In the middle of about an hour I went from writing “I’ll by no means choose Virginia to make the Ultimate 4 once more” on a blackboard 500 occasions to the cusp of an all-time cowl.
Ultimately, I realized you continue to can’t belief the Cavaliers this time of 12 months.
No. Four Florida State (-4½) over No. 12 Murray State (6:10 PM, TNT): The influence of getting the perfect participant on the ground is minimized when enjoying maybe the deepest NCAA crew within the nation. Whereas Ja Morant exceeded the March Insanity hype with an unimaginable first spherical triple-double — and may have one other sturdy efficiency — the Seminoles have the uncommon roster with the size and athleticism to make the longer term top-three choose expend monumental vitality on every possession. Benefit from a line a few level or two decrease than it needs to be for a possible Ultimate 4 crew.
No. 6 Villanova (+4) over No. three Purdue (approx. 8:40 PM, TNT): Pay attention, once you’ve had as a lot success as Matt Painter within the postseason….wait, the Boilermakers have by no means made it previous the Candy 16 in his 13 seasons? And Purdue has fallen within the first week in six of its previous 10 journeys? Carsen Edwards doesn’t have sufficient assist to knock off the disrespected defending champs. Phil Sales space has Eric Paschall.
No. Four Kansas (+2) over No. 5 Auburn (approx. 9:40 PM, TBS): Talking of undervalued. Whereas the Tigers had been a pair free throws away from being despatched dwelling by New Mexico State, the Jayhawks confirmed they had been once more tournament-ready in demolishing Northeastern by 34. Whereas Dedric Lawson dominates inside, count on the Tigers to wrestle on this stage once more. Final 12 months, 4-seed Auburn barely snuck by School of Charleston, earlier than shedding to Clemson by 31 within the second spherical.
No. 2 Michigan (-7½) over No. 10 Florida (5:15 PM, CBS): The Gators gained’t succumb to the strain on this spherical. Just like the Peach Bowl, it will by no means be shut. Florida’s bubble-worthy DNA was on full show with its near-collapse towards Nevada, and its inconsistent offense will barely be capable to breathe towards one of many nation’s finest defenses.
No. 9 Baylor (+13) over No. 1 Gonzaga (7:10 PM, TBS): The Zags aren’t a lot simpler to belief than Virginia this time of 12 months. Even of their lone run to the Ultimate 4, Gonzaga gained three of its 5 video games by six factors or fewer. Mark Few will get to a different Candy 16, however Baylor’s sudden surge from the perimeter will hold it shut.
This season: 22-20-1
2011-18 report: 224-189-8