Andrew Sharos, former staff writer
Maryland (23-7, 13-3 ACC)
While not your traditional Cinderella coming from the ACC, Maryland has a solid shot at being a Sweet-16 team despite a seed line of 5, 6, or 7 depending on how they finish. Let me give you reason number one: Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez stuffs the stat sheet like few player in the country, averaging twenty points per game, five rebounds, and six assists. There is a ton of parity in the ACC this year, but the Terps are currently 11-3 and play Duke this week for, essentially, the ACC championship. Maryland has won five straight and has been pounding teams in a conference that should send at least six teams. The stars come out in the NCAA tournament. Vazquez won't let this team lose. Bet the Terps.
Editor's note: Andrew made this pick before Maryland's upset of Duke last week.
Utah State (25-6, 14-2 WAC) You do not have to tell any Marquette fans how tough this team is. This year's 2010 Aggie team is just as good as last years, if not better. Utah State leads the WAC conference by a game over New Mexico State. They pounded BYU in December, and if you watched the BYU/New Mexico Mountain West showdown last week, you probably realized how good basketball is in that conference. Ok, so what have you done for me lately? How does a 13 game winning streak sound right in the middle of conference play? If you are truly betting on the Aggies and not just picking them to win their first round game, consider this: Utah State is 15-9 against the spread this season. What does that mean? They are better than people think they are. Bet the Aggies.
Editor's note: Ken Pomeroy has Utah State rated as the No. 23 team in the country (right behind Marquette at 22) and Aggie forward Tyler Newbold as the nation's 16th-best offensive player.
Check back tomorrow to see Jeff Wolf's bracket-buster picks.