NCAA Sweet 16 predictions

Posted: 03/22/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

Now for the sweet 16 predictions (games have started, but im doing this before looking at any):

#1 Kentucky OVER #4 Indiana, 78-73. Let’s face it. Kentucky is much more talented, athletic, and have a better defense than Indiana. However,  Indiana knows how to beat Kentucky and have tremendous 3 point shooting. Look for Kentucky to win, but Indiana to cover the spread

#3 Baylor OVER #10 Xavier, 76-72. Baylor seems to have the athleticism and size to rout Xavier, but Xavier will keep it close and cover the spread. For Xavier to win, they must contain Brady Heslip and hit their 3 point shots. I’m picking Baylor to win, but wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset.

#4 Louisville OVER #1 Michigan State, 64-60. I don’t really like either team, and both have major holes. Louisville isn’t a great offensive team, but are a great defensive team. As for MSU, in their close win against Saint Louis they shot 54% from the field compared to 35% for St Louis, but MSU barely squeaked by. This is because they have a hard time holding onto leads. Draymond Green and Co. will build a lead, but Rick Pitino’s stifling defense will answer in the second half.

#3 Marquette OVER #7 Florida, 78-68. Both of these teams are built the same kind of way. Get out on the fast break and hit 3’s, and both do it well. However, the difference in this game is Jae Crowder. Marquette’s star forward, Crowder will feast on the shaky forwards on Florida, who’s strength is in their guard play.

#1 Syracuse OVER #4 Wisconsin, 66-61. This is an interesting matchup. The Orange will get thoroughly out rebounded, and Wisconsin has great defense. The Badgers also get to the free throw line a lot. However, Syracuse, even without Fab Melo, have an experienced and deep team. They might lose the rebounding battle, but will get out enough on the fast break to squeeze through.

#6 Cincinnati OVER #2 Ohio State, 73-71. I’ll most likely be wrong on this one, but it is March Madness, so why not. Cincy has great, tough defense, which will be a concern for a shallow team like Ohio State. Cincy should let Jared Sullinger get his points, because there is no stopping him. Instead, they will look to stop William Buford and Aaron Craft from scoring, and will get just enough scoring to win. The spread is Ohio State by 8, so even if they lose Cincy should cover.

#1 North Carolina OVER #13 Ohio, 77-68. This is assuming that star PG Kendall Marshall is out. With him, I think it is a double digit game. Even without Marshall, the Tar Heels have the talent to beat Ohio by double digits. But how will they respond without a true PG? Ohio could keep this close, but talent will win out late.

#2 Kansas OVER #11 NC State, 82-80. This is going to be a very closely matched game, closer than the seedings or the game line (KU by 8) would indicate. NC State can match Kansas in terms of talent. I just like Kansas in this one because they have a POY candidate in Thomas Robinson, who had a bad game against Purdue. I think he bounces back in a big way, but it is still a very close game, much like the Purdue one. 

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