Pregame Shootaround: Happy Holidays!!!


GAME OF THE DAY: No. 11 Texas vs. No. 6 Butler, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)

To me, this is the most intriguing matchup of the entire Round of 64. Butler is the “favorite” if we’re talking about seeding, but Texas is actually going to be favored entering the game. The Longhorns are one of the most talented teams in the country on paper, but they have struggled all season long while perhaps no team in the country has performed above their talent level as well as the Bulldogs. Oh, and should I mention that Rick Barnes likely has his job on the line?

THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: No. 10 Ohio State vs. No. 7 VCU (TNT)

This one is obvious, right? D’Angelo Russell, the most entertaining guard in the country, goes up against ‘Havoc’, the most intense pressure defense in the country. Congrats to the good folks of Portland, by the way. Enjoy The Peppas. They’re the best.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 4 Georgetown vs. No. 13 Eastern Washington (truTV)

This seems almost too obvious, right? Georgetown has lost to a double-digit seed for five straight tournament appearances. Eastern Washington has the leading scorer in the country on their roster. They run the kind of offense — uptempo, ball-screen heavy — that can neutralize big man Josh Smith. Oh, and their head coach guaranteed a win.

This obviously means the Hoyas are going to win by 30.


  • No. 4 North Carolina vs. No. 13 Harvard, 7:20 p.m. (TNT): I’ve seen a lot of folks picking this upset, but I don’t see it. I think what Harvard does well is precisely what North Carolina does well. That said, the Crimson have won a game two straight NCAA tournaments.
  • No. 5 Arkansas vs. No. 12 Wofford, 9:50 p.m. (TNT): The Terriers are going to have their work cut out for them here, but they are a veteran team that isn’t going to be rattled by pressure. Protect the ball, beat the Razorbacks.
  • No. 5 Utah vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin, 7:27 p.m. (truTV): Stephen F. Austin picked off VCU is last year’s NCAA tournament. Do the Lumberjacks have it in them again?
  • No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 Georgia State, 1:40 (TBS): Another trendy upset pick that I don’t see happening. Yes, Georgia State has an awesome back court, but Rico Gathers might actually eat Georgia State’s entire front line today.


  • No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 14 Northeastern, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
  • No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 14 UAB, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
  • No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 Texas Southern, 2:10 p.m. (TNT)
  • No. 6 SMU vs. No. 11 UCLA, 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
  • No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 11 Ole Miss, 4:10 p.m. (TBS)
  • No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 16 Lafayette, 6:50 p.m. (TBS)
  • No. 8 Cincinnati vs. No. 9 Purdue, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
  • No. 8 N.C. State vs. No. 9 LSU, 9:20 p.m. (TBS)
  • No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 16 Hampton, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)