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NCAA Basketball Tournament Capsules

Mar 18, 2014 3:01 AM

(Note: Scoring is generally down this year as we officially begin Dancing this Thursday.)

ALBANY

Record: 18-14

Significant wins: Stony Brook.

Coming in: Won 6 of last 7.

Bottom line: Second straight year making the Dance. Probable 1 and done, but could be a nice dog play.

 

AMERICAN

Record: 20-12

Significant wins: None

Coming in: Won 5 of last 6.

Bottom line: Eagles won conference tourney. Lost by 11 to Ohio State. Lost to Mt. St. Mary’s. No Cinderella here.

 

ARIZONA

Record: 30-4

Significant wins: San Diego St., Duke, Michigan

Coming in: 7-2 in last 9

Bottom line: Wildcats were ranked No. 1 during the year and a deserving No. 1 seed. Tourney sites work in their favor.

 

ARIZONA ST.

Record: 21-11

Significant wins: Marquette, UNLV

Coming in: 2-5 in last 7.

Bottom line: Sun Devils were blown out by Stanford in Pac 12 tourney. Likely to exit this Dance early.

 

BAYLOR

Record: 24-11

Significant wins: Colorado, Kentucky

Coming in: 7-1 in last 8

Bottom line: Bears playing their best basketball of the season. Good karma from football and women’s hoop.

 

BYU

Record: 23-11

Significant wins: Stanford, Texas

Coming in: 10-2 in last 12

Bottom line: Gonzaga snapped Cougars’ 6-game winning streak in West Coast semis. Could make some noise ATS.

 

CAL POLY

Record: 13-19

Significant wins: Cal-Northridge

Coming in: Won last 3.

Bottom line: Big West champs lost 9 of 12 before running 3 in the tourney. Any 13-19 team deserves to lose.

 

CINCINNATI

Record: 27-6

Significant wins: NC State, Pittsburgh, Nebraska

Coming in: 5-4 in last 9

Bottom line: Bearcats won 15 straight before leveling off. Tough 2-point tourney loss to UConn. Dangerous.

 

COASTAL CAROLINA

Record: 21-12

Significant wins: Winthrop

Coming in: 5-game win streak.

Bottom line: Chanticleers have cool name and frigid NCAA numbers. First dance in 21 years so won’t have takers.

 

COLORADO

Record: 23-11

Significant wins: Harvard. Kansas

Coming in: 3-4 in last 7.

Bottom line: Were Buffaloed in PAC tourney by Arizona. Best to just look at the UNDER, which paid in last 5 games.

 

CONNECTICUT

Record: 26-8

Significant wins: Maryland, Indiana, Florida

Coming in: 5-2 in last 7

Bottom line: An UNDER machine, closing with eight straight below the total. Never take Huskies lightly.

 

CREIGHTON

Record: 26-7

Significant wins: Arizona St, Nebraska

Coming in: 3-3 in last 6

Bottom line: Between McDermott and blowing Villanova away twice, the Blue Jays can reach the Final Four.

 

DAYTON

Record: 23-10

Significant wins: Gonzaga

Coming in: 10-2 in last 12.

Bottom line: Beating Ohio State in first round would make their tournament. A likely 1 and done.

 

DELAWARE

Record: 25-9

Significant wins: William & Mary

Coming in: 19-2 in last 21 games

Bottom line: Blue Hens can consistently score in the 80’s. Trouble is the first round opponent is Michigan State.

 

DUKE

Record: 26-8

Significant wins: Michigan, UCLA

Coming in: 5-2 in last 7

Bottom line: For once the Blue Devils won’t be playing in New Jersey or North Carolina or Atlanta. And not their best team.

 

EASTERN KENTUCKY

Record: 24-9

Significant wins: Belmont

Coming in: On 7-game win streak.

Bottom line: Dan Patrick’s least favorite team is dancing. Colonels are no fans of Belmont, who were supposed to go.

 

FLORIDA

Record: 32-2

Significant wins: Florida St, Kansas, Memphis

Coming in: 26-game win streak.

Bottom line: All Billy Donovan does in Gainesville is take teams to the Final Four and win. Likely to happen again.

 

G.WASHINGTON

Record: 24-8

Significant wins: Creighton, Maryland, VCU

Coming in: 4-1 in last 5.

Bottom line: Colonels have to travel all the way to Salt Lake to face Memphis. That’s a long way to go to lose.

 

GONZAGA

Record: 28-6

Significant wins: BYU, W. Virginia.

Coming in: Won last 5.

Bottom line: Tough draw for Zags getting Okie State first and probably Arizona next. So much for this mid-major stuff

 

HARVARD

Record: 26-4

Significant wins: Boston Col

Coming in: 8-0 SU, 7-1 ATS last 8.

Bottom line: The most significant result was a 5-point loss at UConn. The Crimson will represent the Ivy well.

 

IOWA

Record: 20-12

Significant wins: Xavier, Notre Dame

Coming in: 1-6 SU in last 7

Bottom line: Hawkeyes in worst form of anyone in the Dance, failing to cover in its last 7 games. A bet against team.

 

IOWA ST.

Record: 26-7

Significant wins: Michigan, BYU, Iowa

Coming in: 7-2 last 9 before Baylor.

Bottom line: Could see North Carolina in the second round assuming an easy win over NC Central.

 

KANSAS

Record: 24-9

Significant wins: Duke, New Mexico

Coming in: 2-5 in last 7 games.

Bottom line: Losing the big center Embiid for at least part of the Dance devastating. Self, though, a super coach.

 

KANSAS ST.

Record: 20-12

Significant wins: Ole Miss, Gonzaga

Coming in: 3-game losing streak.

Bottom line: Wildcats have not won more than 2 in a row since Jan. 10. Sweet 16 at best and probably worse.

 

KENTUCKY

Record: 24-10

Significant wins: Louisville, Providence

Coming in: 3-4 in last 7.

Bottom line: Wildcats not up to past standards, although they did rally against Florida in SEC tourney final. Calipari!

 

LA LAFAYETTE

Record: 23-11

Significant wins: Texas

Coming in: 10-2 in last 12.

Bottom line: Ragin Cajuns lost to Louisville by 39 earlier in the season. Good news for Creighton.

 

LOUISVILLE

Record: 29-5

Significant wins: Connecticut

Coming in: 13-1 last 14 games.

Bottom line: Cardinals playing as well as anyone in the field. In my Final Four again and capable of repeating as champs.

 

MANHATTAN

Record: 25-7

Significant wins: Marist

Coming in: Won 5 straight

Bottom line: Jaspers happy to be Dancing. After facing Louisville will leave with nice parting gifts.

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Record: 24-8

Significant wins: Nebraska, PC, N.Mexico St

Coming in: 2-3 in last 5.

Bottom line: Strong nonconference record. Mass would have much better shot facing Iowa than Tennessee in first round.

 

MEMPHIS

Record: 23-9

Significant wins: Oklahoma State

Coming in: 7-4 in last 11.

Bottom line: Lost at Florida by only 2 so the Tigers are capable of making a run.

 

MERCER

Record: 26-8

Significant wins: Seton Hall, Ole Miss

Coming in: Won last 4 games.

Bottom line: Remember Florida Gulf Coast? This is the team that sent FGC home in league final.

 

MT. ST. MARY’S

Record: 16-16

Significant wins: Robert Morris

Coming in: 4-game win streak

Bottom line: From starting 0-5 to the Dance. The team most likely to lose first round just happy to be there.

 

MICHIGAN

Record: 25-8

Significant wins: Stanford, Florida St.

Coming in: 7-1 in last 8.

Bottom line: Wolverines can shoot the 3, but too many losses to elite teams to warrant Elite Eight support.

 

MICHIGAN ST.

Record: 26-8

Significant wins: Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas

Coming in: Won last 3.

Bottom line: Tom Barton’s boys. Sparty started 18-1 and do have Coach Izzo. Barton doesn’t miss many.

 

NEBRASKA

Record: 19-12

Significant wins: Michigan St., Ohio St.

Coming in: 8-2 last 10 games.

Bottom line: Huskers one the best in Big Ten down the stretch. Capable of an upset or two.

 

NC CENTRAL

Record: 28-5

Significant wins: Morgan State

Coming in: On a 20-game win streak.

Bottom line: The Eagles are clearly flying high, but it’s the MEAC! They get Iowa State first and last.

 

NEW MEXICO

Record: 27-6

Significant wins: Cincinnati, San Diego St.

Coming in: 9-1 in last 10.

Bottom line: Off big high winning Mountain West tourney at T&M. If scores stay low, Lobos could make Final Four.

 

N. MEXICO ST.

Record: 26-9

Significant wins: New Mexico, Idaho

Coming in: 9-1 in last 10.

Bottom line: Aggies won WAC final easily over Idaho, which isn’t saying it. They did beat rival Lobos, so can surprises.

 

N. CAROLINA

Record: 23-9

Significant wins: Louisville, Kentucky, Duke

Coming in: 12-2 last 14.

Bottom line: Heels did lose last 2 games, but Roy Williams always has them ready to Dance.

 

NC STATE

Record: 21-13

Significant wins: Tennessee

Coming in: F4-1 last 5.

Bottom line: Wolfpack could have easily been left out of the Dance. Forced to be involved in play-in game.

 

N. DAKOTA ST.

Record: 25-6

Significant wins: Notre Dame, IUPU-Ft. Wayne

Coming in: 9-game win streak.

Bottom line: Summit champs may do well against teams with acronyms, but have a better chance winning Scrabble.

OHIO STATE

Record: 25-9

Significant wins: Michigan State, Nebraska

Coming in: 0-7 ATS in last 7.

Bottom line: Buckeyes started the season 15-0. In Dance if you wish to take them, we say sit this one out.

 

OKLAHOMA

Record: 23-9

Significant wins: Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas

Coming in: 6-5 last 11.

Bottom line: Sooners better not look past North Dakota State in opening round. Not likely to reach Sweet 16.

 

OKLAHOMA ST.

Record: 21-12

Significant wins: Memphis, Texas, Kansas

Coming in: 5-2 in last 7.

Bottom line: All that Marcus Smart stuff and they still get in. That said, Cowboys can cause a lot of problems.

 

OREGON

Record: 23-9

Significant wins: Arizona, Georgetown, Illinois

Coming in: 8-1 last 9.

Bottom line: Lost to eventual PAC tourney champ UCLA. Ducks could make some major noise in this Dance.

 

PITTSBURGH

Record: 25-9

Significant wins: Stanford, NC State

Coming in: 5-2 last 7.

Bottom line: Hard luck team in Dance with 7 losses by 5 points or less. If Pitt ever figures out how to win close, look out.

 

PROVIDENCE

Record: 23-11

Significant wins: Vanderbilt, Creighton

Coming in: 6-1 last 7.

Bottom line: Friars caught lightning in a bottle to win Big East tourney. Will give anyone in the Dance trouble.

 

SAINT LOUIS

Record: 26-6

Significant wins: Wofford, Dayton

Coming in: Lost 4 of last 5.

Bottom line: Won 19 straight then hit the wall at the worst possible time. Either NC State or Xavier can beat them.

 

SAN DIEGO ST.

Record: 29-4

Significant wins: Creighton, Kansas, New Mexico

Coming in: 6-1 last 7.

Bottom line: Steve Fisher continues to a stellar job with Aztecs. Tough MWC title loss to New Mexico. Elite Eight in reach.

 

STANFORD

Record: 21-12

Significant wins: Connecticut, UCLA

Coming in: 3-4 last 7.

Bottom line: The Cardinal have to travel all the way to Philly to face New Mexico. They may prefer taking on the 76ers.

 

S.F. AUSTIN

Record: 31-2

Significant wins: Sam Houston St.

Coming in: 28-game win streak.

Bottom line: No big scalps, but Lumberjacks haven’t lost since late November. They have won 14 straight road games.

 

ST. JOSEPH’S

Record: 24-9

Significant wins: VCU

Coming in: Won 5 of last 6.

Bottom line: The Hawks play physical and smart, two traits MIA in today’s college hoop. Sweet 16 possibility.

 

SYRACUSE

Record: 27-5

Significant wins: Baylor, N. Carolina, Duke

Coming in: Lost 5 of last 7.

Bottom line: Orange started 25-0 and then forgot how to win. Figure to face Ohio State in second round. Take the UNDER.

 

TENNESSEE

Record: 21-12

Significant wins: Virginia, Xavier

Coming in: 5-1 last 6.

Bottom line: Crushed Virginia and hung tough in SEC title game with Florida. Vols one of my sleepers to do real well.

 

TEXAS

Record: 23-10

Significant wins: N. Carolina, Iowa St., Baylor

Coming in: 3-5 last 8.

Bottom line: If Longhorns get past Arizona State, they are likely to lose in second round to Michigan.

 

TEXAS SOUTHERN

Record: 19-14

Significant wins: Prairie View

Coming in: On 9-game win streak.

Bottom line: TSWAC tourney champs get 34-0 Wichita State if they get past Cal Poly in play-in game. Why bother?

 

TULSA

Record: 21-12

Significant wins: None

Coming in: Won last 11 games.

Bottom line: The Hurricanes did nothing until midseason and then rocked the C-USA house. On a 10-1 ATS run getting UCLA.

 

UCLA

Record: 26-8

Significant wins: Arizona, Alabama

Coming in: 5-1 in last 6.

Bottom line: Stock soaring after PAC tourney title win over Arizona. Give Alford credit both at New Mexico and Westwood.

 

VCU

Record: 26-8

Significant wins: Virginia, Saint Louis

Coming in: 5-1 in last 6.

Bottom line: Let’s stop calling VCU mid-major. “Shaka Khan” is a big-time coach. Smells blood when it comes to Dancing.

 

VILLANOVA

Record: 28-4

Significant wins: Kansas, Iowa

Coming in: 6-1 last 7.

Bottom line: Bad loss to Seton Hall in Big East tourney and those two blowout defeats to Creighton stand out.

 

VIRGINIA

Record: 28-6

Significant wins: Duke, N. Carolina

Coming in: 16-1 last 17.

Bottom line: Top ranked defensive team in the country. ACC champs for the first time in 33 years. Final Four.

 

WEBER ST.

Record: 19-11

Significant wins: North Dakota

Coming in: Won last 3 games.

Bottom line: Whipped North Dakota in Big Sky tourney. Weak league, weak schedule. Faces Arizona first. Sayonara.

 

W MICHIGAN

Record: 23-9

Significant wins: New Mexico St., Toledo

Coming in: 12-1 last 7.

Bottom line: MAC tourney champs, but played w weak schedule. Best result was 6 point loss to Missouri. Early exit.

 

WICHITA STATE

Record: 34-0

Significant wins: Tennessee, Saint Louis, Tulsa.

Coming in: Nation’s only unbeaten.

Bottom line: The deck is stacked against the Shockers. If they win the national title, they are the greatest NCAA team ever!

 

WISCONSIN

Record: 26-7

Significant wins: Florida, Virginia, Saint Louis

Coming in: 9-2 last 11.

Bottom line: Badgers have great nonconference resume, but just 1-4 ATS in last 5 makes us want to avoid them.

 

WISC-MILWAUKEE

Record: 21-13

Significant wins: Wright State

Coming in: Won 5 in a row.

Bottom line: Only reason they are dancing is Horizon title win over Wright State. They are hyphenated 1-and-done .

 

WOFFORD

Record: 20-12

Significant wins: Western Carolina

Coming in: Won last 3.

Bottom line: Won Southern Conference title we figured Davidson would have. Pronounced Woe-ford now.

 

XAVIER

Record: 21-12

Significant wins: Tennessee, Cincinnati

Coming in: 3-4 in last 7.

Bottom line: Xavier has a play-in game, but should have huge edge with game in Dayton. Could reach Sweet 16.

Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected].

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