Friday, March 23, 2012

Boomer's NCAA Men's Sweet 16 Preview Part II

Wow, first night of the Sweet 16 I went 3 for 4, with correctly picking Syracuse, Louisville and Ohio State in my bracket, congrats to the four teams that found themselves one win away from the Final Four...Syracuse will now face Ohio State as well as Louisville will go up against Florida on Saturday in the first set of Elite Eight matchups over the weekend. Now, lets discuss the four Sweet 16 games for this evening and see who Boomer has advancing tonight.

South Region 7:15 CBS

#7 Xavier Musketeers (23-12) vs. #3 Baylor Bears (29-7)  Line: Baylor by 6
Xavier at the beginning of the season were talked about as being a potential dark horse team to reach the Final Four in New Orleans this season after starting 8-0. Then the brawl in Cincinnati happened, and after suspensions were handed out, the X-Men would drop their next 5 out of 6 games and end up finishing 3rd in the A-10 Conference. Fast Forward to the present, and the Musketeers find themselves two W's away from a trip to the Final Four, that everyone was thinking could be possible at the beginning of the season for this team. Xavier will go up against an athletic team in Baylor in their Sweet 16 meeting. Baylor having an outstanding season (29-7, losing twice to Kansas and three times to Missouri) rely on their starters and a balanced scoring attack which features 5 guys avgering 10 or more points per game. Look for this one to be a high paced game, as both teams avg. over 70 points per game ( Baylor 75 ppg & Xavier 71 ppg). Players to watch out for, from Xavier Tu Holiday, Mark Lyons, and Dezmine Wells and for Baylor Pierre Jackson, Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller. A slight edge goes to the Bears in this one.
Bracket Pick: Notre Dame
Live Pick: Baylor

South Region 9:45 CBS

# 4 Indiana Hoosiers (27-8) vs. #1 Kentucky Wildcats (34-2)  Line: Kentucky by 8.5
One of the rematch that everyone was hoping to see once the brackets came out back on Selection Sunday. December 10, the Hoosiers got a program building/back to being relative again W, when they knocked off the then #1 team in the land the Wildcats of Kentucky. Down two with seconds to go in the game, Hoosiers Junior Forward Christian Watford lauched a GW 3 pointer at the buzzer "Watford for the win...", and the celebration and party begin in Bloomington and lasted long into the night I'm sure. Fast Forward now to the present and like that night back in December, the Hoosiers again find themselves as heavy underdogs going up against just twice-defeated Kentucky Wildcats. Look for the Wildcats to pull away in this one early and cruise to the finish. I just don't see a repeat of what happened back in December happening again this time around, Kentucky is focused on getting to the Final Four and winning a National Championship and will have the revenge card to play with as well tonight.
Bracket Pick: Kentucky
Live Pick: Kentucky

Midwest Region 7:47 TBS

#13 Ohio Bobcats (29-7) vs. #1 North Carolina Tar Heels (31-5)  Line: UNC by 10.5
David vs. Goliath. That pretty much sums up this matchup between a National Title contender and the Cinderella of this years NCAA Tournament. The Ohio Bobcats are here in the Sweet 16 after pulling off upsets over Michigan and South Florida, but face a stiff task in tonight's matchup vs. the boys of Tobacco Road. The Tar Heels look to play without their starting PG Kendall Marshall, who suffered a breaking bone in his wrist the last time out. Even without, Marshall, the Tar Heels have plenty of NBA-talent on the roster to have no problem with the Bobcats. This one could be close at the start, seeing as the Tar Heels will be relying on their back-up PG in this one, the Tar Heels go on a run in the middle of the 1st half and keep the pedal down to the finish. This one could be ugly, but hats off to the Bobcats for representing the MAC Conference and the state of Ohio, but sometimes the clock shocks midnight on ALL cinderella's.
Bracket Pick: UNC
Live Pick: UNC

Midwest Region 10:17 TBS

#11 NC State WolfPack (24-12) vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks (29-6)  Line: Kansas by 7.5
The night cap for the evening and second night of the Sweet 16 pairings, has NC State going up against Kansas. Kansas got a scare in their last outing, having to come from double digets down to beat Purdue in their 3rd Round meeting, a game that Purdue let slip away, while the Wolfpack are coming off back-to-back upsets setting up this matchup tonight. I believe NC State got a lot of confidence in their loss to UNC in the ACC Tournament and were granted one of the final spots in the NCAA Tournament, have providing to this point their deserve to be here. This has the feel of being a really good game and probably the game of the night. The Jayhawks rely on balanced guard play and a heavy dose from Player of the Year candidate Thomas Robinson (17 ppg & 11 rpg). We will see if the Jayhawks got their wake up call from the close-call vs. Purdue or if the Wolfpack can pull off another upset setting up an All-ACC Midwest Regional Final vs. UNC Sunday afternoon.
Bracket Pick: Kansas
Live Pick: Kansas

Check back early Saturday for my preview on the Saturday Elite Eight matchups...
#7 Florida vs. #4 Louisville 4:30 CBS
#2 Ohio State vs. #1 Syracuse 7:05 CBS