Doug's pick: Midwest Region first round games

The Midwest Region, with Kansas the No. 1 seed, is not as brutal as the West but it is no cakewalk for the Jayhawks. KU has been at or near the top of the polls all season, and for a very good reason. They are a Super Good basketball team.

Let's take a look at the game-by-game match ups in the first round.

No. 1 Kansas vs No. 16 Holy Cross: Why even talk about this match up. I watched Holy Cross win its conference tournament, and let's just say is as a big a mismatch as there is in the tournament. KU's reserves will see plenty of PT in this affair and Jayhawks will win by a big margin.

No. 8 Stanford vs No. 9 Western Kentucky: Chris Marcus and Curtis Borchardt are both 7-footers. Marcus has Shaq-like bulk, where Borchardt is long. Marcus is expected to be among the first six or seven players chosen in this year's NBA draft. However, Borchardt will give him problems than he's faced all season. Borchardt and Marcus might be a push, but the Hilltoppers don't have anyone like Casey Jacobsen. Jacobsen has an arsenal of weapons and he won't be easy to keep under control. If Marcus should get into foul and/or Jacobsen has a big day, it will be a long day for Western Kentucky. Stanford by 10.

No. 5 Florida vs No. 12 Creighton: Some folks are picking Creighton upset in this game. Brett Nelson, after fighting with a teammate and surgery to repair a broken cheek, might be fighting blurred vision today. If that's the case Creighton has a real chance. What the Bluejays don't have is a answer for Adonnis Haslem. Florida by 8.

No. 4 Illinois vs No. 13 San Diego State: The Aztec have gotten where are by riding the back of Syracuse transfer Tony Bland and company. Illinois has been riding Fankie Williams for three years Bottom line: Williams is much better than Bland. That's all you need to know. Illini by 15.

No. 6 Texas vs N o. 11 Boston College: Chris Owens and TJ Ford give Texas a lethal inside-outside attack. Boston College has super-point guard Troy Bell and a supporting cast that's been less than effective much of time during the regular season. Texas by 5.

No.3 Mississippi State v. No. 14 McNeese State: McNeese State, at a 14 seed is seeded too high and the Bulldogs are playing well at just the right time. Mississippi State wins big.

No. 7 Wake Forest vs No. 10 Pepperdine: Wake Forest can shoot the ball from the perimeter, but the Demon Deacons are slow, whereas Pepperdine will force the action with a press. The ACC is also, except for Duke and Maryland, a very overrated conference. Pepperdine advances.

No. 2 Oregon vs No. 15 Montana: The Ducks will race past the Big Sky Conference champions in such a rush, the Grizzlies will be chasing tail feathers all afternoon. This might be one of the biggest routs in the tournament if Luke Ridnour, Luke Jackson and Freddie Jones are nailing the three. Oregon by 20 or more.

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