New coach, same result: In Jack Perri's first season as head coach, the Long Island University Brooklyn Blackbirds are back for their third consecutive NCAA tournament. With a high-scoring, uptempo offense, they've proven themselves the class of the Northeast Conference. But can they hang with the big boys?
ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of Bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams, in order to help you make smart picks in your bracket. Plus, as Lunardi fills out his bracket, he'll give you his prediction on how each team will fare.
The Blackbirds like to play fast and they give up a lot of points. That worked in the Northeast Conference, especially at home, but I'm not as confident in a neutral court setting against a James Madison team that is peaking at the perfect time. LIU will have to be front-runners in the game and take advance of the first half absence of JMU starter Rayshawn Goins. Just not sure even that will be enough.
Best wins: Lafayette, at Bryant, Wagner
Worst losses: at St. Peter's, at Sacred Heart, at Lamar