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How sweet it is

March 23, 2009

Day 4 of the tournament brought no big shockers.  Both number one seeds, Pittsburgh, and Louisville got scares throughout most of the game.  However, both teams are closers and took care of business (Pittsburgh beat Oklahoma State 84-76, Lousiville 79-72 beat Siena).  The Cowboys and Saints played their hearts out, and have nothing to be ashamed of.  I expect Pittsburgh and Louisville to be meeting up in the finals, and luckily my brackets are still intact.  All the 3 seeds moved on, starting with Syracuse.  Carrying the momentum from the Big East tournament, Syracuse has looked dominant in its first two tourney games.  The Orange controlled the tempo against Arizona State and went on to a 78-67 victory.  Devendorf had a great game, and hit two huge three pointers to put the game away.  However, the unsung hero has to be Andy Rautins.  The Sun Devils made a run in the second half and cut the lead to 4.  Rautins hit a 3 with a hand in his face, and the Orange didn’t look back.  Syracuse vs Oklahoma should be a great matchup.  Xavier beat Wisconsin after a hard fought 11 point victory.  Wisconsin was up 2 at half, but Xavier’s talent won out at the end.  The #4 seed will face off against #1 Pittsburgh in the sweet 16.  Kansas crushed Dayton 60-43.  The Jayhawks haven’t skipped a beat since last year’s tourney run, and the amazing thing is that they didn’t return any starters.  For all of those who doubted Bill Self as a coach before last season, shame on you.  Kansas plays Michigan State in what proves to be a great game.  Missouri squeaked out a win against Marquette.  Marquette was down 12 at half, and stormed back to take a 2 point lead.  Missouri prevailed and will play Memphis in the sweet 16.  Michigan State played well enough to beat USC, 74-69.  They face Kansas in the sweet 16.  #12 seed Arizona took down #13 Cleveland State, 71-57.  Arizona has looked great in victories against Utah State, and Cleveland State, but Louisville will be a much tougher task.

Predictions

Kansas vs Michigan State-  This is a tough one to call, but I am going to go with Kansas because of the Collins-Aldrich duo.  Cole Aldrich put on an epic performance against Dayton, as he posted 13 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 blocks.  What a way to get a triple double.  I have no respect for the Big 10 this year, and I think Self will lead Kansas to the elite 8 for the second straight season.

Arizona vs Louisville-  Arizona has looked a lot sharper thus far in the tournament, but Louisville causes too many matchup problems for the Wildcats.  Arizona’s lack of depth will lead to their downfall as Louisville will head to the elite 8.

Xavier vs Pittsburgh-  Both teams had to fight back from behind today, and Xavier and Pittsburgh took care of business.  This game should be close, but in the end Xavier doesn’t have an answer for Dajuan Blair.  Pittsburgh moves on to the elite 8

Duke vs Villanova-  I am sticking with the Big East, and going with Villanova.  Duke will have a tough time matching up with Reynolds, and Fisher on the perimter, and I think Nova is too physical for the Blue Devils on the interior.  Nova will take on Pitt for the right to go to the final 4

Oklahoma vs Syracuse-  As much as I like Blake Griffin, I think Syracuse moves on to the elite 8.  Devendorf, and Rautins will have wide open shots, as Jonny Flynn will be able to outplay Oklahoma freshmen Willie Warren.  This will be a good game, but in the end Oklahoma’s lack of depth will lead to their loss.

Uconn vs Purdue-  Purdue played great against Washington, and is very tough defensively.  However, the Huskies are playing on another level right now, and they will overpower Purdue and win by 10

UNC vs Gonzaga- Gonzaga cannot matchup with UNC, I don’t expect this to be a close game

Missouri vs Memphis-  Memphis defense will be too tough for Missouri, Memphis moves on to face Uconn in the elite 8

Mikeyrolls

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