Hello my name is Eric Pappas and I am here guest writing on Wingspan Sports to give you another person’s view on this year’s NCAA Tournament. The Round of 32 starts today Saturday March 18, 2017 with the first game tipping off at 12:15 on CBS.Make sure to Follow @Wingspansports on twitter, and to continue looking at our website, Wingspansports.com for more coverage on all sports. And follow me on twitter @eric_pappas_2 or my friend @joeryan1621 to ask us any questions about the upcoming tourney.
1 Villanova vs 8 Wisconsin
Villanova struggled a bit in the first half but then dominated an inferior MSM team, Wisconsin proved why they aren’t an 8 seed in the first round with a dominate win over a good Virginia tech game. Look for a close first half and at times close second half but a decisive victory for the reigning champs.
Prediction: Villanova 85 Wisconsin 77
4 Florida vs 5 UVA
Both teams here were predicted by many (not me) to get upset in the first round. While neither team played a good first half they both showed why they were ranked teams all year in the second. In this game look for UVA to shut down Florida’s offense and for most viewers to change the channel to the paint drying channel for more excitement.
Prediction: UVA 67 UF 60
3 Baylor vs 11 USC
Baylor played a great well rounded game and took the lead and never looked back. USC on the other hand trailed most the game finally took the lead then missed a free throw to seal it and got lucky when smu couldn’t hit at the end and won it by 1. USC had the depth to beat SMU but don’t have the size and strength to match up with Baylor.
Prediction: Baylor 81 USC 68
2 Duke vs 7 South Carolina
Duke is really talented and they are clicking on all cylinders right now with production from everyone even harry giles. South Carolina took advantage of Marquette letting them shoot and crushed them by actually playing defense but in this game shots won’t come as easy and they will have to manufacture points in different ways then mid range jumpers. Look for Duke to come out in front with an easy win
Prediction: Duke 83 SCAR 71
1 Gonzaga vs 8 Northwestern
I’m a big Gonzaga hater because they play in a bad conference and get good recruits so they should dominate their competition so I think a good team in Northwestern can beat them after the zags came out very weak against SDSU.
Prediction: NW 81 Gonzaga 80
4 West Virginia vs 5 Notre Dame
I think this will be the game of the round of 32 as both teams play exceptional defense and can score a lot. I think WVU has the slight advantage here as they have won many big games this year and will force ND to leave their small ball line up early.
Prediction: WVU 78 ND 74
3 FSU vs 11 Xavier
Florida state could not put away FGCU even with a big game from Dwayne Bacon so this match up will be an intriguing one. Bluiett did what he had to do to beat Maryland but fouls cost him valuable playing time. Xavier doesn’t have the depth to beat a loaded FSU team.
Prediction: FSU 79 Xavier 69
2 Arizona vs 7 Saint Mary’s
Arizona has a crazy good team with great play from most starting players. Saint mary’s couldn’t put away VCU who can’t shoot the 3 ball to stay in games. Look for a big blow out here where Arizona just cruises.
1 Kansas vs 9 Michigan State
Kansas showed no signs of weakness after a big 12 tourney upset and outmanned UC Davis. MSU overcame a slow start to runaway with an easy one against a good Miami team. This should be an entertaining game if MSU can put it together again but look for a big Kansas win.
Prediction: Kansas 88 MSU 75
4 Purdue vs 5 5 Iowa State
Both Teams didn’t dazzle in the first round but they both won by double digits and hit the shots they had to hit. So in this tightly contested game it will be I think you would have to ride the hot hand in ISU and pick them to barely beat Purdue.
Prediction: ISU 75 Purdue 73
3 Oregon vs 11 URI
While the loss of Chris Boucher is going to be big in the long run Oregon showed no signs of slowing down and won their first round game easily. URI is the hottest team in the bracket not named duke and dominated in an upset victory. Look for Oregon to play it close in the First half and win big in the second half.
Prediction: Oregon 77 URI 66
2 Louisville vs 7 Michigan
I retract all statements I made about the hottest team in the bracket because the miracle boys from Michigan just keep on rolling and are set to hit Louisville. But too bad Donovan Mitchell and Rick Pitino won let that keep happening and will win but win close.
Prediction: Louisville 86 Michigan 82
1 UNC vs 8 Arkansas
UNC can really do anything you need them to do on a court and can play and succeed against any size line up. Arkansas played a hard fought battle against Seton hall and won it at the end because as I said in my last article Seton hall just doesn’t have the it factor to win late. UNC should get the job done here.
Prediction: UNC 85 Arkansas 70
4 Butler vs 12 Mid Tennessee State
In a not so shocking upset MTSU beat a very good Minnesota team with very good defense and clutch scoring. Butler has been doing what they’ve been doing all year and that is winning. So look for Butler to continue that stretch here in the R32.
Prediction: Butler 73 MTSU 70
3 UCLA vs 6 Cincinnati
The only 6 seed to make it to the second round doesn’t have much life left as they go up against one of the best teams/players in the country and probably won’t make it out alive or with a win.
Prediction: UCLA 92 Cincy 80
2 Kentucky vs 10 Witchita State
Kentucky will run you off the court if you try and play their game and they showed that late in a surprisingly close game in round 1. If WSU wants a real shot at winning they have to keep a slow pace and force Fox to try and play defense. In the end Kentucky will win in way too close of a game.
Prediction: Kentucky 81 WSU 79