20 March 2015

2015 NCAA Tournament: Friday 2nd Round Predictions

Well I don't think we can expect as wild of a start to the day as we got with the first few games on Thursday but hey, one can hope. Who will be the next 16 teams to get to the Round of 32? Here are my predictions for the Friday action.

Bracket

2 Kansas vs. 15 New Mexico State - Midwest - CBS, 12:00
New Mexico State has been in many tournaments in recent years but they have never been able to get past their first game. I don't see that changing here. Kansas can be wildly inconsistent at times and I do not think that Perry Ellis is completely healthy, but this would be a stunner.
Pick: Kansas

7 Michigan State vs. 10 Georgia - East - truTV, 12:30
It seems like Michigan State has found their game of late as they seemingly always do when the calendar hits March. Don't be surprised if they pull some upsets and go on a little run in this tournament. They're a better club than the Bulldogs and that will show tomorrow.
Pick: Michigan State

5 Northern Iowa vs. 12 Wyoming - East - TBS, 1:30
Wyoming stole a bid by winning the Mountain West Tournament and with Larry Nance healthy, their offense is less formulaic. Their defense will keep them in the game but they lack the offensive variety that Northern Iowa has, and their defense is better than Wyoming's.
Pick: Northern Iowa

5 West Virginia vs. 12 Buffalo - Midwest - TNT, 2:00
This has some upset written all over it for me. West Virginia generates a lot of offense via turnovers but the thing that Buffalo does the best is take care of the orange. Their offense has a number of guys that can contribute and I think the Bulls will advance.
Pick: West Virginia

7 Wichita State vs. 10 Indiana - Midwest - CBS, 2:30
Like Northern Iowa (and Rodney Dangerfield), Wichita State really did not get a whole lot of respect from the selection committee with this seven seed. This is an excellent ballclub once again thanks to excellent guard play and a fantastic defense. They will dispatch the Hoosiers cleanly.
Pick: Wichita State

2 Virginia vs. 15 Belmont - East - truTV, 3:00
With their defense, Virginia should take this clean without too much harm. But I think the Bruins can hang around simply because they shoot really well and the Cavs have been stagnant on offense of late, even after the return of Justin Anderson.
Pick: Virginia

4 Louisville vs. 13 UC Irvine - East - TBS, 4:00
The Cardinals got too much respect from the selection committee as they did not deserve a four seed at all. UC Irvine can make this interesting, perhaps solely due to the 7-6 Mamadou Ndiaye. However, I don't think he can handle Montrezl Harrell down low.
Pick: Louisville

4 Maryland vs. 13 Valparaiso - Midwest - TNT, 4:30
Valpo is a really solid club on both ends and they can make it very interesting with the Terrapins, who can struggle to get it going sometimes. This could even be an upset scare. That said, the talented duo of Melo Trimble and Dez Wells will power Maryland forward.
Pick: Maryland

8 Oregon vs. 9 Oklahoma State - West - TBS, 6:45
Personally, I thought that Oregon was underseeded and Oklahoma State was overseeded. Funny how that works sometimes. The Ducks have been playing some tremendous basketball the last couple of months behind the excellent Joseph Young and they will dispatch the Cowboys without much difficulty.
Pick: Oregon

1 Duke vs. 16 North Florida - South - CBS, 7:00
Will North Florida be the third straight A-Sun team to pull a big upset, and the second straight to take out Duke? Don't count on it.
Pick: Duke

7 Iowa vs. 10 Davidson - South - TNT, 7:15
Iowa does a lot of things relatively well but they are also kind of meh. Davidson could not defend my ex-wife but they shoot the lights out and can put a ton of points on the scoreboard. I do not entirely love this upset pick but if the Wildcats get rolling, look out below.
Pick: Davidson

3 Oklahoma vs. 14 Albany - South - truTV, 7:15
How Albany got into the NCAA Tournament was pretty wild, and also really cool with Peter Hooley and his background. They have also put some scares into some top seeds the last two years but can they do it again? Sure, but it is going to take one whale of an effort to take out the Sooners.
Pick: Oklahoma 

1 Wisconsin vs. 16 Coastal Carolina - West - TBS, 9:15
We all love the Chanticleers for their nickname and all that. Also, I hear that Conway, South Carolina is a perfectly fine town nearby Myrtle Beach. All of that aside, it won't be a fun way out of the tournament for them.
Pick: Wisconsin

8 San Diego State vs. 9 St. John's - South - CBS, 9:30
Being without Chris Obekpa, a fearsome presence defensively and a useful one offensively, this is going to be a real tough go of it with the Aztecs. San Diego State is truly a mess offensively but their defense is suffocating and their physicality should overwhelm the Red Storm without their chief physical player.
Pick: San Diego State

2 Gonzaga vs. 15 North Dakota State - South - TNT, 9:45
I am a firm believer in this Gonzaga team and I truly think they can make their first ever Final Four. This is an exceptionally well-rounded club with a great offense that goes four-deep. They won't fall here and they won't fall until next weekend.
Pick: Gonzaga

6 Providence vs. 11 Dayton - South - truTV, 9:55
It was a little controversial and perhaps more difficult than many expected it to be on their home floor for the Flyers to advance past the First Four but alas, they'll be here. They are an underrated club and play really good defense, but a more well-rounded Providence team will get the better of them.
Pick: Providence

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