Some of us have reached the point of information overload, where we've heard so much about all the things that could happen during the NCAA men's basketball tournament that we shut down the noise and turn the other way. After all, isn't the winner of your pool always the person whose knowledge of college basketball could fit inside of a ref's whistle?
Well, if you're still in intake mode, former Star Tribune basketball writer Myron Medcalf -- now working for ESPN -- has a list of "10 mid-major stars who could bust brackets."
Three of them are Minnesotans: Roseville's Mike Muscala of Bucknell, St. Cloud's Nate Wolters of South Dakota State and Golden Valley's Siyani Chambers of Harvard, who played for Hopkins High School.
On Muscala: "The Muscala Monster is a dangerous creature. The Bison are capable of upsetting Butler in the second round Thursday in Lexington because they’re led by one of America’s most underrated stars. He scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a two-point loss to Missouri in January. Muscala (19.0 PPG, 11.2 RPG) dropped 18 points in a win against NCAA tourney participant La Salle in December. He’s finished with 25 points or more in 10 games. He also has the strength of 10 men. Not really, but he’s legit and more than prepared to help Bucknell ruin brackets worldwide."
On Walters: "He plays with a chip on his shoulder. Few Division I schools sought his services when he was a high school standout in St. Cloud, Minn. Every season since, however, Wolters has proven he was clearly overlooked. He led the Jackrabbits to their second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance via a silky game that’s caught the attention of NBA scouts. He’s one of the nation’s most explosive offensive performers. Wolters (22.7 PPG, 39 percent from the 3-point line) recorded a Division I-high 53 points in a Feb. 7 win against IPFW. He’ll make Thursday’s matchup against Michigan in Auburn Hills interesting."
On Chambers: "The West Region is probably the easiest region. With Gonzaga as the 1-seed, it just seems more wide open than the other three. So expect the unexpected. Harvard could spur some madness in its second-round matchup against New Mexico in Salt Lake City on Thursday. The Lobos are the better team. But the Crimson have overcome adversity to reach this point. Stars Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry left the team prior to the season because of an academic scandal. Chambers (12.9 PPG, 5.8 APG, 44 percent from the 3-point line), just a freshman, helped Tommy Amaker’s squad recover from those losses and earn another automatic berth with its second straight outright Ivy title."
Keep in mind that when Medcalf makes reference to the "second round," he means the games that are being played Thursday and Friday that are the first ones you likely picked on your brackets. Even though nobody else thinks this way, the NCAA is calling the Tuesday and Wednesday night play-in games the first round of the tournament. (Upload had to find a place to say that.)
To read Medcalf's complete list, go here.
|Kansas City - LP: B. Chen||1||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber||5|
|Cincinnati - WP: T. Cingrani||2||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - LP: B. Cumpton||1|
|Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana||4||FINAL|
|Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer||7|
|St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn||1||FINAL|
|NY Mets - WP: B. Colon||4|
|Minnesota - WP: R. Nolasco||9||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - LP: E. Bedard||7|
|Arizona - WP: M. Bolsinger||5||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson||2|
|San Diego - E. Stults||6:05 PM|
|Washington - J. Zimmermann|
|Baltimore - B. Norris||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - D. Hutchison|
|NY Yankees - C. Sabathia||6:10 PM|
|Boston - F. Doubront|
|Oakland - S. Kazmir||7:10 PM|
|Houston - B. Oberholtzer|
|Philadelphia - K. Kendrick||9:10 PM|
|Los Angeles - D. Haren|
|Oklahoma City||7:00 PM|
|LA Clippers||9:30 PM|
|San Jose||9:30 PM|