NCAA Tournament Roundtable: Best Round One Matchups

    An NCAA Tournament roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff looking at the best round one matchups in this year's bracket.

    March 13, 2017

    An NCAA Tournament roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff looking at the best round one matchups in this year’s bracket.

    Jeff Bartl

    Must-see TV will be No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast in Orlando. Two in-state schools battling it out locally. One team is over-seeded, and the other has one of the most underrated players in the country in Brandon Goodwin. This isn’t the same FGCU team of Dunk City lore, but it’s going to be a tight battle no matter what.

    Honorable mention: No. 5 Virginia vs. No. 12 UNC-Wilmington; No. 4 Butler vs. No. 13 Winthrop; No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Nevada

    Dave Miller

    Let’s go with the intriguing battle in the East region, where No. 8 Wisconsin will battle No. 9 Virginia Tech. Greg Gard’s Badgers overcame a rough end to the regular season to make the Big Ten title game, while Buzz Williams and the Hokies endured a rugged ACC schedule to get battle-tested and into the Dance. Hokies guard Seth Allen is Mr. Clutch, while the Badgers have veterans who have been here before. We’ll see if this is the game that VT really misses its do-everything glue player, Chris Clarke.

    Honorable mention: The 5-12 game in the West region between Notre Dame and Princeton. The Tigers enter this matchup against the Fighting Irish on a 19-game win streak.

    Brian Stultz

    No. 12 Middle Tennessee vs. No. 5 Minnesota. Let’s be honest with ourselves: the Golden Gophers do not deserve a No. 5 seed, and the Blue Raiders are much better than a 12 seed. This will add up to an upset that will have the name Giddy Potts trending on Twitter.

    Robert Judin

    I’m going to roll with No. 8 Miami taking on No. 9 Michigan State. Sure, everyone loves a great Cinderella, underdog story. But I like the heavy-hitter matchups. Here we have two recognizable programs going toe-to-toe, in a coin-flip game. I love Miles Bridges’ game, but Michigan State can’t afford to pull punches with Miami. I think it could be very entertaining, and it’s really hard to bet against Tom Izzo in March.

    Sam Falcone

    Iowa State vs. Nevada absolutely has me dialed in. Many brackets will have the Wolf Pack pulling off the 12/5 upset over the Cyclones (mine included), but let’s give Iowa State some much deserved credit. The ‘Clones won the Big 12 Tournament and have one of the most dynamic players in the nation in Deonte Burton. The Wolf Pack certainly have the pieces to contain Burton in Cameron Oliver and Co., but Steve Prohm has kept the Cyclones relevant since taking over in Ames and his team won’t go down as easy as some may think.

    Kurt Schwerman

    Well you have your obvious choice in Wichita State vs. Dayton, but the one game that really piques my interest is the Florida State vs. FGCU game on Thursday night. Florida State is possibly the most overrated team in the tournament, and FGCU is a highly talented and often explosive offensive team who is capable of pulling off the upset. Add in that this game will be played in Orlando where both teams will surely have many fans in attendance, and this one has all the makings of a thriller.

    MORE: Here’s How Far Each No. 1 Seed Will Go In The NCAA Tournament


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