So the first day of the 2015 NCAA Tournament was crazy. The East Bracket, with just 3 games on Thursday, did not disappoint. Villanova took care of business, winning easily. But in the 8/9 game, LSU choked away a win by missing their final 12 FGs and 6 FTs, giving NC State a window to complete their comeback and win in the final second. Friday, the East bracket has 6 games, so there are so many more chances for excitement. Let's take a look at the matchups, and how the Hoos would like them to shake out.
Game 3: #7 Michigan St vs #10 Georgia
Hoo Should We Root For: Georgia
Why: The Hoos face the winner of this game, and Michigan State is better than Georgia. That's about all the reason we need. We also would be saved from having to watch replay after replay from last year's sweet 16 loss to Michigan State. Also, Georgia appears (at a glance) to a better matchup for the Hoos. They aren't a very good shooting team, and we've seen how teams that can't shoot struggle against the Pack Line.
Game 4: #5 Northern Iowa vs #12 Wyoming
Hoo Should We Root For: Wyoming
Why: Because Northern Iowa could be the 2nd best team in this region (behind the Hoos of course), and the Hoos do not want to face them should both teams get that far. KenPom has UNI ranked 9th, and Wyoming ranked 86th. Frankly, I’d rather face Villanova than UNI at this point. Wyoming isn’t likely to win 3 games in a row against top 25 teams, considering they haven’t won one all year. But if they did, I’d like the Hoos chances in that potential Elite Eight matchup.
Game 5: #2 Virginia vs #15 Belmont
Hoo Should We Root For: Why are you even reading this?
Why: Seriously, just move on.
Game 6: #4 Louisville vs #13 UC Irvine
Hoo Should We Root For: Irvine
Why: The Hoos have already lost to Louisville once this year, and the other matchup was close. Those games are tough, physical battles. The first game caused Justin Anderson's injury, and the second game led to Anthony Gill tweaking his ankle. I'd just as soon not see Rick Pitino and the Cardinals again.
Game 7: #3 Oklahoma vs #14 Albany
Hoo Should We Root For: Albany
Why: My brother went to Albany. Not a good enough reason? Oklahoma is a lot better than Albany, but any upsets on our side of the bracket make our path to Indianapolis that much easier. Albany went 15-1 in the America East Conference and they have a veteran team. If they can get by OU, they can get by Providence or Dayton.
Game 8: #6 Providence vs #11 Dayton
Hoo Should We Root For: Providence
Why: Providence is a big team, one of the biggest in the country. Their height would give a smaller Oklahoma team problems should those two matchup in the Round of 32. Knocking off Oklahoma would make the Hoos' route to Indianapolis a bit easier. The Hoos would not have the same problems with Providence's height.
So there's your Friday. Keep it here for all your Wahoo NCAA Tournament coverage.