Southland champs UTSA taken on SWAC surprise Alabama State in Gus Johnson's first game of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The winner of the East region play-in game gets Ohio State. San Antonio made it in by upsetting conference frontrunner McNeese State, while Alabama State gave Texas Southern two of its three SWAC losses within the past two weeks.
Star Watch: Alabama State senior forward Tramayne Moorer; with him, the Hornets are 10-2. When he missed the first half of the season due to injury, they went 7-15.
Prediction: With Moorer in the lineup, I'll take Alabama State in a minor upset -- the Roadrunners are favored by about four points. UTSA is led by Devin Gibson, who leads the team in points and assists and somehow grabs more than five boards per game despite being only six feet tall.
More Reading: For more on mid-major and just plain mid college basketball, visit Mid Major Madness.
Need help picking your bracket? Check out SB Nation's full 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, picking every game of March Madness, or our region by region breakdowns for the East Region, West Region, Southeast Region, and Southwest Region.
Did your team miss the 2011 NCAA Tournament? We have you covered: check out the 2011 NIT bracket.