As Teams in the NCAA Tournament advance, the competition get better. I always look for two things in the Sweet 16. Coaching and Guard play. An elite coach and guard could carry a team to a National Championship for the remaining four games.
Thursday, 7:09 PM CBS:
#1 (32-3) Gonzaga (29-7) #4 Florida State:
FSU beat Gonzaga in last season’s sweet 16. The Zags were without starting big man, Killian Tillie. They will be healthy and have revenge on their minds. Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke, leads the nation in field-goal percentage (69.9) and is one of the best shot blockers in the nation.
Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles have had a terrific year, but I just don’t see them having enough offense to win this game. FSU plays 10 guys and they get their offense by committee. Their leading scorer, Mfiondu Kabengele averages 13 points per game. Who will score 20 to 25 points against for FSU? Mark Few of Gonzaga is the best basketball coaches in college basketball.
Take Gonzaga 78-67
Thursday, 9:39 PM CBS:
#3 (28-6) Texas Tech vs. #2 (30-6) Michigan:
If you love offense, this game might not be for you. Texas Tech and Michigan are two of the best defenses remaining in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan’s freshman, Ignas Brazdeikis, is leading the team in scoring. He averages 14.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. The Wolverines need to keep this game in the low to mid 60s if they want to win.
Texas Tech’s, Jarrett Culver, is one of the best guards in the entire tournament. He averaged 18.8 points and 6.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. The Sophomore is shooting 48% from the field and can carry a team for a half or an entire game.
I am taking the upset here.
Texas Tech wins 69-65
Thursday, 7:29 PM TBS:
# 2 (31-5) Tennessee vs. #3 (25-9) Purdue
Purdue is going to the Sweet 16 for the 3rd straight year. Head coach Matt Painter has really improved his team. Over the past 4 years his record is as follows.
Cason Edwards is a volume shooter who can got hot at any moment. He is averaging 23 points per game but only shoots 39% from the field. He scored 42 points against Villanova and at the end of games, teams can’t foul him because he shoots 85% from the free throw line.
The Vols are led by a two headed monster, Grant Williams and Adam Schoefield average 35 points and 13 rebounds per contest. Rick Barnes team has improved over the past few year but their season ends at about 9:30 on Thursday evening. I think Purdue finally gets passed the Sweet 16 this year.
Take Purdue 81-76
Thursday, 9:57 PM TBS:
#1 (31-3) Virginia vs. #12 (25-12) Oregon:
9 games into the season, the Oregon Ducks best player, Freshman Bol Bol, had as season ending foot injury. Bol was averaging 21.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. The Ducks limped into the PAC-12 Tournament and won it. The Ducks have won 9 straight game and no one has done a better job of coaching his time than Dana Altman. Point guard, Payton Pritchard has been the teams leader and doing everything he can to lead this team to the final four. Forward, Kenny Wooten has been a shot blocking machine in the tournament. Over the past 4 games Wooten has 19 blocks.
Virginia has shacked off their last season 1st round NCAA Tournament loss to #16 Seed UMBC. They have outscored their opponents in their first two games, 134 to 107.
All the momentum is on Oregon’s side
Take the Ducks in an upset.
Oregon wins 70-59.