-#5 WEST VIRGINIA VS #1 KENTUCKY. Okay, I’m not going to go so far to say that it would surprise me if Kentucky won, but if I had to pick up a straight up winner, I think I’d go with West Virginia. The reason?? They look a lot like the kinds of teams Kentucky has struggled against. They’re not an Arkansas type team that Kentucky would put away, but rather a tough defensive half court team that can actually shoot the ball. They’re better than Ole Miss, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M and the like that Kentucky has struggled against. Kentucky may win. They may win by a lot. But, this is one of their toughest match ups of the season.
-#7 WICHITA STATE VS #3 NOTRE DAME. Both teams got here by beating teams they rarely play, but that they should always play. Notre Dame won an overtime thriller against a very good Butler team to get to a stage of the tournament they’re not used to getting to under Mike Brey. Wichita State absolutely blew Kansas’s doors off in the second half in what had to be one of the most feel good wins in their program’s history. I’m excited for this match up and think it’s a toss up. Notre Dame won the ACC Tournament and has beaten some great teams this year, whereas Wichita State is probably a little undervalued.
-#4 NORTH CAROLINA VS #1 WISCONSIN. I love how Wisconsin has been playing lately. UNC has looked really good as well, and is coming off a big win against a pretty good Arkansas team, but as good as they are I just think Wisky is too tough. They knocked off Arizona in the Elite Eight last year in one of the tournament’s most exciting games, and we could be headed for a rematch this year.
-#6 XAVIER VS #2 ARIZONA. One of the storylines here is that Sean Miller used to be Xavier’s head coach and Chris Mack was his assistant. Xavier has looked really good at times this year, and has played well since the start of the Big East Tournament, but Arizona has looked absolutely sensational. Like I said, an Arizona v Wisky rematch would be exciting
OTHER BASKETBALL TIDBITS
-NJIT, our adopted team, and the Team of the People, has advanced to the CIT Quarterfinals with an exciting win over Cleveland State and will be playing at home, again, this Saturday night.
-The Big East, in its current format, has yet to win an NCAA Tournament game against a team seeded better than #10th.
-#1 seeds outside the Power Five are 0-3 in the Round of 32 the last three years.
-The NIT semifinals are set. Old Dominion will face Stanford and Miami FL will face Temple.
-UCLA is in the Sweet Sixteen despite everyone saying they did not belong. This does not change the fact that everyone was right. They could win it all and it still does not justify their inclusion any more than a third place team in baseball being allowed to play in and win the World Series would justify their inclusion. If anything, it makes it even more unfair because they’ve taken advantage of an opportunity they didn’t deserve in the first place.