March Maddness Sweet Sixteen
What a great first, second, and third rounds!
Fifty-two teams is what we started with and now only days later we are down to sixteen. What a great couple of days. With the smoke clearing for a few more days, let's look forward and see what kind of match ups we have for the sweet sixteen.
(1) Kentucky vs. (4) Indiana: Kentucky is by far the favorite not only to win this game, but to win the entire tournament. With Marquis Teague finally stepping up and all of the other weapons Kentucky has, Indiana will have their hands full. I'm calling it first. Indiana did it once, and they are going to get the win again. Christian Watford has a huge game. Indiana 76-72
(3) Baylor vs. (10) Xavier: Baylor is by far one of the most athletic teams I have seen all year. The way their inside players go after the boards and the tenacity they play with on both sides of the ball. I'm saying Baylor dunks all over Xavier. Baylor 78-64.
(1) Michigan State vs. (4) Louisville: I'm a huge fan of the Big East Conference, but I just feel like Izzo and his boys are playing really well. They will have no problem handling Louisville's pressure. Louisville just doesn't have enough scorers to keep pace with the talent of Michigan State. Draymond Green gets another triple double and they squeak this one out. MSU 68-66
(3) Marquette vs. (7) Florida: I love this match up. Two super athletic teams that can score. Both struggled before the tournament but are firing on all cylinders now and trying to make a run as far as they can. This one I think is going to be really close and one of those back and forth all night battles. If I have to pick a winner, I going to have to give the win to Jae Crowder. He is one of the most athletic players in the tournament. This one is going to be exciting. Marquette 62-61
(1) Syracuse vs. (4) Wisconsin: This game has two great defensive teams. Wisconsin is leading the nation in the fewest point allowed per game, while Syracuse is number five in the nation. Saying that, both have drastically different styles of defensive play. Wisconsin's man to man defense is physical and they do an excellent job on not allowing other teams to get any second chance looks. Syracuse on the other hand plays a very disciplined 2-3 zone. Their length and athletic ability is almost impossible to pass around and over as well as limiting the number of open looks you get. I think the winner of this game will be the one that can get to the boards and finish around the rim. Without Fab Melo, Syracuse is in big trouble. I going with the upset. Wisconsin 54-48.
(6) Cincinnati vs. (2) Ohio State: This is another intriguing match up. These schools are just a few miles away and have not played each other since 1962. This will not just be a battle to get to the elite eight of the NCAA tournament, but a battle to see who has the best basketball program in Ohio. Cincinnati is athletic and strong, but can they match the size and power of OSU's inside game. I don't think they will have an answer for Sullinger. I say he goes for twenty-eight or more. OSU 68-60.
(1) North Carolina vs. (13) Ohio: I know what everyone is thinking. UNC just lost their starting point guard and is starting a freshman in his place who has averaged just 4.3mins. per game. Ohio is riding a huge hot streak and playing some fantastic basketball right now. They are fighting to be one of the only Cinderella teams left in the tournament. Walter Offutt and D.J. Cooper have be playing great, but I just feel that the trio of Barnes, Henson, and Zeller is going to be too much for Ohio. Tarheels 74-66
(11) North Carolina State vs. (2) Kansas: NC state, what can I say other than wow! New coach and playing with a new attitude. They had to win several games in the ACC tournament to get in, and they did! They had to take out a red hot San Diego State team, and they did! They then had to beat a very physical and aggressive Georgetown team, and they did! Wow! The question now is can they match up with Kansas's Tyshawn Taylor and the inside play of Thomas Robinson? I can't help but remember Jimmy V. State wins 66-64 with Woods hitting a three at the buzzer.
Whether you agree with my picks or not, you have to admit that this weekend is going to be one heck of a weekend to watch basketball. I am going to be glued to the T.V. for every game. Thursday cannot get here quick enough. Check out the poll below and let me know which upset you think is going to happen.