Sweet 16 Predictions, Midwest Madness.

Lagerald Vick


The first two rounds of NCAA Tournament play provided us with some amazing games, including a multitude of down to the wire games with an even a few near buzzer beaters. The Midwest Region has 3 of their 4 top seeds and then arguably the hottest basketball team in the country. Here are my predictions for this weekends match up.

#1 Kansas vs #4 Purdue

This matchup could be one of the best in the Sweet 16. The amount of talent at every position in this game will have fans, and NBA scouts alike, drooling. Between perennial National Player of the Year Frank Mason III, a projected top-three pick in Josh Jackson, and arguably the best big man in the country in Caleb Swanigan, the amount of sheer talent in this game is remarkable. In a battle of a bruising inside team in Purdue and the inside-out attack of Kansas, this game will have its share of highlights. 7’2” center Isaac Haas of Purdue could prove to be an X-factor.

Prediction: If the Jayhawks can keep “Biggie” Swanigan and Haas from absolutely feasting on the glass, they should win handily. The combo of Mason III, Jackson, and Devonte’ Graham is one of the best wing attacks in the country. Kansas 66-63.

#7 Michigan vs. #3 Oregon

One of the more interesting matchups in the Sweet 16 is Michigan vs. Oregon. The Ducks, who started the year off ranked in the top 5 in both the AP and Coaches poll, fell to 2-2 with Dillon Brooks out with an injury. When he returned the entire look of this team changed. Brooks can do it all and has a great side kick in guard Tyler Dorsey, who buried URI‘s tournament dreams with a pull up 3 to win. On the flip side, The Wolverines are the hottest team in basketball right now at arguably any level. After a scary plane incident before the Big 10 tournament, the Wolverines captured the heart of the nation going on a run to win the Big 10. They have won 7 straight games and haven’t looked back. Derrick Walton Jr. has this offense running at its highest level since Trey Burke was there, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman has the best name I’ve ever seen (and the game to back it up), and D.J. Wilson has really come into his own. Throw in Zach Irvin, and the Wolverines are a scary team.

Prediction: Will the magic for Michigan ever run out? After losing center Chris Boucher, Oregon has been playing the small ball lineup we now see in the NBA. The Ducks score around 79 points a game, so this one could get wild. However, Michigan is too hot to handle right now. Michigan 77-75.


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