Thursday and Friday were the Sweet Sixteen games of the NCAA tournament. I went 3-5 out of 8 games with my predictions. On Thursday night, I was 0-4 and on Friday night, I was 3-1. This tournament has been really unpredictable. Teams that have been playing great have fallen, a few juggernauts have fallen also. Anything could happen on any given night. Loyola-Chicago is still on an amazing run that I don’t think anybody expected except for them and Sister Jean. Texas Tech, Florida State, and Kansas State have gotten a little bit farther than I expected. The Elite Eight is up next and I’m here with more predictions for day one of the Elite Eight.
(11)Loyola-Chicago V. (9)Kansas St. – Loyola-Chicago
I’m taking Loyola-Chicago. I’ve picked against them three times as have a ton of people and they just continue to prove us wrong. They aren’t exactly a high scoring team, but they make all the big plays. They’ve hit three game winning shots in the tournament. They also have played some pretty awesome defense in the clutch. I’m expecting Clayton Cluster and Aundre Jackson to matchup well against Kansas St. The question is, can they keep Xavier Sneed from killing them in scoring. Sneed was 5-8 from the 3 and 50% from the field total against Kentucky on Thursday. Caleb and Cody Martin had 21 and 16 points respectively against Loyola-Chicago. So while they have played some pretty good defense in their first three tournament games, they may need to step it up a notch in the Elite Eight. Kansas St. played a really good Kentucky team Thursday and kept them under 60 points. The only problem is, they were mostly all Freshman. Loyola-Chicago is mostly all Seniors and Juniors. This really makes a difference in the game. I think the fact that Loyola-Chicago can play defense, has confidence and has the older group gives them the edge in this game.
(9) Florida State V. (3) Michigan – Florida State
These two teams had their way with Gonzaga and Texas A&M in the Sweet Sixteen. Florida State won by 15 and Michigan won by 27. These teams have both showed the nation that are offensively explosive. There are basketball games where you literally have to outscore the other team then there are games where defense will get you a win. LeBron said it best, great offense will always beat great defense. This game will most likely be a high scoring bonanza. Florida State’s bench is deep as well and filled with contributors that can all score, like Sophomore Guard Trent Forrest and Redshirt Freshman Mfiondu Kabengele. Basketball is a game of adjustments though, so the question is which coach will make the adjustments to stop the other team. Florida State’s Senior Guard Braian Angola and Senior Forward Phil Cofer will have to see how they match up with Michigan’s Senior Guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Junior Forward Moritz Wagner. Florida State has the better frontcourt in my opinion and the deeper bench, this will propel them at the end of a very high scoring game.
These are my picks for day one of the Elite Eight. What do you guys think? Do you think these two teams will come out of day one on top as well? Tweet us your thoughts @TheUtilityMan17! We would love to hear from you guys! I’ll be back with day 2 tomorrow before the games start!