at Raleigh, NC
No. 1 Duke (28-5) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall (21-9): Game time 11:10 am
Many factors make this game a tough pick. Duke has been through the battles of the ACC Conference and won the regular season title, so the Blue Devil know what it takes to win a war. But with their floor leader Chris Duhon suffering from bruised ribs and J.J. Redick suffering shooting woes, the Blue Devils are not a lock to move on. Seton Hall has the ability to play stifling defense and have the shooter that can hit big shots. Plus, in Kelly Whitney, they have a monster on the boards. If Duke fails to keep Whitney off the glass and limit second chance opportunities, the Pirates can pull the upset.
Doug's Pick: Duke
No. 3 Texas (24-7) vs. No. 6 North Carolina (19-10): Game time 5:10
Both teams survived a slow-down game in Round One, but this game should be much more exciting for the basketball fans in the area. Carolina has as good a starting five as anyone in the country. Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants can put a lot of points on the board, but neither is a great defender. But the Tar Heels lack depth along the frontline and that could be their Achilles Heel. Texas can send in a lot big bodies and wear UNC down. James Thomas is a horse in the paint, while Brian Boddicker and Brad Buckman and Jason Klotz can also hit the glass and or step outside and hit threes. Brandon Mouton can score in a number of ways. All in all the Longhorns simply have too many weapons for the Tar Heels to overcome.
Doug's Pick: Texas
at Denver, Colo
No. 4 Maryland (20-11) vs. No. 5 Syracuse (22-7): Game time 3:40
Gerry McNamara (16.2) hung 43 on BYU and yet the Cougars kept it close and the McNamara had to hit three late free throws to preserve the win. If the Orangemen are to survive another day they must get Hakim Warrick (19.6 ppg), and Billy Edelin (13.8) more involve. Jason Williams and John Tofi give Maryland a strong front line and if Syracuse cannot keep them off the glass it will be a very long afternoon for the Terps. I have to believe McNamara has done his damage for the season and without another big game from him Syracuse is toast.
Doug's Pick: Maryland
at Seattle, Wash.
No. 1 Stanford (30-1) vs. No. 8 Alabama (18-12): Game time 3:50
I actually thought Southern Illinois would send Alabama home in Round One. If hadn't been for a last second runner in the lane by Antoine Pettway, that dropped through as the horn sounded, the Tide would be watching Saturday's games on TV today. It doesn't get any easier for the Blazers. Stanford cruised past Texas-San Antonio in Round One and has scorers in five positions. Matt Lottich, Chris Hernandez and Josh Childress can all score from the perimeter. Rob Little, Matt Haryasz and Justin Davis, who is working his way back from a knee injury, the Cardinal have an imposing front line.
Doug's Pick: Stanford
at Buffalo, NY
No. 2 UConn (28-6) vs. No. 7 DePaul (22-9): Game time 6:00
DePaul survived two overtimes to edge past Dayton 76-69 in Round One, getting 28 points from Drake Diener. The Blue Demons got 13 rebounds from Delonte Holland and will have to get another big game from the two and some help from others to have any chance of upsetting the Huskies. Talik Brown and Ben Gordon, who combined for 28 points in the Huskies win over Vermont in Round One, are as quick and talented a backcourt as there is in the country and DePaul simply can't match up. Add Omeka Okafor's defensive skills in the middle and I'd say UConn is as much of a lock as anyone in Round Two.
Doug's Pick: UConn
ST. LOUIS REGION
at Seattle, Wash.
No. 2 Gonzaga (28-2) vs. No. 10 Nevada (24-8): Game time 1:20
Like Seton Hall against Arizona, Nevada trail by as many as 16 points before rallying late in the game to beat Michigan State. 6-6 two-guard Kirk Snyder is the go-to guy for Nevada and he hit a big three-pointer to put the Wolf Pack ahead to stay and move on against Gonzaga. With the win over the Spartans and an early season win over Kansas, Nevada has proven it can play with the big boys. Gonzaga hammered Valparaiso 76-49 behind the strong guard play of Blake Stepp, who had 13 points, nine assists and the imposing front line play of Ronnie Turiaf (15 pts, 4 rbs) and Corey Violette (13, 10). I don't see Nevada preventing the Bulldogs from advancing to St. Louis.
Doug's Pick: Gonzaga
EAST RUTHERFORD REGION
at Buffalo, NY.
No. 1 St. Joseph's (28-1) vs. No. 8 Texas Tech (23-10): Game time 5:10
The Hawks guard tandem of Delonte West and Jameer Nelson will difficult for the Red Raiders to contain. But Texas Tech's Andre Emmett, a 6-5 wing player with the ball skills to play on the wing or the strength take his game inside, is going to be tough for St. Joe's defend. Emmett, who had 20 points and six rebounds against Charlotte in the opener, will need another big game for the Red Raider to advance.
Doug's Pick: Texas Tech
at Raleigh, NC.
No. 4 Wake Forest (20-9) vs. No. 12 Manhattan (25-5): Game time 7:40
Wake had a very difficult time with VCU, while Manhattan handled Florida with relative ease on Thursday. It's not going to be any easier for the Deacons on Saturday. The Flames Luis Flores scored 26 points for Manhattan in the win over Florida, but the Flames also go hard to the glass. Wake Forest has three players that can hit the three with consistency, but Manhattan allowed the Gators only three threes Thursday. The Flames play a smothering man-to-man defense and their team quickness at both ends that is hard to handle.
Doug's Pick: Manhattan