Last night I put up my picks for Day 1 of the Sweet 16. I got 3 of the 4, missing only my alma mater, Mizzou. I’ll call it a good day. Also, it’s time to talk about Villanova as a contender for this tournament. They’ll get a Pittsburgh team who hasn’t impressed me thus far. As of right now, I think Villanova will win that game and it may not even be close. ESPN keeps talking about Duke’s historic futility last night and most of the credit has to go to the Wildcats. They’ve sold me.
In the West region, UConn beat an upstart Purdue team. They’re playing some excellent basketball as well. The Huskies will be pitted against my Missouri Tigers, who halted the Memphis Tigers’ 27 game winning streak. In fact, they hung 102 points on a team who gave up an average of 57 on the season. It was an impressive display to say the least. The Tigers can beat UConn if they can get Thabeet away from the basket and run him to death. That will be an interesting clash of styles.
Michigan St. over Kansas. This basically stems from the 13 point win that the Spartans already had this year. Stop Collins and Aldrich and you stop the Jayhawks. It all sounds so easy when I type it out like that. Actually, when I look back, Collins had 25 points and Aldrich had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Michigan St. apparently took a different approach and held the rest of the Kansas team to 23 points. Wow.
I have Oklahoma over Syracuse. The Orange’s recent run of success has been very impressive. Either way, too much Blake Griffin here. The Big 12 gets their second Elite 8 team.
North Carolina over Gonzaga. The Zags have been a trendy pick to win the whole thing. Jason Whitlock has been all over them for a while now. I had them falling to Western Kentucky in the last round, and they should have. I just don’t think Gonzaga is that good. Hansbrough and the Tar Heels move on.
Finally, Louisville over Arizona. Arizona is hardly a Cinderalla, even though some people didn’t have them in the tournament. They could possibly pull an upset here, but I think they’ll fall just short. I’m not a huge Louisville fan, but I don’t see anyone who can beat them in their region.
So there you have them. No upsets tonight. If these predictions prove accurate, it will make for some very interesting Elite 8 games. Griffin vs. Hansbrough? Yeah, I want to see it.
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