23 March 2013

2013 NCAA Tournament: 3rd Round Saturday Predictions

The "2nd" Round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament has come to a conclusion and now these teams have a chance to get to the Regional Semifinals, or the Sweet Sixteen as kids these days like to call it. Who will survive and advance? Here are my picks for the Saturday games of the 3rd Round.
TV Schedule

#3 Michigan vs. #5 VCU - South - Auburn Hills 
The Maize and Blue were very strong against the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State, but Naismith Award contender Trey Burke was almost a non-factor, scoring only six points. He will certainly have a tough matchup as do all point guards against Havoc, and I think having only one day to prepare will do Michigan in.
Pick: VCU

#3 Michigan State vs. #6 Memphis - Midwest - Auburn Hills
Does Memphis have the talent to take out the Spartans? I think so, yes. However, when you actually watch them play, it makes you shake their head. Go back and watch how they nearly gave the game away against Saint Mary's. Their fundamentals are going to have to be in tip-top shape to take out Michigan State, and I don't see that happening.
Pick: Michigan State

#1 Louisville vs. #8 Colorado State - Midwest - Lexington
I think Colorado State with their toughness and their strength on the boards can hang with the Cardinals, but they are not deep enough to pull off the upset.
Pick: Louisville

#6 Arizona vs. #14 Harvard - West - Salt Lake City
Could we see the Wildcats overlook the Crimson the same way the Lobos did on Thursday night? I don't think so, and I think it will be hard for Arizona to ignore Laurent Rivard from the perimeter like New Mexico did. Tommy Amaker and his squad will give it a heck of a run, but I think they will be kept just a bit shy of the Regional Semifinals.
Pick: Arizona

#4 Saint Louis vs. #12 Oregon - Midwest - San Jose
As we knew, Oregon was ludicrously underseeded and it showed when they dispatched Oklahoma State with relative ease on Thursday. And I did give them some consideration to take out the Billikens. However, the excellent SLU defense will keep Dominic Artis, Arsalan Kazemi and the Ducks out of rhythm offensively and crank out enough offense to advance. 
Pick: Saint Louis

#3 Marquette vs. #6 Butler - East - Lexington
Let's be honest, Marquette needed a fair amount if luck to get by Davidson, most notably Davidson making some boneheaded mistakes and the Golden Eagles hitting some huge contested threes. I am still not feeling them yet so give me the Butler to do it again.
Pick: Butler

#1 Gonzaga vs. #9 Wichita State - West - Salt Lake City
The Zags did not look that impressive against the 16th seeded Tigers of Southern on Thursday evening but when it mattered most, they were able to pull away thanks to Kelly Olynyk, who was seemingly unstoppable down the stretch. The Shockers are good enough on defense to hang with the Bulldogs but their offense does not have enough pop.
Pick: Gonzaga

#4 Syracuse vs. #12 California - East - San Jose
Cal rode the home crowd and solid play from their big men, as well as some pitiful shooting by UNLV, to pull off the 5-12 upset, but they are going to need a lot more to upset the Cuse, who are coming off a destruction of Montana. Playing essentially at home will help, but not enough.
Pick: Syracuse

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