2017 March Madness First Round Predictions And Winners
Have you already filled out your 2017 March Madness first round winners? Picking the winners on 36 games can be a hassle, but don’t make a mountain out of a molehill, start with the easy ones first. Here are a few sure winners.
First Round East
Villanova Wildcats vs Mount Saint Mary’s Mountaineers: Keep this in mind: 0-128. That’s the record facing Mount Saint Mary’s for No. 16 vs No. 1 seeds. There’s practically no possibility Villanova will not win this game. Now, will the Wildcats head on to win the national championship? That’s something else entirely.
Virginia Cavaliers vs UNC Wilmington Seahawks: 85 points per game on average; that’s the amount of points that UNC Wilmington scoring average this year. Then again, it’s also the amount of points Virginia Tech allows in a full week’s time.
First Round West
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: It’s very likely that with a 29-0 start, the Bulldogs will reach the Final Four this year. At the blazing pace they’re playing, there’s no way the Jackrabbits will keep up unless Mike Daum can pull off another 51-performance, the highest total by any player in the NCAA this season, such as he did against Fort Wayne back in February.
Iowa State Cyclones vs Nevada Wolf Pack: The Cyclones won the Big 12 title without much problems and head into this tournament winning nine out of their last 10 games. Monte Morris is a force of nature when he’s firing on all cylinders and I expect him to have a great performance. I’m not saying the Wolf Pack will be a pushover, because we all saw what can happen when they’re pushed into a corner (win over New Mexico with five minutes left and trailing by 18), but I think the Cyclones will jump ahead fast and win.
First Round South
North Carolina Tar Heels vs Texas Southern Tigers: Alright, it’s about time the Tar Heels get over Villanova’s Kris Jenkins’ game-winning shot for last year’s national title. It’s a brand new tournament and North Carolina is playing better than ever with plenty of new blood and some grizzled veterans. The Tar Heels have got this.
Kentucky Wildcats vs Northern Kentucky Norse: These two teams play just 69 miles from each other, but there’s a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon separating them when it comes to basketball. Case in point, it’s the first time for the Norse in the big dance. Compare that to the Wildcats’ 174th and nothing else need be said.
UCLA Bruins vs Kent State Golden Flashes: The Bruins have plenty of talent in their ranks; in fact, six of their players are averaging in double digits this year, apart from the fact that as a team they’re shooting 52 percent with an average of 90 points per game. That’s not to say the Golden Flashes can’t stand on their feet, they did beat the top three seeds in the league this year but UCLA is the better team.