First Round Matchups
#1 Kansas vs. #16 Penn
#8 Seton Hall vs. #9 NC State
Angel Delgado is the key to this game. NC State is a poor defensive rebounding team and has a below average overall defense. If Delgado can get offensive rebounds and score on the interior, Seton Hall will win.
Winner: Seton Hall
#5 Clemson vs #12 New Mexico State
New Mexico State's combination of elite defense and elite rebounding will be too much for a Clemson team who lost their best player in January.
Winner: New Mexico State
#4 Auburn vs # 13 College of Charleston
Auburn will win this due to second chance points and free throws.
#6 TCU vs #11 Syracuse
Syracuse plays at an extremely slow pace. Syracuse will rely on their elite defense to force steals and blocks, slow the game down, and get offensive rebounds and free throws.
#3 Michigan State vs. #14 Bucknell
Michigan state has a much better offense and defense than Bucknell and they will significantly out rebound them.
Winner: Michigan State
#7 Rhode Island vs #10 Oklahoma
Trae Young won't be able to carry this team to a win. He'll put up big numbers, but the supporting cast won't. Rhode Island will slow the game down, force steals, take care of the ball, and grab offensive rebounds.
Winner: Rhode Island
#2 Duke vs # 15 Iona
This Duke team is too good defensively for Iona to have a shot at a win.
Second round matchups
#1 Kansas vs #8 Seton Hall
This game depends on Azubuike's knee. If he's not fully healthy, Kansas' defense and rebounding will drop considerably. If he's not fully healthy, Kansas will barely win this. But if he's out, Kansas will lose. Assume he plays.
#4 Auburn vs #12 New Mexico State
Auburn's main source of offense is 3 pointers, offensive rebounding, and free throws. New Mexico State has one of the best 3 point defenses, is an elite rebounding team, and doesn't foul too often.
#3 Michigan State vs # 11 Syarcuse
Both teams are elite defenses. Michigan State has an elite offense and elite rebounding.
Winner: Michigan State
#2 Duke vs. # 7 Rhode Island
Duke is better than Rhode Island in every statistical category aside from turnovers per game.
Third Round Matchups
#1 Kansas vs #12 New Mexico State
New Mexico State doesn't have enough of the traits that 3 win 12-seeds have.
#2 Duke vs. #3 Michigan State
These teams are evenly matched. Duke will most likely win the turnover battle and foul less, and Michigan state will most likely win the rebounding battle. Duke can get free throws more consistently and that will be the key to this game.
#1 Kansas vs # 2 Duke
Kansas has faced teams with a great rebounder each round. This time they have to deal with two.