Top-seeded Memphis will get a couple of easy ones in the first two rounds, but
John Calipari's team will likely see either No. 4 Pittsburgh or No. 5 Michigan State in the Sweet 16. This is by far the most difficult half of a region in the
entire tournament, with a trio of teams capable of getting to the Final Four.
Texas earned the No. 2 seed on the bottom half, but the Longhorns could have
some issues with a couple of frontlines down the road — Miami and Stanford.
Stanford coach Trent Johnson and the Cardinal have earned a No. 3 seed, but
it'll be interesting to see how far it can go without great guard play.
Best first-round matchup
Marquette vs. No.
11 Kentucky — Plenty of guards and not a legitimate big man in this
game between two big-time programs.
Best potential matchup
No. 1 Memphis
vs. No. 4
5 Michigan State — I don't care which team Memphis has to play. The
Tigers probably won't get much of a test in the first two rounds, but a Sweet 16
contest against either the Big East champion Panthers or against Tom Izzo's
Spartans would be a terrific game.
Michigan State over No.
1 Memphis — The Spartans have been up and down, but Izzo is one of the
top tournament coaches — and Michigan State has quality guards, athletes and
— Randy Bennett is an underrated coach, and he's got a quality guard in Aussie
freshman Patrick Mills and athletic forward Diamon Simpson.
State — If the Spartans can get past No. 4 Pittsburgh, I think they'll
gain some momentum and pull off the upset against top-seeded Memphis. The key
will be whether Drew Neitzel and the Spartans' little guards can handle the
tough backcourts of Pittsburgh and Memphis.
Can Memphis get to the Final Four this season after a pair of Elite Eight
appearances in the last two seasons?
The two top academic schools face one another in the first round when No. 3
Stanford faces No. 14 Cornell.
Miami coach Frank Haith could play his former boss, Rick Barnes, in the second
round if the Hurricanes can beat Saint Mary's in the first round.
5 Players to Watch:
Best Player You've Never Heard of
Dionte Christmas, Temple
No. 9 Oregon
No. 10 Saint
Jeff Goodman is a senior college basketball writer for FOXSports.com. He can
be reached at GoodmanonFOX@aol.com
or check out his blog, Good