The Jimmer Fredette Mission hits the Big Easy looking to convert as many non-believers as three-pointers. Fredette’s sensational; one-man shows go only so far in the NCAA Tournament. He’ll need help from inside, because the Gators will look to win this game with power forwards Vernon Macklin and Patric Young, who can jump so high he left the “k” in his first name behind. Expect Erving Walker to pressure the Cougars’ defense and Billy Donovan to march back to the Elite Eight while some shrewd reporter goes to find the real story about this game: How many of BYU’s fans can stay true to their school’s Honor Code in the French Quarter (take the under on that one).
Southeast: If you believe success in the NCAA Tournament is dependent on guard play, coaching and the poise of upperclassmen, then “St. John’s” is a name you write into those blank lines on your bracket. Throw in a favorable draw and some intangibles like a chip on the shoulder and you may have the Red Storm going as deep as the Elite Eight, maybe even the Final Four. Temper that enthusiasm with sobering facts such as a loss to Fordham, an injury to the team’s third-leading scorer and lack of tournament experience, and you have a lot to mull over about the Red Storm.