From 68 to 16: March Madness 2017 First Weekend Primer

17 of 17

Pod #4 – Indianapolis, Indiana

Colors Location Record RPI
#2 Kentucky Wildcats Blue, White Lexington, KY 29-5 4
#7 Dayton Flyers Red, Blue Dayton, OH 24-10 87
#10 Wichita State Shockers Black, Sunflower Wichita, KS 30-4 31
#15 Northern Kentucky Norse Black, White, Gold Highland Hts., KY 24-7 28

#7 Dayton vs. #10 Wichita State — Friday, 7:10 p.m., CBS

Line: Wichita State (-6)

FiveThirtyEight: Wichita State (69%)

The Shockers were only given a ten-seed despite being ranked eighth in the nation by KenPom. They lost to Louisville in their only game against a top-25 opponent and also lost to Michigan State, Oklahoma State and Illinois State, but won the MVC regular season and tournament titles, defeating Illinois State 71-51 in the final. They’re a deep team that shoots very well (47.3% from the floor, 40.8% from beyond the arc) and also grabs 41 rebounds per game. Dayton is dancing in its fourth straight tournament. The Flyers pass the ball effectively but lost their last two games.


#2 Kentucky vs. #15 Northern Kentucky — Friday, 9:40 p.m., CBS

Line: Kentucky (-19)

FiveThirtyEight: Kentucky (97%)

Expectations for Kentucky are all over the place, as usual, but they are universally expected to take care of business in the first round. The Wildcats are deep and they’re talented. They rank fifth in Division I with 86.1 points per game, led by Malik Monk, who scored 20.4 points per game. The Norse were eligible for the tournament for the first time this season and won ten of 11 games down the stretch. They rebound well but they turn the ball over and simply don’t have the personnel to match up with a talented Kentucky squad.

Next: Join the Detroit Jock City Bracket Challenge

Second Round Outlook

The Shockers are the wildcard in this pod. They could lose to Dayton or they could end up in the Sweet 16. Kentucky probably has the most talent, but both Wichita State and Dayton have tournament experience and could upset the Wildcats in the second round, especially the Shockers, who might have the most depth out of anyone in this pod.