The Sweetest 16
Before I get into my predictions for the sweet sixteen and the elite eight, I have to brag a little. No, not about my bracket, it looks horrible. This wonderful four days of basketball are usually watched in sold out arenas, packed bars, or in front of a TV in the comfort of your own house. Not me. No, this year I will be at the beach, enjoying great weather, a lot of cold beverages, good friends, and some college basketball. This will truly make it the sweetest sweet sixteen ever for me. Follow me on Twitter, @BruceRWilson, as I will ‘attempt’ to tweet live during the games while I’m on the beach (that ought to be funny).
Now for the games: Today we get to see Syracuse take on Wisconsin. I have a cousin who loves the Badgers and will hate me for saying this, but I have to go with Syracuse in this one. In the second game of the east region Cincinnati faces Ohio State. Jared Sullinger did not play as well as the Buckeyes would have liked him to in the second half of the season, but I expect a big weekend from him. I look for Ohio State to beat their in-state rival and move on to take out Syracuse on Saturday, stamping their ticket to the final four.
In the west region we have #1 seed Michigan State against Louisville. Watch the guard play in this game and see how well both teams can keep the tempo moving. I see the Spartans advancing to Saturday in a fun game over Louisville. The night-cap gives us Marquette vs. Florida. I would not mind seeing the upset here with the lower seeded Gators winning. That would set up a Saturday contest between Michigan State and Florida, one I think Tom Izzo could lead his team to victory in, getting back to the final four.
In one of the very few match ups that I correctly predicted, #1 seed Kentucky takes on Indiana. This rematch of the Wildcats only regular season loss will be enjoyable to watch but I feel the boys in blue will have no problems gaining a measure of revenge against the Hoosiers. The other side of the south region has the ugly uniforms of Baylor hurting the eyes and heads of the Xavier players. This one shouldn’t be close and I predict Kentucky will overcome the hideous outfits on Sunday to book their trip to New Orleans.
The midwest region is probably the most intriguing. #1 seed North Carolina faces the lowest seed remaining #13 Ohio. Tar Heel point guard Kendall Marshall is not expected to play in this game after suffering a broken wrist last weekend. I think the talent of Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, and John Henson will lead the Tar Heels in a close game. Last but not least, #2 seed Kansas faces #11 seed North Carolina State. The Wolfpack are looking to upset a Jayhawk team that did not look particularly strong against Detroit or Purdue in the opening weekend. If the State can stay out of the foul trouble that has plagued them all season, they might have a shot. I originally predicted this match up in my bracket and chose Kansas to win, however it would be neat to see UNC against NC State one more time on Sunday. Regardless of who they play, I expect to see Kendall Marshall play on Sunday, although if it is Kansas I’m not sure it will be enough. Kansas was my original pick out of this region to go to the final four, I should stick with it right?
What do the Tar Heel faithful think about Kendall Marshall and their chances this weekend to make it back to the final four? Who would you rather see on Sunday: State or Kansas? You can let us know below, or on our WFNZ The Fan 610 Am Facebook page, or on Twitter: @BruceRWilson and @WFNZ. As always you can send your love and hate mail to me at BruceRWilson3@gmail.com Thanks for reading!
*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Sports Radio 610 AM WFNZ The Fan*