Southern Miss players and coaches talked a length on Wednesday about getting no respect from national pundits. It carried over to the Average Joe, too. Southern Miss was picked to win the second-round game over Kansas State on only 22.8 percent of the brackets in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge. Last year about six million brackets were filled out.
With 77.2 percent of the vote, eighth-seeded Kansas State is by far the most popular choice among the normally contentious 8-9 games, and drew more confidence from bracket players than fifth-seeded Temple, New Mexico and Wichita State and sixth-seeded UNLV, Cincinnati and San Diego State.