PROVIDENCE -- Still haven't filled out a bracket? Interested in becoming the expert bracket person here at Eye On The U? The clock is ticking. You've got 18 hours before the tournament gets started.
Join our bracket pool over at Yahoo. It's free. No grand prize -- just bragging rights and the opportunity to write a guest blog after next weekend's spring game. I filled out my bracket. Take a few seconds to fill out yours. Our group name is Eye On The U Bracket Pool. Password: faithinhaith
I'm buying into the hype. I think the Big East ends up sending all three of its No. 1 seeds to the dance. UM coach Frank Haith picked Louisville when we asked him for a favorite in this year's tournament. I like Pittsburgh and Dejuan Blair.
I'm supposed to meet up with UM athletic director Kirby Hocutt before tonight's tip-off. If I can get him to fill out a bracket, I'll enter it into our pool.
> Couple quick notes to pass along before the Canes take on their old Big East Rivals here in the first round of the NIT. Haith said the Friars will present problems for his team because UM has yet to see the type of defense Providence plays.
"They play very similar with to a matchup zone, which we haven't faced all year," Haith said. "They do a three quarter press, a 1-2-2, 1-2-1-1 press to slow you down, slow your flow. It will be to their advantage because we don't play against that all year.
> Providence's best player is 6-5 guard Weyinmi Efejuku. Haith talked about him and several other of the Friar's top players: "He's a really good player, comes from Rice High School, the same high school as [UM recruit] Durand Scott. He's a good player and he's developed over his time there," Haith said. "He's really improved his jump shooting. When he went to sign with Providence, he wasn't really a good shooter. That has emerged over his time at Providence. [Guard Jeff] Xavier can shoot the ball. [Geoff] McDermott reminds me a lot of [McCauley from N.C. State] in our league, he can pass and is a very good post player. [Sharaud] Curry, the point guard, he was hurt last year and we didn't see him. He's their best 3-point shooter. All those guys are seniors and good players and have played together for a long period of time."
> I'll check in with you at halftime and once its over.