Scouting the NCAA Tournament First Four games

stew milne/ap
Rodney Bullock and his Providence mates take on Southern Cal Wednesday.

A look at the NCAA First Four matchups at Dayton, Ohio:


16. Mount St. Mary’s (19-15) vs. 16. New Orleans (20-11): The Mounties rely on two little guards, 6-0 Elijah Long (15.3 ppg) and 5-5 Junior Robinson (14.1). Long, whose older brother Naz is a key player for Iowa State, seems to be in the middle of everything. New Orleans almost dropped to Division 2 a few years ago, but led by forward Erik Thomas (19.5 ppg), it recovered and is now in the tournament. The task will be to slow the Mount’s guards.

11. Kansas State (20-13) vs. 11. Wake Forest (19-13): A big win over Baylor in the first round of the Big 12 tournament probably got K State into the field and might have saved coach Bruce Weber’s job. However, now it faces a young team that’s really improving and has an All-ACC big man in John Collins (18.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg).



16. North Carolina Central (25-8) vs. 16. UC Davis (22-12): It’s the first NCAA bid for Davis, and the Aggies got here by winning one of the worst-played championship games ever in the Big West final. They’ll need to be careful with the ball against Central’s defense, which looks for turnovers and holds opponents to 39 percent shooting. Check out Davis’s Chima Moneke, an Australian who has an unusual look with his goggles and headband.

Chima Moneke of UC Davis.
jae c. hong/AP
Chima Moneke. of UC Davis.
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11. Providence (20-12) vs. 11. Southern Cal (24-9): Providence, which was outrebounded this season, is going to have to find a way to contend with USC’s two big men, Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu. The Friars probably have the best player in the game in 6-8 forward Rodney Bullock (15.7 ppg). This has the potential to be a high-scoring affair.

Joe Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSullivan