So round two didn’t go too bad, I picked Oregon at least. New Mexico played awful and good for Tommy Amaker for getting the Crimson their first tourney win, but how was he unable to even get Michigan in the tournament? But that is a topic for another day, back to this tournament.
The best part about writing about and predicting the tournament as opposed to making up a bracket is when I’m wrong I can just shrug my shoulders and move on. Cal beating UNLV didn’t bother me because I can pick them to win the next round and even potentially end up playing the previously mentioned Crimson in the championship game. Take that paranoid bracket guy (you know who you are.)
Anyway now for the picks for today’s games, tomorrow’s games will be posted before tip-off on Sunday:
Colorado State shocked me in winning by so much over Missouri, I didn’t think they were that good. Congrats on the W Rams, now you get Louisville. The Cardinals destroyed N.C. A&T like a #1 seed is supposed to (looking at you Gonzaga) and are playing great basketball right now. I see Louisville winning this game pretty easily and continuing to roll through the tournament.
Oregon was my big upset pick that paid off, and my sleeper team to make the Sweet 16. They had a rough stretch without their starting point guard as mentioned yesterday, but what team wouldn’t struggle in that situation. The Ducks looked really good in the limited time I have seen them play over the season. As for Saint Louis, they like to keep things slow-paced and wear out their opponents. It worked against New Mexico State but I don’t think they will be able to contain the Ducks, Oregon to the next round.
Memphis and Michigan State, this is a very hard game to handicap. MSU can beat anyone if they play like they did in the first half for a full 40 minutes, but every game it seems like they get bored or forget what they are doing on the court and let teams start to work back into games. If they do that against a team as talented as Memphis they could be going home early, but I think that Sparty keeps it together by pounding the ball inside to Payne and Nix and Michigan State moves on.
Oh Gonzaga, when you are a five or six seed, you are everyone’s favorite team in the country and everyone would love to see you make a run. But as a #1, everyone seems to hate you and hoped that you’d lose in the first round (thanks for nearly doing it too.) The Bulldogs are talented and run into another talented mid-major in Witchita State in the next round. The Shockers always seem to make an appearance in March with a win or two, but they proved they are tough but kicking Pitt’s ass on the court and the scoreboard. I think Witchita State bullies Gonzaga all over the court and grind out an ugly win.
So I thought Arizona was going to make an early exit at the hands of Belmont and they made me look stupid, so thanks for that. To show that I have no hard feelings I think they will be upset again, this time by the Crimson. I’m just not that impressed with Arizona, they are very streaky and don’t seem to have it together. I don’t think they will have two great performances in a row, but I think Harvard will have something to do with why they play so poorly.
Oh boy did VCU look good in game one; if you don’t take into account how many players the Zips were missing in action. But it will be much tougher for the Rams to create that much havoc against a player like Trey Burke. A lot of people are saying that VCU is going to cause Michigan a lot of trouble with their pressing style against the young Wolverines, but I think that Burke and company will keep it together and actually play a great game against a very tough opponent. I’m taking Michigan in a very high scoring game at the Palace.
Syracuse laid the beating of the tournament so far on Montana to show that the allegations surrounding the program are clearly not going to be a problem. A lot of people are down on Syracuse this year, but they received a fairly easy draw to at least the Sweet 16. That road got even easier when UNLV lost to Cal in a rematch between the two teams from earlier in the season. I think that Syracuse gives the Golden Bears more than they can handle in this matchup.
I thought that Bucknell was going to upset Butler, but Brad Stevens and company always seem to make a great appearance in March. Marquette didn’t have a great showing against Davidson but they are much better than they looked in game one. Even though the Golden Eagles struggled I think they will want to show that they deserve their ranking and Marquette should move on from this one.