March Madness continues as we will find out the last teams who will be advancing to the Sweet 16. Brian and I are back with another batch of picks for you to follow or fade.
Ohio State +6 vs Houston
The Buckeyes were a team that some felt surprised to make the tournament let alone win their first round game. Now all that stands between them and a spot in the Sweet 16 is Houston.
The Cougars are a good team that is worthy of the their #3 seed. However,(*extreme Stephen A Smith voice) I am rolling with the Ohio State in this contest. I think they can do enough to make this a contest and potentially find a way to advance.
Virginia -11 v Oklahoma
The Cavaliers and their fans got really nervous early against Gardner Webb, after a first round exit a season ago against a 16 seed. Fortunately for the Wahoos and their backers history did not repeat itself. They went on to win the game by 15 points despite being down double-digits most of the first half.
With the nerves seemingly out of the way, I expect Virginia to roll in this contest covering the 11 points and then some. Look for a Final Four and beyond trip for this squad.
Virginia Tech -9 vs Liberty
Staying with my pre-tourney favorites, I will back both Virginina teams. The Hokies looked solid in their first round game against St. Louis winning by 14.
I expect much of the same in this contest against Liberty. I expect Va Tech to roll and move onto the Sweet 16.
Washington vs North Carolina – first half under 69 ½
We all know that the Tar Heels under Roy Williams love to get up and down the court at light speed. This leads to lots of scoring and they normally hit the over. Washington however plays an extremely slow pace and leans on their excellent defense lead by elite defender Matisse Thybulle. He and the Huskies defense limited Sam Merrill to 10 points on 2 of 9 shooting. They also forced Utah State into 21 turnovers.
I understand North Carolina is on a completely different level on offense than any Pac12 team or the Aggies of Utah State for that matter, but the length and defensive pressure from Washington should keep the game close early on. Although I see the Tar Heels pulling away in the 2nd half of this one, a closer than expected, low scoring first half is in the cards for two teams who have almost no current history against each other.
Liberty vs Virginia Tech -5 – first half
The Hokies got their senior point guard back against St. Louis and the rust was apparent. They struggled at times to incorporate him back into the rotation but still came away with a 14-point win against the Billikens.
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Liberty fought their way to a 4-point win against Mississippi State on the amazing second half by Caleb Homesley. The Flames will need another performance of that caliber to keep up with an elite 3-point shooting Virginia Tech team out to prove their a real contender for the title. I think the Hokies come out firing and take a double-digit lead into halftime and easily cover the 5-point spread.
Ohio State vs Houston -6
The Buckeyes took it to Iowa State down low using Kaleb Wesson to beat up on them. Houston won’t be so easily manhandled as they play a physical style of defense and have their own big which can defend Ohio State’s low post game.
The Cougars are also on a mission to prove they are not a fluke and like I stated previously, out to avenge last years crushing loss. Houston and their multitude of scorers will be too difficult for Ohio State to handle.