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Previewing Thursday's NCAA First Round - Predictions and Commentary on Big 12 Games

KANSAS ST WILDCATS (2 Seed) vs NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN (15) - 2:45pm in Oklahoma City

Let's be honest, Kansas St is better than North Texas. But let's not sleep on the Mean Green. They were both the Sun Belt regular season and tournament champs, and have 4 players averaging double digit scoring in Josh White, Tristan Thompson, Eric Tramiel and George Odufuwa. The 6-8 Odufuwa also led the conference in rebounding at 10.7 rpg. They can also run, averaging 75 ppg throughout the season. So these guys are no slouches. They also have  some Big 12 experience, having lost to Oklahoma St and Texas A&M. But let's not beat around the bush. They haven't seen an offensive force like the one Denis Clemente, Jacob Pullen, Jamar Samuels and Curtis Kelly will bring and this one will get ugly. Wildcats win.  

BAYLOR BEARS (3) vs SAM HOUSTON STATE BEARKATS (14) - 2:45pm in New Orleans

First, someone needs to tell SHSU that they misspelled ‘Bearcats.' Secondly they need to tell them that they have no shot in hell. Teach them how to pronounce Udoh, because they will be seeing the back of his jersey a lot as he dunks on them all afternoon. Also tell them that Tweety is not just a bird, but a Bear. And that there is no space in LaceDarius. It is what it is. Finally tell them that a 14-2 record in the Southland conference is pretty good, but an 11-5 mark in the Big 12 means that they can beat the big boys. Baylor all the way.

KANSAS JAYHAWKS (1) vs LEHIGH MOUNTIAN HAWKS (15) - 9:30pm in Oklahoma City

Call it a hunch, but I'm going with KU on this one.

TEXAS LONGHORNS (8) vs WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS (9) - 9:35pm in New Orleans

Bound to be a good game. You have the 8/9 match-up between two teams from the #1 and #2 ranked conferences according to Ken Pom. You have position players all over the court. The loser knows they have a tough match-up the following game.  I see Texas coming together for this one. Giving it all they got to show the country they deserved that #1 ranking earlier in the season. Damion James leads the way. Texas advances.