NCAA Tournament: Thursday Night Preview/Predictions

March 19th, 2009

So many games, so little time. helps you out by cutting to the core of each Tournament game.


First Round: Thursday Night



Michigan vs Clemson



Favored: Clemson by 5

CHN Prediction: Clemson  (60% certainty)

Over/Under: 138


Star Watch: Clemson has better overall talent, but Manny Harris keeps UM in games

Nutshell: Tigers underrated as a 7 seed and should be too much for Michigan to handle.. unless Harris goes nuts.

At Stake: The ACC's #1 league status

Looming next: Oklahoma


Announcers: Brando/Gminski




Minnesota vs Texas



Favored: Texas by 4

CHN Prediction: Texas  (60% certainty)

Over/Under: 127


Star Watch: AJ Abrams hasn't shot well all season, but if he regains form, look out.

Nutshell: Minnesota is just one of many mediocre Big Ten teams the committee over-seeded.

At Stake: Another chance for Tubby to rub it in UK's face

Looming next: Duke


Announcers: Nantz/Kellogg




American vs Villanova



Favored: Villanova by 16.5

CHN Prediction: Villanova  (90% certainty)

Over/Under: 129


Star Watch: Garrison Carr will need to hit at least 7 threes to give American a shot.

Nutshell: American is a dangerous team. Too bad this game isn't on a neutral court.

At Stake: Low-Major pride.

Looming next: UCLA/VCU


Announcers: Enberg/Blackburn/Bilas




Akron vs Gonzaga



Favored: Gonzaga by 13

CHN Prediction: Gonzaga  (80% certainty)

Over/Under: 133.5


Star Watch: If anybody out there has found Jeremy Pargo's game, drop it off in Portland.

Nutshell: How Gonzaga fares against a well-coached Akron team could be a sign of whether this is their year.

At Stake: Mark Few's ability to cash in at a pristine BCS job

Looming next: Illinois


Announcers: Harlan/Bonner




Binghamton vs Duke



Favored: Duke by 21.5

CHN Prediction: Duke  (100% certainty)

Over/Under: 137


Star Watch: Binghamton's DJ Rivera is a nice player.. but nice doesn't beat Duke.

Nutshell: Duke always kills mediocre to bad teams.

At Stake: Duke's growing status as Tournament chokers

Looming next: Texas


Announcers: Nantz/Kellogg




Morgan St vs Oklahoma



Favored: Oklahoma by 16.5

CHN Prediction: Oklahoma  (90% certainty)

At Stake: Blake Griffin's clear #1 draft pick status

Over/Under: 136


Star Watch: If you don't know who Blake Griffin is, get off this site and return to PerezHilton immediately.

Nutshell: Morgan St has a couple nice BCS wins, but Maryland didn't have Blake Griffin.

Looming next: Clemson


Announcers: Brando/Gminski







Favored: UCLA by 8

CHN Prediction: UCLA  (60% certainty)

Over/Under: 136

Looming next: Villanova


Star Watch: Eric Maynor is VCU's big name, but watch out for Larry Sanders. He's the key.

Nutshell: UCLA is coming off 3 straight Final Four trips.. and still gets zero respect.

At Stake: The legacies of Maynor and Darren Collison


Announcers: Enberg/Blackburn/Bilas




Western Kentucky vs Illinois



Favored: Illinois by 4.5

CHN Prediction: Illinois  (55% certainty)

Over/Under: 125


Star Watch: With Chester Frazier out, Illinois needs Demetri McCamey to bring his A+ game.

Nutshell: Many (including Vegas), think this is going to be the day's big upset.

At Stake: The Big Ten being exposed for mediocrity

Looming next: Gonzaga


Announcers: Harlan/Bonner




Enjoy the games. Stop back at tonight and tomorrow for post-game reactions!