22 March 2015

2015 NCAA Tournament: Sunday 3rd Round Predictions

The first weekend of the 2015 NCAA Tournament wraps up with 3rd Round action today. Saturday's games saw the ousting of a one seed as well as some nifty contests, and we look poised for me after Friday's action saw a flurry of chalk. Who will round out the Sweet Sixteen? Here are my predictions for the Sunday action.

2 Virginia vs. 7 Michigan State - West - CBS, 12:15
The Cavaliers had to face a gnat of a 15 seed in Belmont who were able to hang around for much of their contest, even as their offense looked pretty good. I am still worried some about this offense and I think that will rear its ugly head against a rising Michigan State club. Ring up the upset in Charlotte!
Pick: Michigan State

1 Duke vs. 8 San Diego State - South - CBS, 2:45
San Diego State may be able to sneak around Duke in this game given their excellence defensively should be able to counter a mediocre Duke defense. However, their offense is just so bad that it is hard to see them toppling the high-flying offense of their counterparts, even with the work of the defense.
Pick: Duke

2 Kansas vs. 7 Wichita State - Midwest - CBS, 5:15
Bill Self refuses to schedule Wichita State so this intrastate showdown has even more intrigue than it already has. I have not been that high on the Jayhawks this season as they seem to tinker with that on switch and I think an underrated Wichita State team that excels at both ends will utilize some added motivation to get to Cleveland.
Pick: Wichita State

3 Oklahoma vs. 11 Dayton - East - TNT, 6:10
Archie Miller has been able to build a program with the Flyers that has been able to get wins come March and he has got himself a nice opportunity here against an Oklahoma team that some folks are not that high on. It will be key for Oklahoma's offense to find another option beyond Buddy Hield and get some play from their big guys. This will be a tremendous game but I see the Sooners finding a way.
Pick: Oklahoma

2 Gonzaga vs. 7 Iowa - South - TBS, 7:10
Davidson playing horribly certainly helped matters but the Hawkeyes looked better than I thought they were on Friday evening. They will need to play like this in front of what should be a very favorable Gonzaga crowd in order to pull the upset and I just don't see it happening.
Pick: Gonzaga

1 Wisconsin vs. 8 Oregon - West - truTV, 7:45
This is a terrible matchup for the Ducks. Wisconsin is a big and versatile team that has got the offensive weapons to overwhelm the Ducks on both ends. Joseph Young is going to have to be mighty (I'm sorry, had to) for Oregon to be in the mix down the stretch.
Pick: Wisconsin

4 Maryland vs. 5 West Virginia - Midwest - TNT, 8:40
Both of these clubs survived tight contests early on Friday afternoon and these geographic rivals will now have the opportunity to get a big skin on the wall to get to the regional. West Virginia's aggressive press will force some opportunities their way but I don't think they can handle the dynamic duo of Dez Wells and Melo Trimble.
Pick: Maryland

4 Louisville vs. 5 Northern Iowa - East - TBS, 9:40
With Villanova falling in a stunner to NC State on Saturday night, now these two have an easier path to get to the Elite Eight, if not further. However of these two teams, there is clearly a better team here and it is the Panthers. Louisville's defense will keep them in it but their putrid offense should be held in check by a tremendous UNI defensive unit.
Pick: Northern Iowa

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