The Long Island University Brooklyn Blackbirds from the Northeast Conference have now made the NCAA Tournament 3 years in a row. The Blackbirds have a high scoring (79.1 ppg), uptempo offense. LIU plays with a 4 Guard offense and their main weakness is field goal and 3-point field goal percentage defense. This Blackbird team finished 3rd in the Northeast Conference and have an all-time Tournament record of 0-5. LIU's best player Julian Boyd was lost for the season due to injury. The Blackbirds are at their best when they attack on offense and push the tempo of the game.
Best Players - Jamal Olasewere, C.J. Garner, Jason Brickman
The James Madison Dukes are making their first NCAA appearance since 1994. The Dukes has not won a tournament game since 1983. James Madison finished 4th in the Colonial conference. The Dukes post an all time tournament record of 3-4. The Dukes also play a 4 Guard lineup/ The Guards are all athletic and versatile which creates matchup nightmares for opponents. James Madison's biggest weakness would have to be their rebounding ability. If the Dukes want to beat the Blackbirds, they will have to rebound at a better clip and have a balanced scoring attack.
Best Players - Best Players - Rayshawn Goins, A.J. Davis, Devon Moore
13 Boise State Broncos vs. 13 LaSalle Explorers
For the first time the Boise State Broncos have made the tournament with an at large birth. This Broncos' team tied for 4th in the Mountain West Conference. Boise State had some huge wins this year vs. teams that include Creighton, UNLV, Colorado State and San Diego State. The Broncos all time tournament record is 0-5. Boise State can shoot from all over the court and make free throws. The Broncos are not a physical team and lack interior defense. This can be expected as they almost always play with 4 guards at a time. For the Broncos to beat the Explorers, they must make their jump shots and hit from beyond the arc.
Best Players - Derrick Marks, Anthony Drmic, Jeff Elorriaga
The LaSalle Explorers have gone through a long drought and have not been in the NCAA Tournament since 1992. First Team all Atlantic-10 performer Ramon Galloway leads the Explorers talented and deep back court. LaSalle finished 4th in the Atlantic-10 and has a career tournament record of 11-10. LaSalle's key wins this year include wins against Butler, VCU, and Villanova. The Explorers' 5 guard rotation all average 23 minutes or more a game. The backcourt is their strength as the depth allows them to stay fresh and defend the perimeter. With the Guards being the key to this team, they live and die by the perimeter game. To beat Boise State, the Explorers will have to shoot with a high percentage with their lack of skilled players how play in the paint.
Best Players - Ramon Galloway, Tyreek Duren, Jerrell Wright