Columbus St., Lees McRae, U. of the Sciences, and Fairmont are the 4 biggest Sweet 16 surprises - lets see if one of them can go farther. I'm pulling for Dennyj and conference mate Lees-Mcrae to continue their Cinderella run.
Of the big matchups tonight,
#1 Longwood vs. #4 SIUE - this will be a tough one for us. Definitely the 4 best teams left in the east.
#2 UCSD vs #3 St. Mary's (TX) - can Terry Coombs and company survive UCSD's senior-laden squad? St. Mary's has the advantage in coaching experience. I'm not picking any games in my bracket for fear of retribution.
#8 Fairmont St. vs. #4 Mercy - this is a great matchup between 2 teams that like to come out of nowhere and turn on the jets come tournament time. Kinf of feels like the Butler vs. VCU of DII Iba. Both teams are better than their seed. I think Mercy takes it - they're returning from a NT run and are scary.
#3 CSU Stanislaus vs. #10 U. of Sciences - two great veteran coaches matchup here. U. of Sciences have been on a tear since their horrific 2-8 non-conference start. I like Stanistlaus to win this one, and for U. of Sciences to be in the final four next season with all those great Jrs. and Sophs. Should be a very tight matchup.
#1 Humboldt vs. #12 Columbus St. - Those granola-crunching hippies up at Humblodt St. have a pretty tough super-class going on. I don't see how Columbus St. stands a chance - but that's what cinderella runs are all about.
#3 Bellarmine vs. #10 Lees-McRae - dennyj has built a very solid team at Lees-Mcrae that is peaking late - but I never bet against greenhawks' coaching. I'd go with Bellarmine in a tight one.
#1 CSUSB vs. #4 Wisconsin Parkside - defending champs Wisc. Parkside can win if they find a way to account for their major depth disadvantage - as far as starting talent, Wisc. Parkside is superior. I see W-Park pulling a close upset over the California super-class.
#2 Seattle vs. #3 Belmont Abbey - as much as I'd LOVE for conf. mates Belmont Abbey to knock out the only team that beat us in Seattle, I think Seattle's team is very strong.