Well at least the Red Raiders were on my side last night. Without them I’d be in a (bigger) hole.
Let that be a lesson to all. Don’t force anything, wait for the ones you feel good about.
LSU (+6) vs. Michigan State – MSU -6
Michigan State survived a Round of 64 scare in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated. They then turned around and had to face conference foe Minnesota (well done Selection Committee) and cruised to the Sweet Sixteen with a 20-point victory. They have bounced back well from the loss of guard Josh Langford for the season, and used a great team effort to take dow the Gophers.
LSU has skated to the Sweet Sixteen. After jumping out to a big lead against Yale in the Round of 64, they nearly allowed the Bulldogs to sneak back into it. Yale covered +7. It took a game-winning layup from Tremont Waters for the Tigers to beat Maryland in the next round. Maryland covered +3.
Good teams win, great teams cover, I think you see where I’m going with this one.
Auburn (+5.5) vs. North Carolina – UNC (-5.5)
Auburn has made it to the Sweet Sixteen via their three point shooting. It ended up being the deciding factor in their 78-77 win over New Mexico State and helped them to jump all over Kansas early. They’ve relied on the three ball all season, but tonight they face a team who is just as dangerous from deep.
UNC has been dancing like there’s nobody watching as they arrive in the Sweet Sixteen. Double digit wins over Iona and Washington have the Tar Heels looking extremely dangerous heading into the second weekend. They have the shooters to match the Tigers, the size to grab offensive rebounds and bother Auburn defensively.
Virginia Tech (+7) vs. Duke – Duke -7
Duke survived a UCF scare that should have sent them packing (twice). They will look to exact some revenge on one of the teams that was able to best them while they were missing Zion Williamson. Zion has separated himself from anyone who might have doubted his status as the best player in the country with his postseason performance, and will be must watch against the Hokies.
Virginia Tech has benefitted from one of the only Tournament upsets thus far, beating a #13 St. Louis and #12 Liberty on quite clearly the easiest road to the Sweet Sixteen. They’ve loved to say all week that they were missing their best player, or at least one of, when they were able to beat the Blue Devils.
Call me crazy, but I think Zion Williamson is worth a little more than Justin Robinson.
Houston (+2.5) vs. Kentucky – UK -2.5
Houston also reaped the rewards of a rare (this year) Round of 64 upset, beating #14 Georgia State and #11 Ohio State on their way to the Sweet Sixteen. They have certainly been one of the most impressive teams all season, however they have not played a team of Big Blue’s caliber since they beat LSU nearly two weeks before Christmas.
Kentucky finds themselves in the Sweet Sixteen despite playing their first two games without their best player. PJ Washington will make his return tonight, and regardless of how limited his workload is, make no mistake this is huge for the Wildcats. Kentucky can beat you in a multitude of ways, but they’re much more effective when they have a threat like Washington manning the middle.