As with other topics, I do alright to bring up the important questions, but I don’t know enough to give the good analysis, so I talk to my friends who are capable of giving intelligent responses.

Today’s topic:  The NCAA Tournament.

We’re halfway through round 1, so this is a good opportunity to look at what has happened and what we have yet in store as we narrow the field down from 64 to 32.

Which tournament game from Thursday was the biggest upset: 4 – Vanderbilt losing to 13 – Murray State, 11 – Old Dominion beating 6 – Notre Dame, or 14 – Ohio beating 3 – Georgetown?

Ohio beating Georgetown, easily. Not only from a seeding perspective, but also from how the teams did in the regular season. Ohio wasn’t even a top 8 team in the MAC and only was in the tournament due to winning the Conf. Tournament. They had played iffy all year

If 2 – Villanova had lost to 15 – Robert Morris in a close game, would that have been worse than Georgetown’s 16 point loss?

I wouldn’t think so. Villanova has struggled mightly down the stretch, losing nearly as much as winning coming into the tournament. They are guard heavy and if their guards aren’t hitting, anyone can beat them. Georgetown is more balanced and therefore should have been able to handle whatever opposing teams threw at them.

How far did you have Georgetown going in your bracket?

Elite Eight. I had them surviving a less balanced Ohio State and then losing to Kansas.

Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one whose bracket had the Hoyas going that far. In today’s action, what do you think the odds are that Siena’s going to be able to overtake Purdue?

In my bracket, I have Siena going into the Sweet Sixteen, but as its gotten closer, I like Purdue. I liked Siena as an underdog or team seen as an equal to Purdue from a psychological point of view, but now all the hype is on Siena, I think Purdue will relish their new underdog role.

Purdue is still without Hummel, right? How much do you think that will affect them?

Considerably. With Hummel, Purdue would have been a 2 seed, perhaps a 1 seed. He could single handily take over games. I think they can win without Hummel early on, but they will be limited offensively.

I’m not as knowledgable about the situation as some might be, is there any hopes of Hummel returning by tournament’s end?

I think he is done for the season. ACL surgery usually means at least 4 months.

I’d say you’re probably right on Hummel being out the rest of the tournament, though for Purdue, it sounds like that could be today. Being in the DC area, I need some assurance that Maryland isn’t going to let me down tonight like Georgetown did yesterday. What are the odds that Houston pulls the upset over the 4 seeded Terps?

Its hard to answer this after seeing what happened yesterday, but I REALLY like the Terps chances. Vasquez is too good and too emotional of a leader to let his team come out and play that flat for a whole half. Houston won their conference tournament, but they were essentially outplayed for the majority of those finals. Could they pull an Ohio? Sure, but I would say Maryland should be fine.

A friend of mine is predicting another upset by a 13 seed with Wofford beating 4 – Wisconsin. Do you see any chance of that?

I wouldn’t. I think if you were going to take another upset pick, I would consider Cornell or Utah State. Cornell is a favorite by several analysts and Utah State is capable of hitting enough 3’s to stay with whoever they play. Bo Ryan’s defense usually is too suffocating to be outplayed by a lesser school

Usually to beat Wisconsin in the tournament, you need to simply beat them possession by possession and outwork and muscle them. I don’t think Wofford can do that.

In the east, 15 – Morgan State jumped out to a big 10-0 lead on 2 – West Virginia. Seeing as how I have the Mountaineers deep in my bracket, I’m a bit concerned. Do you think I have reason to be?

You should be concerned to a degree. Any small school who can gain early confidence can really carry them. I think Butler will carry WV to a close win, but always be worried when a school looks THAT fearless as a high seed.

So that leads me to wonder if Ohio can continue their run and knock off 6 – Tennessee in the Midwest. How do those guys match up?

I sort of like Ohio in the second round, but not enough to call them a favorite. For all intents and purposes, Ohio’s guards should outplay Tennessee. The question is, can Ohio stifle Tennessee’s big athlete’s like Chism as they did to Goergetown. Also, due to team issues, Tennessee is running a VERY shallow bench so being tired may come into play.

I didn’t catch the Georgetown game on television, but from the highlights I saw on ESPN this morning, I like what Armon Basset was able to do.

Armon Basset is better than most realize. I know him fairly well since he used to be a Hoosier. He was always super quick and fearless. On another note, I have found it shocking that teams are throwing zones at Big East teams. Notre Dame, WV, and others have really struggled against these zones, which is crazy since they play Syracuse and other “zone” schools quite often.

What games are you most looking forward to watching today?

Cornell/Temple for selfish reasons since I have Cornell in the Sweet 16. Siena/Purdue for a similar reason. Louisville/Cal since some are thinking if Louisville get hot, they could upset a 1 seed in round 2.

When you’ve got a top tier coach like Louisville has in Rick Pitino, I think you can throw seeding out the window in individual games, though they would likely have to go through Coach K’s Duke squad to make it to the Sweet 16.

That’s true. Pitino and Boeheim are especially nasty since teams only have two days to prepare for their special defenses. (Press/Fast defense for Pitino and Cuse’s zone).

Going back to that Cornell / Temple game, you really think 12 seeded Cornell could get past Wisconsin (assuming they can beat Wofford)?

I do. Cornell has the ability to shoot the lights out. So even if Wisconsin slows down the pace, they still should be able to get their shots. Cornell is the leading 3pt team in the entire tournament. They also have a 7 foot center who can dominate the glass.

Do you see any chance that Vermont beats Syracuse tonight? I know there are a couple of side-stories in this one (Syracuse’s 6th man is the brother of a leading scorer on Vermont; Vermont’s history in the tournament), but is there realistically a chance that Syracuse will be the first 1 seed knocked off this year?

I think its more possible than 90% of the other 1-16 matches we normally see. Vermont easily could have argued to be a 2 seed. They have a nice player in Blakely, and its no secret Syracuse is a little banged up right now. Syracuse is playing close to home and should not overlook them since they got shocked by Vermont before.

Syracuse did get beaten by Vermont back in 2005, so you would think that Boeheim would be ready for them, but I guess we’ll have to see how much the injuries play a role in this one.

That’s all for questions I have right now. Anything you want to say before we end this interview? Any big predictions? Any shout-outs?

Let’s just say I will not trust the Big LEast conference as much next year, haha.

Thanks for your time.

{The interviewee for this article writes for GuysNation under the author name “Jerms”}