Best 1st Round Matchup: No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 10 Texas
Nevada ranks 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency nationally while, Texas ranks 10th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Nevada ranks 105th in adjusted defensive efficiency, while Texas ranks 94th in adjusted offensive efficiency. So yeah, it’s a classic clash in styles. Mohamed Bamba patrols the back end for the Longhorns and could be the difference in this one.
Most Dangerous Double-Digit Seed: No. 12 Davidson
Davidson beat Rhode Island twice in the final 10 days of the season, while also beating St. Bonaventure 82-70 by dropping 16 3-pointers. The Wildcats can shoot the lights out (39.3 percent as a team) and senior forward Peyton Aldridge (21.8 points, 7.8 rebounds per game) is a player.
Future NBA Draft Picks: DeAndre Ayton (Arizona), Mohamed Bamba (Texas), Kevin Knox (Kentucky), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Kentucky), Khyri Thomas (Creighton), Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), De’Andre Hunter (Virginia), Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky).
Ken Pom Says: Virginia is Pomeroy’s No. 1 team, while Cincinnati (No. 4), Tennessee (No. 11), Kentucky (No. 18) and Arizona (No. 21) are all in the top 25.
Don’t Forget About me: Kentucky
The Wildcats have finally begun to mesh, winning seven of their last eight games and finally playing up to their talent level. John Calipari’s kids rolled through the SEC Tournament with barely a concern and are locked in.
Best Coach in the Region: Tony Bennett
This was a tough pick, but Tony Bennett has earned the nod this year. The Cavaliers are 31-2 this season and earned the No. 1 overall seed. Virginia is 143-32 over the last five seasons but have yet to break through in the tournament. This could be the year.
Head Says: Arizona
Virginia has struggled in the NCAA Tournament and Sean Miller hasn’t gotten to the Final Four at Arizona. Something has got to give. Miller has the best player in college basketball at his disposal in Deandre Ayton and a stellar group around him on the perimeter. The Wildcats are rolling right now and should be incredibly difficult to beat, especially with Ayton on the floor.
Heart Says: Virginia
It’s about time for Bennett and the Cavaliers to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. This is a likable team that has been among the nation’s best consistently all season. It would be nice to see Virginia finally get to a Final Four.
Bracket Pick: Arizona
I’m not betting against Ayton or a team with an “us against the world” mentality.