The actual NCAA Tournament was canceled, but we’re still offering the chance to pick upsets and virtually watch your favorite teams advance, round-by-round to the Final Four.
You’ve probably already seen the results for Thursday’s first 16 contests; here are the tabulations for the second 16-game batch of opening-round contests from Friday.
No. 1 Gonzaga over No. 16 Siena
Your vote: Gonzaga wins, 92.4 percent to 7.6 percent
Thoughts: No surprise here. The Zags have six players averaging double-figure points, and one more checking in at 9.8. Zero chance Siena could somehow weather that balanced attack.
No. 8 Colorado over No. 9 Oklahoma
Your vote: Colorado wins, 53.8 to 46.2
Thoughts: This was a toss-up for you, and that makes sense. The Buffaloes and Sooners are ranked back-to-back in the KenPom ratings — 35th and 36th, respectively — and they’re both better defensive teams than offensive teams, by Pom ratings, though they’re not shabby offensively, either. This might not have been the prettiest game of the tournament, but it would have been one of the most competitive.
No. 5 Auburn over No. 12 Liberty
Your vote: Auburn wins, 69.2 to 30.8
Thoughts: After Auburn’s run to the Final Four last year, easy to see why you picked the Tigers despite their spot in the infamous 12/5 game. It’s just so much fun to pick a 12/5 upset, isn’t it? Well, you made the right choice here.
No. 4 Oregon over No. 13 New Mexico State
Your vote: Oregon wins, 74.8 to 25.2
Thoughts: This one would not have been threatening triple digits, I think it’s fair to say. New Mexico State ranked 343rd in the country with an average of 63.5 possessions per game, and Oregon was only slightly higher at 65.0 (319th). The difference probably would have been behind the 3-point line; Oregon was second in the country at 39.6 percent beyond the arc as a team, and New Mexico State was so-so defending it (161st in the country).
No. 6 BYU over No. 11 Wichita State
Your vote: BYU wins, 52.3 to 47.7
Thoughts: This was a bit closer than I expected, considering BYU might have been a seed low at 6, and the Cougars were just one of two teams to knock off Gonzaga this year (and they won by double-digits). But, I get it, it’s hard to bet against Wichita State in March, even though the Shockers only got to this point via their win over N.C. State in a First Four contest.
No. 3 Maryland over No. 14 UC Irvine
Your vote: Maryland wins, 80.0 to 20.0
Thoughts: The Terps had a few derps along the way, but the inside-outside combo of senior guard Anthony Cowan and sophomore big man Jalen Smith would have been more than enough to get past Irvine. You clearly agree.
No. 10 Arizona State over No. 7 Saint Mary’s
Your vote: Arizona State wins, 54.5 to 45.5
Thoughts: Arizona State has experience on its side, with four juniors — including stellar point guard Remy Martin, who averaged 19.1 points and 4.1 assists — and a senior getting heavy rotation minutes. And did we mention Martin, who is the type of player with a knack for the dramatic and seems destined to be an NCAA Tournament hero?
No. 2 San Diego State over No. 15 Boston Univ
Your vote: SDSU wins, 67.4 to 32.6
Thoughts: Remember yesterday how we said it was clear a lot of you watched Utah State’s win over SDSU in the Mountain West title game? Well, yeah. For a 2 seed to get only 67.4 percent of the vote says we were probably right.
No. 1 Baylor over No. 16 Little Rock
Your vote: Baylor wins, 91.9 to 8.1
Thoughts: The Bears, despite their late-season issues, would have had little trouble with Little Rock.
No. 8 LSU overNo. 9 USC
Your vote: LSU wins, 72.6 to 27.4
Thoughts: This was, by far, the most lopsided result from our 8/9 matchups. On paper, it would have been a fun battle of strength vs. strength. LSU had the nation’s fourth-best offense, according to KenPom’s adjusted efficiency, while USC had the nation’s 18th-best defense, according to KenPom’s adjusted efficiency. And I guess it didn’t matter that LSU hadn’t beaten an at-large caliber team since January, while USC finished its regular season with three such Ws in a row.
No. 5 Virginia over No. 12 Stephen F. Austin
Your vote: Virginia wins, 72.4 to 27.6
Thoughts: I thought Stephen F. Austin would get more support here, primarily because the Lumberjacks went into Cameron Indoor and beat Duke early in the season, and also because Virginia’s Jekyl-and-Hyde March performances the past two years might have influenced the selections. But, nope. You expected SFA, which was 28-3, to be easily dispatched.
No. 4 Wisconsin over No. 13 North Texas
Your vote: Wisconsin wins, 92.1 to 7.9
Thoughts: This is No. 1 seed stuff, folks. Wisconsin finished its regular season with eight consecutive wins, and you did not see that ending here.
No. 11 Texas Tech over No. 6 Penn State
Your vote: Texas Tech wins, 62.2 to 37.8
Thoughts: It’s an upset! Well, kinda. If this matchup and result had actually happened, zero chance it would have ever made any “most shocking upsets” lists, ever. The computer metrics loved Texas Tech — 22 in the NET, 21 at KenPom — even if the Red Raiders only actually won three of their 13 Quadrant 1 games, which was part of the reason they snuck in as an 11 seed.
No. 3 Kentucky over No. 14 Bradley
Your vote: Kentucky wins, 83.8 to 16.2
Thoughts: Bradley was one of the few teams that actually got to celebrate a title in March before everything shut down, winning the Missouri Valley tournament as the No. 4 seed. And maybe worth noting that Kentucky’s primary blemish this year came at the hands of a Missouri Valley squad; Evansville won at Kentucky, then proceeded to go 0-18 in Valley play.
No. 10 Florida over No. 7 Arizona
Your vote: Florida wins, 62.4 to 37.6
Thoughts: Like Texas Tech, Arizona was a team that the metrics loved; the Wildcats were 14th in the NET, despite going just 9-10 in Q 1/2 contests, which ain’t great. Unlike Texas Tech, though, you didn’t put much stock in the metrics, which is why Florida’s moving on.
No. 2 Villanova over No. 15 Winthrop
Your vote: Villanova wins, 84.4 to 15.6
Thoughts: Winthrop’s a plucky team, but Villanova knows a thing or two about winning in March. I see why you did what you did.
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