Alright, here we are. 16 teams left, 8 games. There has been a lot of upsets in the Round of 32. #1 overall seed Villanova lost to Wisconsin, #3 seed Florida State fell to Xavier, #2 seed Louisville lost to the team of destiny Michigan and #2 Duke fell to South Carolina. So, we didn’t see a lot of upsets in the Round of 64, but there was plenty of upsets in the Round of 32. And I’m sure there will be plenty of more upsets in the Sweet 16, so lets dive right into it.
#8 Wisconsin vs #4 Florida (Friday, Approx. 9:59 p.m. TBS)
I like this match up a lot. This is the last game of the Sweet 16 and I think it will be a very, very good game. Wisconsin had to beat Virginia Tech and Villanova just to get to the Sweet 16. Those are real tough match ups. Florida had to defeat East Tennessee State and Virginia. Wisconsin had close games, while Florida blew out both of their opponents. That should give the advantage to Wisconsin. They know to win close games in March and that’s what matters. Wisconsin is lead by Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig. Both terrific seniors, and their careers don’t end in the Sweet 16.
Prediction: Wisconsin defeats Florida 65-61.
#7 South Carolina vs #3 Baylor (Friday, Aprrox. 7:29 p.m. TBS)
South Carolina defeated the favorites to most people to win this tournament, Duke. Duke was the hottest team in the tournament. So what did South Carolina do to defeat the hottest team in America? Have the hottest second half in school history. South Carolina put up 65 points in the second half. Sindarius Thornwell is a beast and I think he continues to be a beast. Baylor size and length will give SC problems and Motley will have a big game for the Bears. But it’s not enough. The feel good story of the tournament with Frank Martins past and road to get to where he is now, continues.
Prediction: South Carolina defeats Baylor 78-73.
#1 Gonzaga vs #4 Vest Virginia (Thursday, 7:39 p.m. TBS)
Gonzaga is going to have a tough task against West Virginia. WVU loves to run and get out in transition. There full court press will bother Gonzaga because WVU is a team Gonzaga has never faced before this year and it’s very hard to prepare for. I believe WVU gets out to a good, respectable lead in the first half. Mark Few will make adjustments at half for Gonzaga and Nigel Williams-Goss will control the tempo after halftime. Him and Zach Collins will lead a great comeback.
Prediction: Gonzaga defeats West Virginia 61-57
#2 Arizona vs #11 Xavier (Thursday, Approx. 10:09 p.m. TBS)
The last game on Thursday night. Xavier had two upsets already this tournament, defeating #6 Maryland and #3 Florida State. It’s been a good tournament for Xavier, but the Sweet 16 is as far as it goes. Arizona will defeat Xavier and I think by a wide margin. Arizona just has to much length and too much talent to lose this game.
Prediction: Arizona defeats Xavier 74-61
#1 Kansas vs #4 Purdue (Thursday, Approx. 9:39 p.m. CBS)
Not giving a prediction because I’m an avid Kansas fan. So whatever I say is not good. I’m very superstitious. All I will say is this game is going to be excellent and may cause me to have a heart attack…. The Jayhawks are going to have a real tough time with Purdues size, especially Swanigan. It’s going to be interesting how Bill Self decides to guard Swanigan. The Jawyhawks backcourt is going to have to play extremely well to win this game. Playing in their backyars, the Sprint Center, in Kansas City should help, but Purdue is a great team We’ll see
#7 Michigan vs #3 Oregon (Thursday, 7:09 p.m. CBS)
The tam of destiny, the best story in College Basketball, Michigan, is playing in the Sweet 16. After their plane was run off the runway, and crashed into the fence, Michigan went on a run. They ran through the Big 10 tournament, winning the whole thing and now reaching the Sweet 16 after winning close games against #10 Oklahoma State and #2 Louisville. Oregon escaped by the skin of their teeth against Rhode Island and the loss of Chris Boucher is starting to affect the Ducks. The Team of Destiny marches on the the Elite 8.
Prediction: Michigan defeats Oregon 77-74
#1 North Carolina vs #4 Butler (Friday, 7:09 p.m. CBS)
Let’s be honest, no one wants to face Butler in the tournament. Their past tournament success against big time teams, should scare a lot of people. This game is going to be close, but not as close as people hope. North Carolina, after escaping Arkansas upset bid by going on a 12-0 run to end the game, will look to have a better effort. After watching UNC all year because my brother, and co Wingspan Sports writer, Mike (@mikey_ryan11 on twitter), is a die hard UNC fan. And after watching them all year, the Arkansas game was the WORST game they’ve played in a while. And they still won. The days off will allow Joel Berry to rest up to heal that ankle, Justin Jackson will have a big game and break out of the slump and UNC advances.
Prediction: UNC defeats Butler 79-68
#2 Kentucky vs #3 UCLA (Friday, Approx. 9:39 p.m. CBS)
This is a Sweet 16 matchup?!?! MY God how did we as College Basketball fans get this lucky? Two of the best teams this year, two of the best program in all of CBB.
Malik Monk. De’Aaron Fox. Bam Adebayo. Isiah Briscoe
Lonzo Ball. TJ Leaf. Ike Anigbogu.Bryce Alford.
Buckle Up. This could be the best game of the entire tournament.
Prediction: UCLA defeats Kentucky 71-70