March 09, 2016
Yesterday, we updated where Villanova, Saint Joseph’s, and Temple stand in the minds of the bracketologists. We will be up in New York City for both the Big East and Atlantic 10 tournaments, while also keeping an eye on Temple down in Orlando.
How will the local teams fare during Championship Week? Here are my best guesses…
When/Where: Today through Saturday, Madison Square Garden
How many teams can realistically win? We’ll say five: ‘Nova, Xavier, Seton Hall, and the winner of Providence/Butler. The Big East doesn’t appear to have any teams on the bubble, but everyone in this group is safely in the NCAA Tournament.
Sleeper: Butler. The fifth-seeded Bulldogs have a Top-20 offense nationally, and if they can get by Providence, Butler gave Villanova two very competitive games during the regular season.
When/Where: Today through Sunday, Barclays Center (Brooklyn)
Favorite: No clear favorite, but Dayton is the top seed
How many teams can realistically win? Let’s go with the top four seeds: SJU, Dayton, VCU, and St. Bonaventure
Sleeper: Davidson. Again, I lean toward offense for the sleeper pick. Bob McKillop’s team is led by Jack Gibbs, the conference’s best scorer.
When/Where: Tomorrow through Sunday, Amway Center (Orlando, FL)
Favorite: No clear favorite, but Temple is the top seed
How many teams can realistically win? Five: Temple, Tulsa, Houston, Cincinnati, and UConn. And this tournament is so up for grabs, I would give each of these teams about a 20 percent chance to win.
Sleeper: Memphis. The Tigers haven’t shown enough consistency to make you think they can string three wins together, but they have the talent to make some noise.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann