Here is a look at my picks for the start of the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament, based on my picks in the 1st round you may not want to follow my picks to a 'T'.
#1 Florida def. #9 Pittsburgh: I do still like Talib Zanna and the Pittsburgh Panthers but I have a feeling that the Florida Gators will come out on fire after playing so poorly in the opening round. If the Gators had played Pitt on Thursday they wouldn't be in this tournament right now but Saturday is a new day.
#3 Syracuse def. #11 Dayton: The Dayton Flyers are not a team that you would expect to make a splash in the tournament but they did with a win over Ohio State. That splash would turn into a tidal wave with a win against Syracuse. Too much fire power on Cuse's bench for the Flyers to keep up.
#12 Harvard def. #4 Michigan State: Michigan State may be Barack Obama's national champion pick but even the President of the United States can be wrong every once in a while.
#7 U Conn def. #2 Villanova: I think we are bound to be in for a great game between these two schools. If you look at the defensive strengths of U Conn they are similar to those of Creighton. I think the Huskies can exploit Nova's offense in the same way the Bluejays did twice during the regular season (Getting a hand in the shooters face and crashing the defensive boards).
#4 San Diego State def. #12 North Dakota State: North Dakota State is a great shooting team and they held true as my big upset pick for 2014 but San Diego State is too long, strong and talented to lose this game.
#2 Wisconsin def. #7 Oregon: Bo Ryan is going to have to reach into his bag of tricks from his days with the Wilkes Colonels in the late 60's to find a way to win in this game. Oregon is athletic and they can keep an uptempo game going deep into the second half. The Badgers like to get into their sets and no doubt Ryan will have them slowing this game down to their pace.
#4 Louisville def. #5 St. Louis: The Billikins wouldn't have escaped the first round if NC State had worked on their free throws a little more during the shoot around before each half. I don't need to explain this decision... (Can you tell I am still upset about NC State not closing out on St. Louis in Round 1?).
#2 Michigan def. #7 Texas: The Michigan Wolverines are another Big 10 team that I think can advance into the round of 16. I liked Texas in round 1 but after watching their game against Arizona State in round 1 I am not impressed enough to take them further in this tournament.
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