To be perfectly honest, I’m feeling very good about myself for going 4/4 last night. Sure, it was only four games and I picked all favorites, but it is still a good feeling. I did, however, feel very confident about all of those games while selecting them, and that confidence turned out to make sense as the games were not even close. Tonight, on the other hand, is much more difficult. With closer match-ups and great opportunities, tonight is a very hard one to predict. I hope I can go 4/4 again.
To see my predictions for each game, click read more. All times eastern.
4 Iowa State vs. 1 VIRGINIA – 7:10pm on CBS – I know I picked UVA to lose last weekend and they didn’t, but Butler was a different type of match-up for them. The Bulldogs gave them a fight, but Virginia held their ground. Iowa State has not played a seed higher than a 12 yet and although that doesn’t hurt them, they haven’t exactly had to show much. Overall, I think the defensive prowess of the Cavaliers will be too much combined with the scoring aptitude from Malcolm Brogdon. Brodgon vs. Niang will be the match-up of the night.
7 WISCONSIN vs. 6 Notre Dame, 7:27 pm on TBS – So far, Notre Dame has not beating a team higher than an 11 seed, and struggled mightily to get a win over 14th seeded SFA. On the other hand, Wisconsin, though both have games have been super close, has shown grit in their willingness to fight out each game. Bronson Koenig’s back-to-back threes to beat Xavier were tremendous and the Badgers will ride that momentum through to the Elite Eight with this game. Zach Auguste is playing outstanding basketball, but I think that this is the game that Nigel Hayes finally plays like Nigel Hayes in this tournament and that will be the difference.
11 GONZAGA vs. 10 Syracuse, 9:40pm on CBS – The zone has so far done an excellent job for the ‘Cuse, but they also got the lucky draw of 15th seeded Middle Tennessee instead of Michigan State. Gonzaga has looked absolutely amazing so far in the tournament, knocking off a 6 seed and a 3 seed in almost casual fashion. Sorry, ‘Cuse fans, but I have the Zags size and skill taking this win, especially with their ability to spread the floor.
5 Indiana vs. 1 NORTH CAROLINA, 9:57pm on TBS – I really just like the length of North Carolina and their presence in the paint. Sure, they struggle to spread the floor the shooting the ball, but the Hoosiers don’t really have the size to quite match-up with the Tar Heels down low. To win this game, Indiana has to shoot the ball very well from the field and from deep. Not saying it won’t happen, but it is doubtful against such a good defensive team. I like North Carolina to move on.
And that’s all I have for now, so this me…signing off. -Lukas.