17 March 2015

2015 First Four Predictions

The 2015 NCAA Tournament kicks off tonight with the First Four in Dayton. Of course, we all know that it is ridiculous that this is considered the "first round" when only eight teams are involved but that change is coming next year, fortunately. You've got a doubleheader tonight, a doubleheader tomorrow before the real action commences on Thursday afternoon.

Here are my predictions for the First Four.

TV Schedule

Tuesday, March 17th
16 Hampton vs. 16 Manhattan - truTV, 6:30
The winner of this contest gets the pleasure of getting crushed by facing off with Kentucky on Thursday in Louisville. Hampton is the worst team in the tournament and Manhattan's aggressive defense will cause issues with the mediocre offense for the Pirates.
Pick: Manhattan

11 BYU vs. 11 Ole Miss - truTV, 9:00
Given the prolific offenses for both the Cougars and the Rebels, and the mediocre defenses for both (Ole Miss is 200th in points allowed while BYU is a whopping 315th), this game will see a ton of points on both sides. I think that even in a shootout, BYU has the advantage behind the electric Tyler Haws and the triple-double machine that is Kyle Collinsworth. That will mean that they will take on Xavier in Jacksonville on Thursday.
Pick: BYU

Wednesday, March 18th
16 North Florida vs. 16 Robert Morris - truTV, 6:30
The winner here will get to take on Duke on Friday in Charlotte, so we know who will have that home-court advantage. North Florida is making their NCAA Tournament debut right here and I think they are the superior club to the Colonials, especially on offense. That will power them though.
Pick: North Florida

11 Boise State vs. 11 Dayton - truTV, 9:00
Yes, Dayton will be playing at their home court, the first time since 1987 that a team will be at home since the 1987 tournament. Dayton should not even be in the First Four, quite frankly, with their resume but alas. These two are relatively even per KenPom but I think the stout defense of the Flyers as well as their favorable situation will push them on to Columbus.
Pick: Dayton

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