17 March 2012

2012 NCAA Tournament: 3rd Round Predictions

The road to the Final Four down in New Orleans continues as what was at times a wild second round has concluded. Who will survive and advance to the regional semifinals? Here are my picks.

Saturday, March 17:

(1) Syracuse vs. (8) Kansas State
I really am feeling the Wildcats. K-State is fantastic on the rebounds, which is one spot where the Orange struggle, particularly sans Fab Melo.
Pick: Kansas State

(2) Ohio State vs. (7) Gonzaga
Gonzaga was really impressive against the Mountaineers on Thursday but I don't think they have the size to match the Buckeyes'.
Pick: Ohio State

(3) Marquette vs. (6) Murray State
Expect a really high scoring match between these two explosive offenses. I really think that the Racers will take this one, even as Marquette is probably better overall. Just a feeling.
Pick: Murray State

(4) Wisconsin vs. (5) Vanderbilt
The Badgers really struggle to score and Vanderbilt's athleticism will prove too much.
Pick: Vanderbilt

(4) Indiana vs. (12) VCU
The Hoosiers have not played a team quite like the Rams and their "Havoc" defense and the loss of Verdell Jones will really hurt here.
Pick: VCU

(1) Kentucky vs. (8) Iowa State
Now did Iowa State play really well or did UConn fail to show up? Probably both. Fred Hoiberg's team will give it their all but the talent differentiation is just too much to ignore.
Pick: Kentucky

(3) Baylor vs. (11) Colorado
If the Bears show up, they should roll. The real question is will they? I ultimately lean towards the positive because Perry Jones has to wake up some day.
Pick: Baylor

(4) Louisville vs. (5) New Mexico
This should be a real grinder of a game based on how these teams play but this New Mexico club club is too balanced offensively as compared to Louisville.
Pick: New Mexico

Sunday, March 18:

(3) Georgetown vs. (11) North Carolina State
Well the Hoyas just proved me wrong and I was really impressed with how they played on Friday. The Wolfpack cannot match their size down low.
Pick: Georgetown

(1) Michigan State vs. (9) Saint Louis
Rick Majerus always has crafty teams come tournament time but you can't bet against Tom Izzo this early.
Pick: Michigan State

(1) North Carolina vs. (8) Creighton
If the Blue Jays are hitting threes they got a chance to pull some Northern Iowa action. But the addition of John Henson will put UNC over the top.
Pick: North Carolina

(7) Florida vs. (15) Norfolk State
Now I would love to pick Norfolk State but Florida looked too good today and I think that their starting five will come out strong.
Pick: Florida

(12) South Florida vs. (14) Ohio
USF just plays really ugly games, they're pitiful to watch. I think Ohio has a solid chance because they are not terrible from deep but the Bulls' physical defense will propel them to the 16 round.
Pick: South Florida

(10) Xavier vs. (15) Lehigh
Now I have the Musketeers in the Sweet Sixteen but I really like Lehigh here. These are similar teams that are propelled by excellent guard play but C.J. McCollum will put the Hawks over the top.
Pick: Lehigh

(2) Kansas vs. (10) Purdue
While the Jayhawks struggled for a little with Detroit, they are just so much better than Purdue. The Boilers' only chance is if this is a really low scoring team.
Pick: Kansas

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