(3) BYU vs. (14) Wofford
(3) Brigham Young Cougars
Led by the nation’s top scorer in point guard Jimmer Fredette and his 27 points a night, the Cougars come into this year’s tournament without their best low post player Brandon Davies. Davies was a part of a high-publicized dismissal that has left the Cougars shorthanded in the paint. They haven’t been the same team without him and will miss him even more as the tournament progresses. His contributions were greatly underrated for the Cougars, who are 6-1 against the RPI Top 25 on the year. His loss makes the Cougars the textbook definition of a one-man show, although Jackson Emery is capable of hurting teams to a certain extent if they focus too much on Fredette. As a team the Cougars are very confident with an us-against-the-world mentality, but will only go as far as the explosive Fredette.
(14) Wofford Terriers
Wofford started the season slowly, losing nine of its first 15 games before going 12-3, including eight straight to close the season. The Terriers finished second in the Southern Conference regular season standings, losing to College of Charleston twice before finally solving the riddle that was the Cougars in the So-Con Tournament finals. Forward Noah Dahlman, a first team all-conference selection, averages 20 points per game while shooting .612 from the field and scored at least ten points in each of the Terriers’ 33 games this season. Senior guard Cameron Rundles has been white-hot down the stretch, averaging over 16 points in Wofford’s last ten while shooting .509 from behind the three-point line. This senior-laden squad will be a tough out for any team.
HOOPSWORLD’s Pick: BYU. Jimmer Fredette is a one-man wrecking crew set to carry BYU past Wofford and into the round of 32.