Second Round Predictions:
No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 16 Long Island/James Madison– No worries for the Hoosiers in this one. Indiana is moving on no matter who they face in the Round of 64.
No. 8 North Carolina State vs. No. 9 Temple- The Wolfpack are a tough out, that’s for sure, but they got a tough match-up against a red hot Temple squad. Khalif Wyatt is a star and the Owls will advance in this 8/9 contest.
No. 5 UNLV vs. No. 12 California– The Golden Bears burst into the NCAA Tournament with a nice run late in the season. UNLV is battle tested though and they won’t roll over easy. The Rebels move forward into the Round of 32.
No. 4 Syracuse vs. No. 13 Montana– The Orange enter the NCAA Tournament hot, despite blowing the lead and the game in the Big East Tournament championship. Syracuse should prove too much for Montana in this one.
No. 6 Butler vs. No. 11 Bucknell– Mike Muscala is a handful down low, but Brad Stevens and his Bulldogs are ready to go. Rotnei Clarke has never played in the NCAA Tournament, so look for him to light it up early and send a message to the rest of the field. Butler moves forward.
No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 14 Davidson- Tough match-up for the Golden Eagles, but Buzz Williams has a gritty bunch that’s used to overachieving expectations. Jake Cohen and De’Mon Brooks are dangerous though, so here’s our biggest upset of the Round of 64. Davidson moves on.
No. 7 Illinois vs. No. 10 Colorado– The Buffalos can be a dangerous team come March and if they figure out a way to slow down Brandon Paul, they should advance. Move Colorado ahead to the Round of 32.
No. 2 Miami (FL) vs. No. 15 Pacific – The Hurricanes won the ACC regular season and tournament crown and they are certainly not going down in the Round of 64. Move Miami (FL) into the next round.
Third Round Predictions:
No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 9 Temple– The Owls are talented, but they will have no answer for Cody Zeller in this one. Indiana may have blown their chance to play in Indianapolis in the Sweet 16, but Washington D.C. will work out just fine.
No. 4 UNLV vs. No. 4 Syracuse– Big time third round match-up here. Syracuse has the ability to slow down Anthony Bennett with their 2-3 zone, so the Rebels need to hit shots to have a chance. Move the Orange forward to the Sweet 16.
No. 6 Butler vs. No. 14 Davidson– Great match-up here. Davidson is fresh off their upset victory over Marquette, but once again Butler is beginning to make some noise. The Bulldogs are headed to yet another Sweet 16 under Brad Stevens’ guidance.
No. 10 Colorado vs. No. 2 Miami (FL)– NCAA Tournament experience is key. Senior leadership is even more key. Miami has both, but that lack of big game play will hurt the Hurricanes here. Colorado has nothing to lose and they will shine in this one, moving forward to the Sweet 16.