8. Chaminade - This is is a sad ending to Chaminade being invited to the main bracket. The Silver Swords have been a staple in this tournament and have unforgettable upsets (Ralph Sampson and Virginia being the most recognized). Hopefully this decision is reversed in the future. Unfortunately, I don't see Chaminade winning a game in this tournament.
7. California - The Cal Bears are in rebuilding mode besides Kentucky transfer Marcus Lee. Wyking Jones is in his first year at Cal and many predicted the Bears to finish at the bottom of the Pac-12. They had an ugly season opening loss to UC Riverside, but have bounced back with wins against Cal Poly and Wofford. Showing improvement from game to game. So I think this Cal team will put up a fight against the VCU/Marquette loser. But unfortunately wind up in 7th and leaving the islands without a Division 1 win.
6. VCU - The Rams are adjusting to another new coach Mike Rhodes and some fresh faces. I think by the time A10 play begins, they will be in the hunt for another League title and League tournament title. However, Virginia exposed a few weaknesses last Friday. And I think VCU will lose a couple of tough games in the opener against Marquette and in the 5th/6th place game. However they won't come home empty handed, as I see them taking care of business against Cal on Tuesday.
5. LSU - This LSU team came in with low expectations this season and they have ignored them. A solid Samford club got waxed in Baton Rouge last week. So I'm curious to see how LSU does here. Particularly against Michigan in the opener. I can see them winning. I'll pick LSU to lose that game in a close one and then beat Chaminade and VCU to finish in 5th.
4. Marquette - Marquette ran into a tough Purdue team last week and really struggled. I had Marquette as a First Four team preseason, so I will stick with that notion and pick them to beat VCU in the first round. Then I think they struggle again in the Semifinals and the 3rd/4th Place game to finish in Fourth.
3. Michigan - This team has really struggled the past two games but managed to pull out wins over Central Michigan and a bad Southern Miss team. This trip to Maui can really help this team come together. If they can get by LSU in the first game, they are in great shape to finish in 3rd Place.
2. Notre Dame - I like this Irish team. They are setup this season to once again overachieve. Bonzi Colson is an All-American and PG Matt Farrell can really make this offense tick. I think they cruise past Chaminade and handle Michigan before losing to...
1. Wichita State - The Shockers have come flying out of the gates in their Maui tune up games. Landry Shamet looks recovered from his injury and Shaq Morris is a load down low. This is one of my favorite teams to watch, and they should create a fun Maui experience this year. I fully expect them to win this and impressively. Look for a great Championship game against Notre Dame.