#11 Nebraska Cornhuskers (19-12, 11-7 Big Ten) vs #6 Baylor (24-11, 9-9 Big 12)
Game Time – 11:40 AM
Preview - Nebraska had some impressive wins this year against teams like Wisconsin and Michigan State. I always liked Terran Petteway when he was playing on our Red Raiders team. He transferred and is doing a terrific job at Nebraska being their star player averaging 18.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.6 apg. Baylor is a tournament team with loads of talent. They have won 10 out of their last 12 games. Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson will be too strong of a frontcourt for Nebraska to deal with. Also, look out for Brady Heslip to get a hot hand from downtown. I picked Baylor to win this game.
#9 Oklahoma State Cowboys (21-12, 8-10 Big 12) vs #8 Gonzaga Bulldogs (28-6, 15-3 WCC)
Game Time – 3:40 PM
Preview - Wow. This game has potential to be one of the best in the whole second round of this tourney. Gonzaga won the West Coast Conference championship and finished 28-6 overall. They have scorers with four players averaging double figures. Oklahoma State had a late season run that got them enough wins to go to this tournament. When they are on , it is hard to slow the Cowboys down. Marcus Smart and Phil Forte will tear apart just about any backcourt. Markel Brown has the ability to take over a game offensively. I picked Oklahoma State and their all-star backcourt talent over the Bulldogs.
#9 Kansas State Wildcats (20-12, 10-8 Big 12) vs #8 Kentucky Wildcats (24-10, 12-6 SEC)
Game Time – 8:40 PM
Preview - Usually you would hear of a K-State versus Kentucky NCAA tournament game in the Sweet Sixteen. We get the pleasure of seeing it in the second round. UK has had a tough time against top teams this season with 3 losses coming at the hands of Florida. They have their normal crew of star freshman led by Julius Randle, but UK has not been able to get consistent wins. The chemistry does not seem right on the team. K-State was nearly impossible to beat in Manhattan for most of the year. On the road they were just mediocre. Marcus Foster was the surprise standout freshman in the Big 12 and averaged 15.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, and 2.5 apg. He is not one of the household names that UK has, but he is a baller. I picked UK to win based on their overall talent on the roster.
#12 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (31-2, 18-0 Southland) vs #5 Virginia Commonwealth Rams (26-8, 12-4 Atlantic 10)
Game Time – 6:27 PM
Preview - This is the game everyone is talking about for the upset story. VCU is a team that has won a lot this year to teams like Virginia and Saint Louis. They have been to the NCAA tournament 4 years in a row. Shaka Smart has built a winner in the Atlantic 10 Conference and that is no easy task. SFA ran through an undefeated season in the Southland Conference. Their biggest competitors were Sam Houston State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. They hold an impressive 31-2 record, and have good players like Desmond Haymon and Jacob Parker. SFA has not made the Big Dance since 2009. I believe that VCU will win this game with experience on their side.