florida.

NCAA history: 1 Elite 8 (1965), 5 Sweet 16’s (last in 2007).

Outlook: The Commodores were 19-0 in Nashville, but the music

isn’t so sweet lately. Vandy is 1-2 since beating the Vols. Vandy

is known for living by the 3. History on their side for a Sweet 16.

 

VILLANOVA (Big East)

Record: 20-12, 12-17 ATS

Over / Under: 19-10 under.

Highlights: 10-2 nonconference record.

Key results: Defeated George Mason, Pittsburgh, Connecticut;

Lost to Georgetown (twice), Notre Dame, Marquette, Louisville.

NCAA history: 29 appearances (42-28 record), 1985 champion.

Outlook: The Wildcats are athletic and capable of hitting from

3-point land. They were outgunned by Georgetown in the Big

East tourney, but should reach at least the second round.

WEST VIRGINIA (Big East)

Record: 24-10, 13-13 ATS

Over / Under: 15-13 under.

Highlights: 11-2 nonconference in Coach Huggins first year.

Key results: Defeated Marquette, Winthrop; Lost to UConn, Georgetown,

Notre Dame, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Louisville.

NCAA history: Third berth in 4 years, Sweet 16 in 2006, 1959 runnerup.

Outlook: Pittsnogle has graduated, but the Mounties have Alexander

The Great. Joe blitzed UConn for 32 and 34 points in a two-week span.

If he stays hot, Jerry West could have a front row seat at the Final 4.

WESTERN KENTUCKY (Sun Belt)

Record: 27-6, 17-13 ATS

Over / Under: 17-13 under.

Highlights: 17-1 overall record in last 18 games.

Key results: Defeated Michigan, Nebraska; Lost to Gonzaga, Tennessee,

Southern Illinois, South Alabama (twice).

NCAA history: Final four back in 1971. In top 10 all-time victories.

Outlook: There really isn’t enough of a nonconference hit list to think

the Hilltoppers will spend more than a weekend in the Dance. The entire

hot streak has come against Sun Belt competition.

WINTHROP (Big South)

Record: 22-11 SU, 3-1 ATS

Over / Under: 3-1 under.

Highlights: Have won 13 of their last 17 games.

Key results: Defeated Georgia Tech, Miami (FL); Lost to Baylor,

West Virginia.

NCAA history: 9 appearances, 7 this decade.

Outlook: The Eagles have been a consistent first round pain,

but have never really made a dent in the Dance. Probably

one and done again.