We are officially down to the Sweet 16.
The NCAA tournament is officially down to the Sweet 16. In this article I am going to take a look at each Region and make some picks going forward. I’ll give you my analysis of the current situation of the tournament and what I think will play out going forward. Here we go!
The East region is up for grabs! The defending champs, Villanova, and the preseason favorite, Duke, have been eliminated. You have Wisconsin vs. Florida and Baylor vs. South Carolina remaining. Baylor, once the number one team in the country, has been a scoring machine and looks like the Baylor squad that was knocking off top 25 teams earlier this year. The listeners of the podcast know I love Florida in this region. With the elimination of Duke and Nova, their path just got a little easier. Florida has been winning by an average of 20.5pts/game during the tourney and I don’t think Wisconsin will be able to change that. I still like Florida representing this region in the Final 4.
The talk of the West Region has to be Xavier. The 25 point beating they put on Florida State was impressive. I liked FSU coming into the tournament because of their depth, but that didn’t seem to faze the Musketeers. They will run into a tough matchup when they take on Arizona. Unfortunately, I believe Arizona takes this game and will play West Virginia in the Elite 8. I’m not sure if a lot of people would consider West Virginia beating Gonzaga as an upset, but I think the full court pressure will be too much for Gonzaga to handle. Arizona will be representing this region in the Final 4.
The Midwest has that feel-good story of the postseason. Michigan, who has been on an epic run since their runway incident, will take on a tough Oregon team. I think there is enough magic left in the tank for the Wolverines to advance to the Elite 8. Unfortunately, that is where the run is going to end! Kansas has been playing some of the best basketball in the tournament winning by an average of 29 points per game. Frank Mason and the Jayhawks will get past Purdue in the sweet 16. I know Swanigan and the gang would like to think otherwise, but this is the point in the road that their run ends. (I picked Purdue as a team that can make some noise prior to Selection Sunday. Unfortunately, I didn’t think they would draw the Jayhawks as the #1 seed in their region.) Kansas will be representing this region in the Final 4.
Finally we get to the region that is all chalk. The top 4 seeds advanced to the sweet 16 so this is the toughest region to pick. I think the guys from the Point After Show have expressed their love for UCLA coming out of here and I’m not going to change it now. Who will they be playing in the Elite 8? I have to go with UNC. This is another team that has been playing well and everyone has high expectations for the Tar Heels. The over/under for this matchup might be 175. I think UCLA will hit shots all night and squeak by a tough UNC team. UCLA will be representing the Final 4 for this region.
NCAA hoops are nearing the end. Does Xavier have what it takes to keep their run alive? Is there enough magic left in the bottle for Michigan to stamp their name in the record books? Can Purdue shock the world and win it all? Only time will tell. Check back for updates on the tourney and don’t be afraid to talk some smack (Matt Wiedman) regarding my picks and analysis.