Feast Week predictions, brackets


This is one of the greatest weeks of the season, a week in which tournament games fill our televisions and computer screens nearly all day long. Before things tip off in Maui, let's take a look at what seven of our experts project for each of the major tourney finals. Feel free to leave your own predictions in the comments section ... and let the debate begin!

Maui Invitational

Tournament bracket

Andy Katz: Michigan State over Washington

Dana O’Neil: Michigan State over Washington

Eamonn Brennan: Michigan State over Kentucky

Diamond Leung: Michigan State over Washington

Jay Williams: Michigan State over Kentucky

Fran Fraschilla: Michigan State over Washington

Jay Bilas: Doing color commentary for Maui games, so no predictions

Doug Gottlieb: Michigan State over Washington

Joe Lunardi: Michigan State over Kentucky

Don’t be surprised …

... if I’m completely wrong here and Kentucky is able to manage a rebounding disparity and run away from the other teams in the field with its disruptive style. (Katz)

... if Washington wins fairly easily against a young Kentucky team. (Leung)

... if Wichita State beats Connecticut. The Shockers have size, experience and maturity. This game is a fair fight, but WSU needs to take care of the ball. (Bilas)

... if Michigan State takes an early loss. The Spartans are known for the occasional early season slipup under Tom Izzo -- few coaches understand the season is a marathon and not a sprint like Izzo -- and this year's field is deep and talented. MSU is too good to project as anything but the tourney champion, but it also wouldn't be a huge shock if Sparty isn't playing for the championship on Wednesday. (Brennan)

CBE Classic (in Kansas City)

Tournament bracket

Katz: Duke over Kansas State

O’Neil: Duke over Kansas State

Brennan: Kansas State over Duke

Leung: Duke over Gonzaga

Williams: Duke over Kansas State

Fraschilla: Duke over Kansas State

Bilas: Duke over Kansas State

Gottlieb: Duke over Kansas State

Lunardi: Kansas State over Duke

Don’t be surprised …

... if Marquette makes Duke play an ugly, slow-down game. The Golden Eagles aren’t as talented, but should be able to get the Blue Devils into a game they don’t want to play. (Katz)

... if Gonzaga gives the Wildcats all they can handle in the semifinal. (O'Neil)

... if the pseudo-home crowd in Kansas City lifts K-State to an upset of No. 1 Duke on Tuesday. (Lunardi)

NIT Season Tip-Off (in New York)

Tournament bracket

Katz: Villanova over VCU

O’Neil: Villanova over VCU

Brennan: Villanova over VCU

Leung: Villanova over VCU

Williams: Villanova over Tennessee

Fraschilla: Villanova over Tennessee

Bilas: Villanova over VCU

Gottlieb: Villanova over VCU

Lunardi: Villanova over Tennessee

Don’t be surprised …

... if Tennessee goes 0-2 in New York. It’s hard for me to believe that the Volunteers won't be distracted with the circus-like atmosphere that came as a result of the SEC’s decision to suspend Bruce Pearl for the first eight SEC game days. (Katz)

... if Tennessee and VCU make you tired watching what could be a track meet of a basketball game. (O'Neil)

Great Alaska Shootout (in Anchorage)

Tournament bracket

Katz: Arizona State over St. John’s

O’Neil: Weber State over St. John’s

Brennan: St. John's over Arizona State

Leung: St. John’s over Arizona State

Williams: St. John's over Arizona State

Fraschilla: St. John’s over Weber State

Bilas: Arizona State over St. John’s

Gottlieb: Arizona State over St. John’s

Lunardi: Arizona State over St. John's

Don’t be surprised …

... if my predicted ASU-St. John’s final is in the 50s. Both teams can be, well, offensively challenged. (Katz)

... if the weary, cross-country-traveling Red Storm look less than stellar en route to the championship game. (O'Neil)

... if little-known Damian Lillard of Weber State is the MVP of this tournament. He is a big-time scoring guard who could play in any program in the West. (Fraschilla)

76 Classic (in Anaheim, Calif.)

Tournament bracket

Katz: UNLV over Virginia Tech

O’Neil: Murray State over Virginia Tech

Brennan: UNLV over Virginia Tech

Leung: UNLV over Virginia Tech

Williams: Virginia Tech over UNLV

Fraschilla: Virginia Tech over UNLV

Bilas: UNLV over Virginia Tech

Gottlieb: UNLV over Virginia Tech

Lunardi: UNLV over Virginia Tech

Don’t be surprised …

... if Murray State finds its way to the final. The Racers haven’t played well early, but this is on a neutral court and Billy Kennedy understands how critical this tournament could be for his team. (Katz)

... if Oklahoma State makes a strong showing in Anaheim. (Lunardi)

... if the Racers leave here as the new mid-major darling. (O'Neil)

Old Spice Classic (in Orlando, Fla.)

Tournament bracket

Katz: Georgia over Texas A&M

O’Neil: Temple over Wisconsin

Brennan: Temple over Wisconsin

Leung: Wisconsin over Temple

Williams: Georgia over Wisconsin

Fraschilla: Georgia over Texas A&M

Bilas: Wisconsin over Notre Dame

Gottlieb: Wisconsin over Temple

Lunardi: Wisconsin over Temple

Don’t be surprised …

... if Temple or Notre Dame is playing Wisconsin for the final. This is one of the most balanced tournaments of the week. But the Aggies have been overlooked and the Bulldogs are my sleeper, even with an injured Trey Thompkins. So I’m sticking with those two. (Katz)

... if Cal gives Temple fits in the first round. (Gottlieb)

... if this is the best tournament of the week. (Lunardi)

... if Georgia's Gerald Robinson Jr. is the MVP of this tournament. The Tennessee State transfer has given Mark Fox another scoring option this season, and he could have a breakout performance here. (Fraschilla)