X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NCAA Basketball March Madness

2014 NCAA Tournament: Predicting Every Round of 64 Game

1 of 73
NEXT

2014 NCAA Tournament: Round of 64 Predictions

2014 NCAA Tournament: Round of 64 Predictions
Richard Mackson - USA Today Sports Images

The Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament is pretty much the maddest that March Madness gets. The Round of 64 is where the Cinderellas first get sized for their proverbial glass slippers, when the favorites sometimes look human, and where brackets start to get busted. In short, it’s the best. If you need help with your bracket, though, here are my predictions for the four play-in games and the riveting Round of 64.

Play-In Game: Albany Over Mount St. Mary’s

Play-In Game: Albany Over Mount St. Mary’s
Andy Marlin - USA Today Sports Images

Play-In Game: Albany Over Mount St. Mary’s

Play-In Game: Albany Over Mount St. Mary’s
Andy Marlin - USA Today Sports Images

In this matchup to see who gets to lose to Florida, I have to go with Albany. Neither of these teams is that good with both not even winning their conference in the regular season. However, sophomore guard Peter Hooley for the Great Danes seems like the x-factor for me, shooting over 40 percent from three this season.

Play-In Game: NC State Over Xavier

Play-In Game: NC State Over Xavier
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports Images

Play-In Game: NC State Over Xavier

Play-In Game: NC State Over Xavier
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports Images

As a team, I tend to favor Xavier in this matchup. However, I’m a big supporter of tremendous individual efforts carrying teams in the NCAA Tournament, which has NC State sophomore forward T.J. Warren written all over it. I expect Warren to continue to be hot offensively and carry the Wolfpack out of the play-in game.

Play-In Game: Cal Poly Over Texas Southern

Play-In Game: Cal Poly Over Texas Southern
Kelvin Kuo - USA Today Sports Images

Play-In Game: Cal Poly Over Texas Southern

Play-In Game: Cal Poly Over Texas Southern
Kelvin Kuo - USA Today Sports Images

Cal Poly’s season has been pretty terrible in all honesty. With a 13-19 record overall this year, there shouldn’t be too many arguments about that. However, this team has momentum from their conference tournament in the Big West and played Arizona and Oregon tough early in the year. I’m going with the improbable Mustangs.

Play-In Game: Tennessee Over Iowa

Play-In Game: Tennessee Over Iowa
Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports Images

Play-In Game: Tennessee Over Iowa

Play-In Game: Tennessee Over Iowa
Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports Images

Iowa lost six of their last seven games including the Big Ten Tournament this season while Tennessee’s only loss in their final six games was against top-seeded Florida. With momentum, Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes on the Volunteers’ side, I have to lean Tennessee.

South Region: No. 1 Florida Over No. 16 Albany/Mount St. Mary’s

South Region: No. 1 Florida Over No. 16 Albany/Mount St. Mary’s
Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports Images

South Region: No. 1 Florida Over No. 16 Albany/Mount St. Mary’s

South Region: No. 1 Florida Over No. 16 Albany/Mount St. Mary’s
Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports Images

I’ve got Albany winning the play-in game and it really doesn’t matter. Florida is deserving of their top-overall seed and will roll over whichever play-in team that they come up against.

South Region: No. 9 Pittsburgh Over No. 8 Colorado

South Region: No. 9 Pittsburgh Over No. 8 Colorado
John David Mercer - USA Today Sports Images

South Region: No. 9 Pittsburgh Over No. 8 Colorado

South Region: No. 9 Pittsburgh Over No. 8 Colorado
John David Mercer - USA Today Sports Images

Other than a win over Kansas, Colorado just leaves me with a lukewarm feeling, especially with how they played against other upper-tier competition. Meanwhile, Pitt suffered only one double-digit loss to a ranked opponent, beat a talented Stanford team handily and came close to knocking off Virginia in the ACC Tournament. Give me the Panthers.

South Region: No. 5 VCU Over No. 12 Stephen F. Austin

South Region: No. 5 VCU Over No. 12 Stephen F. Austin
Peter Casey - USA Today Sports Images

South Region: No. 5 VCU Over No. 12 Stephen F. Austin

South Region: No. 5 VCU Over No. 12 Stephen F. Austin
Peter Casey - USA Today Sports Images

It’s Shaka Smart in the NCAA Tournament. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s don’t bet against Shaka Smart in the NCAA Tournament, especially with one of the most talented teams he’s ever had coming into March Madness.

South Region: No. 4 UCLA Over No. 5 Tulsa

South Region: No. 4 UCLA Over No. 5 Tulsa
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA Today Sports Images

South Region: No. 4 UCLA Over No. 5 Tulsa

South Region: No. 4 UCLA Over No. 5 Tulsa
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA Today Sports Images

Tulsa is one of the hottest teams coming into the tourney, having won 11-straight games. Keep an eye on James Woodard for the Golden Hurricanes, but ultimately UCLA is just too talented for the Golden Hurricanes to keep up.

South Region: No. 11 Dayton Over No. 6 Ohio State

South Region: No. 11 Dayton Over No. 6 Ohio State
Robert Lefheit - USA Today Sports Images

South Region: No. 11 Dayton Over No. 6 Ohio State

South Region: No. 11 Dayton Over No. 6 Ohio State
Robert Leifheit - USA Today Sports Images

Ohio State definitely has the talent advantage, but don’t sleep on the Flyers. With a number of talented transfers on their roster, some impressive wins to their name, and the late-season struggles of the Buckeyes, look for Dayton to pull off the upset.

South Region: No. 3 Syracuse Over No. 14 Western Michigan

South Region: No. 3 Syracuse Over No. 14 Western Michigan
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports Images

South Region: No. 3 Syracuse Over No. 14 Western Michigan

South Region: No. 3 Syracuse Over No. 14 Western Michigan
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports Images

David Brown and Shayne Wittington are big-time seniors for Western Michigan that you’ll want to watch in this game. However, Tyler Ennis is bred for the tournament in my eyes and I think this starts a deep run for the Orange in March.

South Region: No. 10 Stanford Over No. 7 New Mexico

South Region: No. 10 Stanford Over No. 7 New Mexico
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA Today Sports Images

South Region: No. 10 Stanford Over No. 7 New Mexico

South Region: No. 10 Stanford Over No. 7 New Mexico
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA Today Sports Images

Outside of playing San Diego State in conference play, the Lobos’ only ranked opponent was Kansas in a game they lost by 17 points. Perhaps this is a bit of bias towards the bigger conference, but I think Stanford’s experience in the Pac-12 helps carry them to the Round of 32.

South Region: No. 2 Kansas Over No. 15 Eastern Kentucky

South Region: No. 2 Kansas Over No. 15 Eastern Kentucky
Denny Medley - USA Today Sports Images

South Region: No. 2 Kansas Over No. 15 Eastern Kentucky

South Region: No. 2 Kansas Over No. 15 Eastern Kentucky
Denny Medley - USA Today Sports Images

Glenn Cosey of Eastern Kentucky could make a name for himself here as the kid can flat-out shoot the rock. Even without Joel Embiid, though, the Jayhawks will roll behind Andrew Wiggins and company against a Colonels team that has struggle defensively and is one of the worst rebounding teams in the country.

East Region: No. 1 Virginia Over No. 16 Coastal Carolina

East Region: No. 1 Virginia Over No. 16 Coastal Carolina
Bob Donnan - USA Today Sports Images

East Region: No. 1 Virginia Over No. 16 Coastal Carolina

East Region: No. 1 Virginia Over No. 16 Coastal Carolina
Bob Donnan - USA Today Sports Images

Coastal Carolina has had a nice year out of the Big South and hats off to them. However, this team is going to be absolutely suffocated by a Virginia team that plays some of the best defense in the country and has done so against elite competition.

East Region: No. 8 Memphis Over No. 9 George Washington

East Region: No. 8 Memphis Over No. 9 George Washington
Justin Ford - USA Today Sports Images

East Region: No. 8 Memphis Over No. 9 George Washington

East Region: No. 8 Memphis Over No. 9 George Washington
Justin Ford - USA Today Sports Images

George Washington is solid on both ends of the floor, but Memphis’ work this year has gone largely unappreciated. This is a team with wins over a number of teams in the tournament with high seeds and a team that only fell to Florida by two points. They’re inconsistent, but I like the Tigers in this one.

East Region: No. 5 Cincinnati Over No. 12 Harvard

East Region: No. 5 Cincinnati Over No. 12 Harvard
Howard Smith - USA Today Sports Images

East Region: No. 5 Cincinnati Over No. 12 Harvard

East Region: No. 5 Cincinnati Over No. 12 Harvard
Howard Smith - USA Today Sports Images

We all know that Harvard and Ivy League schools have a history of making a little noise in March, but I don’t think this is their year. Sean Kilpatrick and the Bearcats just have too much firepower for the Crimson to hang on in this Round of 64 matchup.

East Region: No. 4 Michigan State Over No. 13 Delaware

East Region: No. 4 Michigan State Over No. 13 Delaware
Brian Spurlock - USA Today Sports Images

East Region: No. 4 Michigan State Over No. 13 Delaware

East Region: No. 4 Michigan State Over No. 13 Delaware
Brian Spurlock - USA Today Sports Images

Michigan State is healthy for the first time in a while and there’s a reason this team was one of the preseason favorites in all of college basketball. Throw in a Blue Hens team that dominated a weak conference and lost against every big non-conference opponent and it’s hard to imagine Sparty not rolling.

East Region: No. 6 North Carolina Over No. 11 Providence

East Region: No. 6 North Carolina Over No. 11 Providence
Bob Donnan - USA Today Sports Images

East Region: No. 6 North Carolina Over No. 11 Providence

East Region: No. 6 North Carolina Over No. 11 Providence
Bob Donnan - USA Today Sports Images

An inconsistent North Carolina team certainly raises warranted concerns, but their talent is going to be too much for the Friars of Providence. Marcus Paige is a guy who has proven he lives for the big moment and there’s none bigger than the tournament. The hit-or-miss Tar Heels advance.

East Region: No. 14 NC Central Over No. 3 Iowa State

East Region: No. 14 NC Central Over No. 3 Iowa State
Peter Casey - USA Today Sports Images

East Region: No. 14 NC Central Over No. 3 Iowa State

East Region: No. 14 NC Central Over No. 3 Iowa State
Peter Casey - USA Today Sports Images

Melvin Ejim is a big-time performer and Iowa State has the talent advantage here. However, it’s hard to discount North Carolina Central having won 20 consecutive games coming into the tournament or the ability of Eagles guard Jeremy Ingram to score the basketball. I’m calling the upset and saying NC Central extends their winning streak to 21 games.

East Region: No. 7 Connecticut Over No. 10 St. Joseph’s

East Region: No. 7 Connecticut Over No. 10 St. Joseph’s
David Butler II - USA Today Sports Images

East Region: No. 7 Connecticut Over No. 10 St. Joseph’s

East Region: No. 7 Connecticut Over No. 10 St. Joseph’s
David Butler II - USA Today Sports Images

Connecticut suffered some bad losses here and there, but their wins are equally as impressive, having finished third in a relatively deep American Athletic Conference. Matching them up with a St. Joseph’s team I’m not too confident in out of the Atlantic 10 and I have to roll with the Huskies.

East Region: No. 2 Villanova Over No. 15 Milwaukee

East Region: No. 2 Villanova Over No. 15 Milwaukee
Brad Penner - USA Today Sports Images

East Region: No. 2 Villanova Over No. 15 Milwaukee

East Region: No. 2 Villanova Over No. 15 Milwaukee
Brad Penner - USA Today Sports Images

28-4 with a win over Kansas is nothing to scoff at, but I’m still not entirely confident in this Villanova team in the tournament. Having said that, it’s hard to imagine them struggling too much with a Milwaukee team that went just 7-9 in Horizon League play this year.

West Region: No. 1 Arizona Over No. 16 Weber State

West Region: No. 1 Arizona Over No. 16 Weber State
Ron Chenoy - USA Today Sports Images

West Region: No. 1 Arizona Over No. 16 Weber State

West Region: No. 1 Arizona Over No. 16 Weber State
Ron Chenoy - USA Today Sports Images

Damian Lillard isn’t walking through that door for Weber State and Aaron Gordon and company are coming to play for Arizona. Pretty cut and dry decision here: go with the Wildcats.

West Region: No. 9 Oklahoma State Over No. 8 Gonzaga

West Region: No. 9 Oklahoma State Over No. 8 Gonzaga
Nelson Chenault - USA Today Sports Images

West Region: No. 9 Oklahoma State Over No. 8 Gonzaga

West Region: No. 9 Oklahoma State Over No. 8 Gonzaga
Nelson Chenault - USA Today Sports Images

Though this Oklahoma State team has had their struggles in Big 12 play, I still find it hard to bet against a team with Marcus Smart and Markel Brown, even against a solid Gonzaga team. I think the stars carry the Cowboys through, though.

West Region: No. 12 North Dakota State Over No. 5 Oklahoma

West Region: No. 12 North Dakota State Over No. 5 Oklahoma
Chris Nicoll - USA Today Sports Images

West Region: No. 12 North Dakota State Over No. 5 Oklahoma

West Region: No. 12 North Dakota State Over No. 5 Oklahoma
Chris Nicoll - USA Today Sports Images

Oklahoma has one of the best scoring offenses in college basketball, which could be a problem for the NDSU Bison. Albeit largely against the Summit League, though, the Bison have a solid defense and the most efficient offense in the country. With three guys shooting over 39 percent from three and Taylor Braun having the ability to absolutely fill it up from all over, there’s an upset brewing against the Sooners.

West Region: No. 4 San Diego State Over No. 13 New Mexico State

West Region: No. 4 San Diego State Over No. 13 New Mexico State
Ron Chenoy - USA Today Sports Images

West Region: No. 4 San Diego State Over No. 13 New Mexico State

West Region: No. 4 San Diego State Over No. 13 New Mexico State
Ron Chenoy - USA Today Sports Images

San Diego State is second in the country in points allowed per game and have made their living on the defensive end of the floor. Though New Mexico State’s offense is the ninth most efficient in college basketball, the athleticism and skill defensively should prove to be the decisive factor in this matchup.

West Region: No. 6 Baylor Over No. 11 Nebraska

West Region: No. 6 Baylor Over No. 11 Nebraska
Tim Heitman - USA Today Sports Images

West Region: No. 6 Baylor Over No. 11 Nebraska

West Region: No. 6 Baylor Over No. 11 Nebraska
Tim Heitman - USA Today Sports Images

Baylor has had a tendency this year and over the past few seasons to perform unpredictably. While that doesn’t inspire any confidence against a talented Nebraska team, I think this Bears team is steadier than some of their predecessors and has the ability to move on out of the Round of 64.

West Region: No. 3 Creighton Over No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette

West Region: No. 3 Creighton Over No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette
Jim O'Connor - USA Today Sports Images

West Region: No. 3 Creighton Over No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette

West Region: No. 3 Creighton Over No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette
Jim O'Connor - USA Today Sports Images

Doug McDermott is the truth, but I’m not entirely sold on Creighton as a whole as I feel they’re too dependent on their star. Even with that, though, the Jays and McDermott are too good to be slowed by this Ragin’ Cajuns team, even if Louisiana-Lafayette is an underrated offensive team.

West Region: No. 7 Oregon Over No. 10 BYU

West Region: No. 7 Oregon Over No. 10 BYU
Scott Olmos - USA Today Sports Images

West Region: No. 7 Oregon Over No. 10 BYU

West Region: No. 7 Oregon Over No. 10 BYU
Scott Olmos - USA Today Sports Images

Oregon isn’t as good as they might have looked to start the year against a weak non-conference schedule, but don’t think that they can’t hang with the best in college basketball. Shooting 39.2 percent from three as a team, the Ducks should be able to cruise by BYU in this game.

West Region: No. 2 Wisconsin Over No. 15 American

West Region: No. 2 Wisconsin Over No. 15 American
Matthew OHaren - USA Today Sports Images

West Region: No. 2 Wisconsin Over No. 15 American

West Region: No. 2 Wisconsin Over No. 15 American
Matthew OHaren - USA Today Sports Images

If you’re looking for excitement, stay away from this game in the Round of 64. Both teams like to slow the game down, play defense, and control the pace. Considering that Wisconsin has had success doing so against a higher level of competition, though, the Badgers have the edge.

Midwest Region: No. 1 Wichita State Over No. 16 Cal Poly/Texas So.

Midwest Region: No. 1 Wichita State Over No. 16 Cal Poly/Texas So.
Reese Strickland - USA Today Sports Images

Midwest Region: No. 1 Wichita State Over No. 16 Cal Poly/Texas So.

Midwest Region: No. 1 Wichita State Over No. 16 Cal Poly/Texas So.
Reese Strickland - USA Today Sports Images

You can doubt Wichita State all you want because they’re a mid-major, but there’s no way they’ll be falling in the first round to either of their play-in opponents.

Midwest Region: No. 8 Kentucky Over No. 9 Kansas State

Midwest Region: No. 8 Kentucky Over No. 9 Kansas State
Paul Abell - USA Today Sports Images

Midwest Region: No. 8 Kentucky Over No. 9 Kansas State

Midwest Region: No. 8 Kentucky Over No. 9 Kansas State
Paul Abell - USA Today Sports Images

This Kentucky team has failed to play to their potential all season. However, I don’t think there’s any way that they can come into this tournament and play poorly enough to get ousted in the Round of 64. Don’t be surprised if Julius Randle and the gang get it together in the battle of the Wildcats.

Midwest Region: No. 12 NC State/Xavier Over No. 5 Saint Louis

Midwest Region: No. 12 NC State/Xavier Over No. 5 Saint Louis
Bob Donnan - USA Today Sports Images

Midwest Region: No. 12 NC State/Xavier Over No. 5 Saint Louis

Midwest Region: No. 12 NC State/Xavier Over No. 5 Saint Louis
Bob Donnan - USA Today Sports Images

Though I have NC State winning the play-in game, I think either the Wolfpack or the Musketeers can knock off the Billikens of Saint Louis. This team lost four of its last five to end the year and lost to the only two ranked opponents they played in their non-conference schedule. I don’t think they have enough to hand with either of the 12-seeds.

Midwest Region: No. 4 Louisville Over No. 13 Manhattan

Midwest Region: No. 4 Louisville Over No. 13 Manhattan
David Butler II - USA Today Sports Images

Midwest Region: No. 4 Louisville Over No. 13 Manhattan

Midwest Region: No. 4 Louisville Over No. 13 Manhattan
David Butler II - USA Today Sports Images

There has been plenty of chatter about Louisville getting harsh treatment by being made a four-seed, but I don’t think that’ll matter all too much in the Round of 64. Manhattan just hasn’t seen a team like the Cardinals all year and I expect them to be overwhelmed when they do.

Midwest Region: No. 11 Tennessee/Iowa Over No. 6 UMass

Midwest Region: No. 11 Tennessee/Iowa Over No. 6 UMass
Randy Sartin - USA Today Sports Images

Midwest Region: No. 11 Tennessee/Iowa Over No. 6 UMass

Midwest Region: No. 11 Tennessee/Iowa Over No. 6 UMass
Randy Sartin - USA Today Sports Images

The Atlantic 10 had a solid showing this season, but 10-6 in the conference isn’t all that impressive. It seems to be a trend of mine, but I think both Tennessee and Iowa playing in power conferences will benefit them in the tournament and carry them over the Minutemen no matter who emerges from the play-in game.

Midwest Region: No. 3 Duke Over No. 14 Mercer

Midwest Region: No. 3 Duke Over No. 14 Mercer
Mark Dolejs - USA Today Sports Images

Midwest Region: No. 3 Duke Over No. 14 Mercer

Midwest Region: No. 3 Duke Over No. 14 Mercer
Mark Dolejs - USA Today Sports Images

Mercer has a balanced and solid offensive attack which could help them put up a fight. However, Duke just has way too much firepower, strength and NBA-caliber size for a mid-major like Mercer to handle. Expect a big outing from the phenomenal Jabari Parker in this one as the Blue Devils roll.

Midwest Region: No. 7 Texas Over No. 10 Arizona State

Midwest Region: No. 7 Texas Over No. 10 Arizona State
Time Heitman - USA Today Sports Images

Midwest Region: No. 7 Texas Over No. 10 Arizona State

Midwest Region: No. 7 Texas Over No. 10 Arizona State
Tim Heitman - USA Today Sports Images

Texas has been up and down all season, which is never a settling feeling heading into the tournament. When they’re at their best, though, they can play with anyone in the country. I don’t know if they’ll be at their best, but I think even playing decently is enough for them to get past the Sun Devils.

Midwest Region: No. 2 Michigan Over No. 15 Wofford

Midwest Region: No. 2 Michigan Over No. 15 Wofford
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports Images

Midwest Region: No. 2 Michigan Over No. 15 Wofford

Midwest Region: No. 2 Michigan Over No. 15 Wofford
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports Images

Michigan is one of the hottest teams in the nation right now. Sure, they failed to capture the Big Ten Tournament title, but they won their last seven games prior to that and have been on clicking on all cylinders. I expect the Wolverines to continue that trend in not falter against Wofford.