Sweet 16 predictions: Who wins Arkansas-UConn, Gonzaga-UCLA?

And … relax.We can finally capture our cumulative breath after a weekend that saw a 15-seed and 16-seed advance to the second round for the first time in NCAA competition history; 2 1-seeds decrease prior to the Sugary food 16; and a trio of game-winning baskets in the final seconds.True college hoops

addicts are currently considering what’s next, though. Is Alabama or Houston in threat? Who’s got the edge in the chaos-filled East region? Can Princeton pull off another sensational upset?Before everyone recharges for the next three days, it’s time for our professionals– Jeff Borzello, John Gasaway and Myron Medcalf– to take an early take a look at Thursday’s and Friday’s Sugary food 16 matches. Thursday, 6:30 p.m. ET, TBS Borzello: It’s fitting this game will occur

at Madison Square Garden, given the

electrical head-to-head fight in between Tyson Walker and Markquis Nowell, a couple of New york city natives. Will Kansas State be able to slow Walker and backcourt mate A.J. Hoggard? How will Michigan State contain Nowell and fellow star Keyontae Johnson? Tom Izzo had the ability to completely reduce the effects of Marquette’s All-American guard Tyler Kolek, and I think he’ll have something up his sleeve this week too.Prediction: Michigan State 72, Kansas State 70 Editor’s Picks 2 Related Gasaway: The book on Michigan State says the Spartans make their threes and never force turnovers. ThenMSU went 2-of-16 from beyond the arc and forced 16 turnovers in beating Marquette by 9

. Tyson Walker

was superb, and one should never doubt Tom Izzo … other than potentially this as soon as? Markquis Nowell is an outright blur with the ball and Kansas State enjoys to get to the line. If the Wildcats are simply respectable on their protective glass, this one could turn their way. Barely.Prediction: Kansas State 74, Michigan State 73 Medcalf: Both teams have been led by vibrant, experienced guards who were the difference-makers in their journeys to this stage. Tyson Walker(17.5 PPG in the NCAA tournament )is 13-for-21 inside the arc through 2 games. He likewise has 6 helps and zero turnovers as the leader

of another Tom Izzo Sweet 16 team. And Markquis Nowell has recorded 44 points, 23 assists and nine turnovers in two NCAA tournament wins, while also linking on 43 %from 3. The much better player that night, in my opinion, will lead his team to the Elite Eight.Prediction: Kansas State 76, Michigan State 73 Thursday, 7:15 p.m. ET, CBS Borzello
: This one’s going to be fun. Dan Hurley vs. Eric Musselman on the sideline is going to be the headline, however I’m going to be locked into the offense vs. defense matchup in between Jordan Hawkins and Davonte

Davis. Hawkins is one of the reallyelite shot-makers in college basketball, specifically over the last month of the season, while Davis is perhaps the best perimeter protector left in the competition. The distinction for the Huskies need to be Adama Sanogo, who had one of the best very first weekends of anyone in the dance, amounting to 52 points and 21 rebounds on 24-for-33 shooting. Arkansas ‘questionable shot selection and turnover issues might likewise be an issue against UConn’s shift offense.Prediction: UConn 73, Arkansas 68 Gasaway: The Razorbacks edged Kansas by offering the Jayhawks a constant diet of Davis. Who knows, against the Huskies it could be Ricky Council IV who carries the load on offense. However the larger concern for Eric Musselman could be defense. Sanogo amounted to 24 points in27 minutes against a formerly exceptional Saint Mary’s D. When he needed a blow, Donovan Clingan grabbed five boards and blocked three shots in 12 minutes.Prediction: UConn 78, Arkansas 70 Medcalf: I believe UConn is what a lot of folks anticipated Arkansas to be this season. Prior to the NCAA tournament, the Razorbacks weren’t a consistent team. But the win over Kansas in the second round showed their depth and skill. In a tournament without a fantastic group, those 2 qualities might be enough. But UConn has those presents and more. The Huskies dominate the offensive glass

through Sanogo and count on numerous shooters who make Danny Hurley’s group so challenging to safeguard. Arkansas has 3 NBA prospects, including former five-star hire Nick Smith Jr. And Arkansas is hitting its stride. However UConn is a more complete team.Prediction: UConn 82, Arkansas 77 Thursday, 9 p.m. ET, TBS Borzello: Tennessee had the best gameplan and perfect execution versus Duke, being physical with heaven Devils and aiming to bully them from the opening tip. They’ll aim to

when again grind down the game versus

FAU, making it a half-court slog. It’s a step up in competition for the Owls, who have not played a Power 5 group given that Nov. 14. There are two areas where Tennessee will win the game. One, FAU relies greatly on 3-point shooting, but Tennessee is the best 3-point defense in the country. Meanwhile, with Zakai Zeigler hurt, the Vols begin four guys 6-6 or taller; FAU is among the tiniest groups in the country.Prediction: Tennessee 67, FAU 57 Gasaway: Florida Atlantic is having far and away its best season in program history and by rights the Owls ought to have been an adorable 9-seed facing off against mighty Purdue in the round of 32. Rather, Dirty May’s group was deemed some fortunate blue blood ruining Fairleigh Dickinson’s enjoyable. March, go figure. Now FAU has been granted with a challenger combining its typical exceptional defense with the scoring of the recently ascendant Olivier Nkamhoua. This one will be close and Johnell Davis is a marvel, but the Volunteers task to be too tough.Prediction: Tennessee 65, FAU 60 Medcalf: Versus Duke in the 2nd round, Tennessee bullied heaven Devils(.85 points per ownership), who truly had no action for a strong Vols squad with five senior citizens who anchor the best defense in America. Tennessee’s SEC opponents linked on just 44.9% of their shots inside the arc versus the Vols this year. FAU will come across the exact same obstacles as it tries to get to the rim and attack

Tennessee. The Owls have been a solid 3-point shooting group this season, but Tennessee’s physicality typically requires teams into tougher-than-usual 3s. It might be a long night for FAU.Prediction: Tennessee 67, FAU 62 Thursday, 9:45 p.m. ET, CBS Borzello: The last time these groups met in the NCAA competition, Jalen Suggs struck a 3 at the buzzer from just inside half court to send out Gonzaga to the 2021 national championship

game. This one need to boil down to the wire, too

. For me, the distinction is UCLA’s defense. While Gonzaga has the very best offense in the country, UCLA may be the very best at the other end. The Bruins have more size and length to make use of against Drew Timme than TCU did. On the other hand, I’m unsure Gonzaga will have the ability to stop Jaime Jaquez Jr., and I like the veteran experience of Tyger Campbell in a game like this.Prediction: UCLA 75, Gonzaga 72 Gasaway: It’s not often you get a rematch of two storied programs with a lot of the same leading players from 2 years earlier.(These 2 groups also played a rather storied competition game 17 years back, obviously.)The script’s going to alter this time, nevertheless. Rather of Gonzaga winning ona buzzer-beater it will be UCLA notching a close triumph. The Bruins are a more powerful, more skilled and more skilled variation of the TCU group that simply played the Bulldogs into the 40th minute. Drew Timme is a marvel however, for the first time in years, opponents have actually been making twos against the Zags this season.Prediction: UCLA 78, Gonzaga 72 Medcalf: Someone ought to get Suggs a front-row seat for this one. The rematch! These 2 teams aren’t as skilled as those two were, however they’re both exceptional. This could be the game where the loss of Jaylen Clark, the Pac-12 protective player of the year who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the Pac-12 competition, has a significant effect on the Bruins. However Gonzaga doesn’t have the defensive prowess to rattle Campbell and Jaquez Jr. can match anything Timme does. This need to be a close, terrific game.Prediction: UCLA 80, Gonzaga 76 Friday, 6:30 p.m. ET, TBS Jeff Borzello: Talk about a contrast in styles. Alabama is one of the fastest groups in the
nation, ranking fifth nationally with

almost 73 ownerships per game. San

Diego State is at the opposite end, ranking No. 263 nationally with fewer than 66 ownerships per game. The tempo battle might figure out which team has the edge. That said, Alabama is also elite defensively and has enough scorers at all 3 levels to get points versus a stingy Aztecs defense. I’m simply unsure SDSU can keep up offensively.Prediction: Alabama 72, San Diego State 64 John Gasaway: The Aztecs excel at forcing opposing offenses deep into the shot clock. Alternatively, Alabama rather notoriously attempts a high portion of its shots in the very first 12 seconds of the ownership. SDSU can likely make this a 60-something-possession contest,

however it’s less clear that doing so is bad news for the Crimson Tide. Brandon Miller is extremely reliable throughout numerous velocities and anyway the Aztecs’finest looks on offense could come early in the clock.Prediction: Alabama 70, San Diego State 62 Myron Medcalf: San Diego State is a defensive juggernaut that has been ranked initially in adjusted defensive efficiency given that Feb. 1, per barttorvik.com. But Alabama isn’t Charleston or Furman. The Crimson Tide are playing top-five defense today. Plus, they scored 132 points per 100 possessions against Texas A&M Corpus-Christi with Miller hurt and scoreless. Miller isthe the best player in the NCAA competition, and a projected lottery pick in this summer season’s NBA draft. This might not be close.Prediction: Alabama 77, San Diego State 67 Friday, 7:15 p.m. ET, CBS Borzello: I’m extremely fascinated by this game. There are many fun angles
that might decide the outcome. Initially, the tempo. Houston will wish to keep it mostly in the half court, while Miami will intend to get chances in transition. Second, the rebounding battle. Neither group is excessively big, but Houston is one of the best offending rebounding groups in the country and Miami just got 20 offending boards versus Indiana on Sunday

. Marcus Sasser, Isaiah Wong, Jamal Shead, Jordan Miller, Jarace Walker. I can go on forever. Guy, I’m fired up for this one.Prediction: Houston 73, Miami 68 Gasaway: What a game this will be. Norchad Omier is a classic Houston-type warrior who in some way eluded Kelvin Sampson’s grasp. The 6-7 sophomore just destroyed the much bigger Indiana front line to the tune of 17 rebounds in 26 minutes. Omier’s a marvel, but Miami’s difficulty is that the Cougars have Omier-level dudes up and down the lineup. Tramon Mark was magnificent versus Auburn and UH has incomplete business from in 2015 when both Mark and Marcus Sasser missed the tournament entirely.Prediction:

Houston 77, Miami 75

Medcalf: Both teams faced questions going into the NCAA tournament. Norchad Omier suffered an ankle injury in the ACC competition, however returned for the NCAA tournament, where he has actually accrued 19 points and 31 rebounds through 2 games for Miami. However Sasser’s capability to bounce back from a groin injury to score 22 points in 31 minutes for Houston in its win over Auburn on Saturday was a great indication. It suggests the Cougars will be close to 100 percent by Friday. Houston is 15-1 in its previous 16 games, its only loss concerning Memphis
in the ACC title game when Sasser was sidelined

with the injury. With top-10 marks in changed offensive and defensive efficiency, this is most balanced team in America.Prediction: Houston 77, Miami 70 Friday, 9 p.m. ET, TBS Borzello: Creighton’s season has come cycle. The Bluejays entered it as a top-10 group selected to win the Big East. Then they lost six in a row in November and December and sat at 9-8 in mid-January. All of a sudden, they’re a win over 15-seed Princeton away from betting a journey to the Last Four. And I think they’ll get that chance. Greg McDermott’s group has 5 genuine offending weapons who can all go for 25 or 30 points, and it had the very best defense in the Big East. Princeton has actually looked amazing for two games, however Creighton will prove too tough.Prediction: Creighton 76, Princeton 65 Gasaway: Princeton reached the Sweet

16 by revealing the kind of flexibility March likes. The

win over Arizona was a rock battle, then the Tigers emerged for 78 points in 63 possessions against Missouri. In Creighton, however, Mitch Henderson’s group is facing an opponent that’s been going for this minute because bowing out versus ultimate nationwide champ Kansas a year ago. This time Ryan Kalkbrenner and Ryan Nembhard are healthy, and Baylor Scheierman’s 3s might start dropping at any time.Prediction: Creighton 81, Princeton 68 Medcalf: A year after Saint Peter’s became the only 15-seed to reach the Elite 8, Princeton aims to attain the exact same feat. But Creighton is a differentmatch from the 2 groups(Arizona, Missouri)the Tigers had to beat to get here. The Bluejays ‘starting lineup ranges in height from 6 feet to 7-1. They have playmakers at every position. And they’re ranked top-25 in both adjusted offending and protective effectiveness. They’re 14-4 in their previous 18 games, so Princeton will face the very best variation of Creighton. I believe the size, ability and flexibility McDermott’s squad possesses will overwhelm the Tigers in the Sugary food 16. Prediction: Creighton 80, Princeton 68 Friday, 9:45 p.m. ET, CBS Borzello: This should be one of the best games of the Sweet 16, featuring two highly experienced teams that can really score. My concern with the Musketeers is their inability to consistently complete defensively. They go long stretches without guarding efficiently(see: giving up 84 points to DePaul in the Big East tournament and falling behind by double digits vs. Kennesaw State in the first round). I believe the Longhorns will be able to take Xavier out of– or a minimum of decrease– its free-flowing, ball-sharing offense and make sufficient chance ats the other end.Prediction: Texas 77, Xavier 74 Gasaway:

If we think about Texas and Xavier

as comprising four various “teams “on one floor, with their offenses and defenses, this is an equally matched contest– other than for the Musketeers ‘D. Sean Miller’s group is simply typical on that side of the ball. This aberrant normalcy in efficiency might make the difference in a potentially high-scoring game in which Souley Boum, Marcus Carr, Adam Kunkel and (perhaps the freshly ascendant)Dylan Disu all have opportunities to shine.Prediction: Texas 83, Xavier 80 Medcalf: Both teams have actually effectively gotten used to significant midseason modification. Rodney Terry ended up being the Longhorns’
acting head coach after Chris Beard was fired in January, and he has put himself in a position to secure the job completely with his Sweet 16 perform at Texas, which is top-10 in adjusted offensive and protective efficiency. Xavier lost Zach Freemantle (15.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG )on Feb. 1, but Jerome Hunter is balancing 19.0 PPG through the very first two rounds. This is a terrific match between a set of groups with Last 4 potential.Prediction: Xavier 85, Texas 83

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