Saturday March 21st, 2009

SI.com caught up with Seth Davis, who's serving as a CBS studio analyst during the tournament, to get his impressions of Friday's first-round action.

SI.com: What happened to Wake Forest today? A lot of bracket's probably busted on that one.

Seth Davis: Those of us who selected them, I think we were anticipating them being something they haven't been for the past six weeks -- it wasn't even a game. Cleveland State is not a good three-point shooting team, they came in averaging five made threes a game and had that in the first five minutes of today's game. Someone's going to have to let me know when Jeff Teague gets to the arena -- he's really not ready for the NBA . If there's one upside for Wake today, it's the realization that none of those guys are ready for the NBA -- they played a good team, a veteran team, and team that's used to playing with its season on the line -- Wake has never been in that situation this season. Cleveland State came out with maturity and edge and took it right from the tip-off .

SI.com: How far can Cleveland State go?

SD: They will play Arizona -- that's a tough matchup. Arizona looked pretty good today I thought. But, if Cleveland State makes shots, they can beat anybody. That's one thing I noticed when they were up against Butler in the Horizon league championship game, is they shot outside and three-pointers, and tonight they shot almost 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three, while Cedric Jackson was 3 of 4 from the three. If they make shots, they can beat anyone.

SI.com: What about other Cinderella candidates, like Siena?

SD: Their game was unbelievable -- it was a perfect way to end the first round -- I think it was a great first round. Upsets can be a two-sided coin. A lot of times they don't do that well in the next round and they're not that compelling, but I think these games will be. For Siena, Ronald Moore was zero for three until he hit those two threes -- the first to send into the second OT and to win the game in the second OT. It's got to be very hard for Ohio State, who was ahead the whole game but couldn't put it away.

SI.com: What games are you looking forward to in the next round?

SD: I like Villanova-UCLA, I think that's a great game. There's a lot of good guards on the court, evenly matched teams and it's in Philly so you have to like Villanova. USC- Michigan State is a good contest ... USC's playing really well and Taj Gibson was 10 for 10 tonight. They're playing good defense -- Tim Floyd's a great defensive coach. They held Tyrese Rice to nine points. The only problem is they only play six guys ... DeMar DeRozen, Dwight Lewis and Daniel Hackett played 40 minutes and Taj Gibson played 36 -- between those four players they played all but four minutes. Michigan State has to get to the bench through fatigue or foul trouble, which the Spartans can do.

SI.com: What happened to Pitt? That was almost a huge bracket buster.

SD: I'm sure a lot of people were worried, I picked them -- I'm all about my bracket too. But they were so rattled. They don't like pressure -- they did lose at Louisville and besides Levance Fields, they don't have a really confident ball-handler. I don't know when that will get to them -- maybe against Louisville if they get that far, but if you think about Pitt in the last two weeks they lost to West Virginia in the Big East tournament and they didn't push out until the last two minutes today. They got killed on the boards today and turned it over a lot. Pitt is third in the country in rebounding and gave up 19 offensive rebounds and committed 18 turnovers. ETSU is a 72 percent foul shooting team and today they shot 50 percent from the line. If they shot their standard percentage, they would have won the game. At some point I feel like it's going to happen soon -- a 16's going to beat a one ... you saw that and Louisville was close and these teams can play.

SI.com: Who's your MVP of the day?

SD: I'd have to go with Ronald Moore because of those two shots, maybe because that's the most fresh in my mind. Even though they lost, Ben Woodside was also a lot of fun to watch, with 37 points for North Dakota State.

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