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Jeff Hufnagle

This year's crop of 8/9 games may provide to be some of the best yet. Arkansas may be closer to home, but Bucknell is going to be a sentimental favorite that a lot of people will be pulling for. Any of these games can go either way...as they usually do.

Just wanted to add two sleepers and duds for you:

#2 Tennessee vs. #15 Winthrop - Winthrop beat Marquette and almost beat Bama and Auburn. This is a GOOD team. The SEC isn't great, especially when on the road, and the locale for this game favors the Eagles. Winthrop has been knocking on this door the past couple of years. This is my upset of the bracket. Winthrop finally gets it done, and may actually have an easier game in the next round, depending on what you feel about Seton Hall and Witchita State.

#6 Indiana vs. #11 San Diego State - Not only did Indiana find a way to get into this tournament, but they're a good draw. San Diego State was one of those teams that may have lost their championship game and STILL have gotten in. Why? They can play, supposedly. Everyone is interested in the 'Cuse story, but we forget that IU got themselves in with some strong play down the stretch as well.

#7 Marquette vs. #10 Alabama - 'Bama may have beaten some of the top SEC teams, but they did them at home, and...well...just how good is the SEC? Best win on the road? Kentucky. Weren't the Wildcats fighting for their lives a week or two ago before the season's end? If South Carolina can beat them, then so can Marquette, who has played most everyone tough. 'Bama and Seton Hall don't belong. We'll see why this week.

#4 Kansas vs. #13 Bradley - Kansas has matured. This is a better and more poised squad than last year's over-confident bunch. Bradley comes in as a bubble-buster, working their way to the dance the honest way: solid play. These guys were ready to ball against the MVC, but against a team that just beat Texas? Bradley will look like they didn't belong out of all the MVC at-large's.

Toss up: when WSU beats the Hall, will Digger Phelps tip his hat to the Shockers, call it an ugly game overall, or say that WSU caught the Hall on a bad day?

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