The NCAA Tournament is coming to Viejas Arena in March for the second and third rounds. Here are the teams that I project Viejas Arena to host.
#16 vs. #1
The #16 seed is too hard to predict. It will be one of the worst teams that win their conference. It could be a team that barely finishes over .500. The number one seed on the other hand is much easier to have a guess. I think it will be either Wichita State or Arizona. However, I could also see Duke getting the one seed. Overall, I think Arizona will receive the one seed and come to San Diego unless they lose two or more games the rest of the season.
Prediction: American vs. Arizona
#9 vs. #8
Pittsburgh is currently 22-7 and it looks like they will be somewhere between the seven and 11 seeds. I think they will get the nine seed. I think they will play New Mexico. Since Viejas Arena is a Mountain West arena, the committee may feel more inclined to put New Mexico here.
Prediction: Pittsburgh vs. New Mexico
#13 vs. #4
This could be a premier game between the 13 seed and the four seed which could be Kentucky. They don’t normally travel very far, but this seems like the best place for them. The 13 seed is a little bit tougher. I think it will be St. John’s, but if Kentucky isn’t here, I think it will be Tennessee. The committee wouldn’t want to put both of them in San Diego since they are both in the SEC.
Prediction: St. John’s vs. Kentucky
#12 vs. #5
If Gonzaga doesn’t win the West Coast Conference they easily could fall to the #12 seed. They also aren’t a team that people in other cities really want to see, so I won’t be surprised when they plug them in here. Their opponent could be Iowa State. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the committee make this matchup because that would likely mean that Kentucky could make the Sweet 16.
Prediction: Gonzaga vs. Iowa State
You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP