BY: NEIL BRASLOW
2012 NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD : 5-1
East Region: KANSAS STATE (8) OVER SYRACUSE (1) – After clearly being outplayed for the entire game against UNC Asheville, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim claimed “I think the better team won.” As long as the refs call a somewhat competent game, Kansas State beats the Orange who will be without Fab Melo for the remainder of the tournament. Syracuse was out of sync before he was ruled ineligible, and they are even more unorganized without him. Kansas State pulls the upset.
South Region: VCU (12) OVER INDIANA (4) – Indiana looked great Thursday night against New Mexico State. They shot 7 for 13 on 3 pointers and 59% overall. However, they will not be able to repeat that kind of shooting performance against VCU. New Mexico State had a ton of size so Indiana ran them around for 40 minutes and tired them out. VCU is too athletic for Indiana to succeed with that kind of game plan. VCU continued their tournament magic against an extremely talented Wichita State team on Thursday. Similar to Butler last year, until they lose, keep picking them. VCU pulls another upset.
West Region: MARQUETTE (3) OVER MURRAY STATE (6) – Murray State has been a great story this year. Entering the game at 31-1, they have been nearly flawless all year. However, they have not played a game against a single team left in the field. They will finally be put to the test against an athletic and talented Marquette squad that looked awfully good while crushing BYU by 20 points. Expect Murray State’s journey to come to an end against a superior team. Marquette wins.