By Josh Cook
The men's NCAA Tournament pairings were announced this evening, here is a quick glance at the field of 65 along with some analysis and a few predictions.
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Kansas is the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament, but the Jayhawks were rewarded with arguably the toughest region. Ohio State, the No. 2 seed, made a strong push for a No. 1 seed and boasts the best player in the country - Evan Turner. After a run to the Big East Conference Tournament final some expected Georgetown to receive a 2-seed, but the Hoyas are a 3 here. And you can't forget that last year's national runner-up, Michigan State, is a 5-seed in this region.
Possible first-round upset: New Mexico State over Michigan State. The Spartans haven't lived up to expectations this season, that could continue in the Big Dance.
Possible second-round upset: Georgia Tech over Ohio State. The 10th-seeded Yellow Jackets have tons have talent if they can put it together they could beat the Buckeyes.
Headed to St. Louis: Kansas, Maryland, Georgetown and Ohio State.
Bound for Indy: Kansas.
Syracuse was one of the dominant teams in the regular season, but the Orange fell to Georgetown in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. How much will the layoff and/or the injury to big man Arinze Onuaku hurt Syracuse? The Orange do have a potentially difficult second-round game against Gonzaga.
Possible first-round upsets: Murray State over Vanderbilt & UTEP over Butler. If the 13th-seeded Racers and the 12th-seeded Miners could be playing for the right to go to the Round of 16.
Possible second-round upset: BYU over Kansas State. Not too many people know about the Cougars, that will change if they beat the second-seeded Wildcats.
Headed to Salt Lake City: Syracuse, Murray State, Xavier, BYU.
Bound for Indy: Syracuse.
Kentucky is the overall No. 2 seed and for a reward (much like Kansas) the Wildcats were rewarded with the second-toughest region. West Virginia, the No. 2 seed in the region, could've easily been a No. 1 seed. New Mexico and coach Steve Alford, who looks exactly the same today as he did when he played at Indiana 23 years ago, is also a solid team. UK could face a former No. 1 team (Texas) in the second round.
Possible first-round upset: Cornell over Temple. The Big Red could pull off the big upset, especially if it shoots the ball well.
Possible second-round upset: Marquette over New Mexico. The Warriors' quickness could give the Lobos trouble.
Headed to Syracuse: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Marquette and West Virginia.
Bound for Indy: Kentucky.
Let's face it, Duke has a pretty easy road to the Elite Eight (sorry Cardinals' fans) at least. And maybe beyond. Villanova, the No. 2 seed, has struggled lately and Baylor is definitely the weaknest No. 3 seed. Then there's Purdue, which dropped to a 4-seed after losing star Robbie Hummel to injury late in the season.
Possible first-round upset: Siena over Purdue. The Boilermakers scored 11 (!) points in the first half against Minnesota in the Big Ten Conference Tournament semifinals, that's all we need to know.
Possible second-round upset: Notre Dame over Baylor. Luke Harangody's late-season return gave the Irish a boost in the Big East Tournament. Notre Dame, a 6-seed, might be able to carry that momentum to the Round of 16.
Headed to Houston: Duke, Siena, Notre Dame and Villanova.
Bound for Indy: Villanova.
Kansas would be a great national championship game, but here it's the national semifinal game. It would be a great one, but the Jayhawks would likely prevail. Meanwhile Kentucky would win the battle of the Wildcats. In the final it'll be Rock Chalk Jayhawk. Kanas will cut down the nets in Indianapolis.