Print and Go Back College Basketball Nation [Print without images]

Monday, November 22, 2010
Feast Week predictions, brackets

By staff

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)