The Jim Sez Saturday and Sunday Elite-8 Previews
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT REPORT - SATURDAY'S ELITE 8 QUICKIE PREVIEWS
Ladies and gents, let's jump right into our Jim Sez previews for the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 games on Saturday:
WEST REGIONAL FINAL - Honda Center, Anaheim (CA)
#2 OKLAHOMA (28-7) vs. #1 OREGON (31-6) - 6:09 p.m. ET, CBS
"And a one, and a two …"
Okay, so you get the theme for these NCAA Tournament Elite 8 games on Saturday with a pair of No. 1 seeds battling it out with a couple of No. 2 seeds and we start here on the left coast where the top-seeded Oregon Ducks just kicked Duke to the curb with Thursday's 82-68 win/cover that featured 22 assists on 32 made field goals.
If the Pac-12 guys are so caring and so sharing with the ball here, then Oklahoma is in major trouble even if G Buddy Hield comes up with one of his patented 30-point plus games. Dana Altman's Ducks, in fact, may let Hield (17 points, 10 rebounds in easy 77-63 Sweet 16 win against Texas A&M) be a "volume shooter" here while trying to hoist up as many shots as possible in a high-octane game that could be right up Oregon star Dillon Brooks' alley (see 22 points and 6 assists versus Duke but that last-second triple even bugged icon coach Mike Krzyzewski).
Oklahoma boss-man Lon Kruger absolutely loved his team's defense the other night versus A&M (the Aggies drained just 22-of-64 FGs and made good on only 6-of-28 triple tries) but the key here is getting back in transition defense or else the athletic and highly-skilled Ducks will beat 'em with a bunch of 3-on-2's and the like. No question Sooners G Isaiah Cousins (just 1-of-8 from the floor against Texas A&M) needs to complement Hield and G Jordan Woodard (game-best 22 points versus A&M) here … or else!
Now, here's the NCAA Tournament roads that both Oklahoma and Oregon have travelled so far …
|3-24||Texas A&M||- 2.5||77-63|
|3-18||Holy Cross||- 23||91-52|
|3-20||St. Joe's||- 7||69-64|
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have the NCAA Tournament, the NIT, the CBI and the CIT Tournies all for you -- get in on the fun-and-profits today either online or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Plus don't forget we're banging out lots of NBA Winners too!
SOUTH REGIONAL FINAL - KFC Yum Center, Louisville (KY)
#2 VILLANOVA (32-5) vs. #1 KANSAS (33-4) - approximately 8:49 p.m. ET, CBS
It's duly noted that both 'Nova and Kansas have covered all three of their NCAA Tournament games thus far but only Wildcats' coach Jay Wright uttered the following statement after his team's delicious Sweet 16 win against Miami on Thursday night, "This is the best we've played all year."
No doubt Villanova - which shot a blistering 32-of-51 from the field against the 'Canes (that's nearly 63 percent!) - has stepped up its game to a lofty new level with four-year captain PG Ryan Arcidiacono (21 meaningful points and just one turnover in 35 minutes) the heartbeat of this bunch but does anyone really believe that the Big East squad will hit two-thirds of its beyond-the-arc shots here against a cat-quick Kansas defense?
Villanova did bag 10-of-15 triples against a Miami team that really lost its way early and never did recover but the way Bill Self's Kansas crew defends the perimeter, 'Nova may need a 25-point night from inside presence senior C Daniel Ochefu here following his efficient 17-point game the other night.
Kansas may be humming these days with senior Perry Ellis (27 points against Maryland) playing great but when does G Devonte' Graham show up to this "Big Dance" (see 2 points in 37 cramp-filled minutes versus the Terps)?
Now, here's the NCAA Tournament roads that both Villanova and Kansas have travelled so far …
|3-18||NC Asheville||- 17.5||86-56|
|3-17||Austin Peay||- 24.5||105-79|
NOTE : Catch our NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Sunday matchups in the next edition of Jim Sez.
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT UPDATE - SUNDAY'S ELITE 8 PREVIEWS
Here's our Jim Sez previews for the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 games on Sunday ... call 1-800-323-4453 for the Elite 8 selections or get 'em right here on line game-day morning/afternoon:
MIDWEST REGIONAL FINAL - United Center, Chicago (IL)
#10 SYRACUSE (22-13) vs. #1 VIRGINIA (29-7) - 6:09 p.m. ET, TBS
Hey, let's get this "ACC Tournament" day/night started, right?
All four teams in action on this Easter Sunday are ACC entrants but it is long-shot Syracuse that's creating quite the stir because many folks - including yours truly - didn't even think the Orange should have been part of this tourney in the first place. Still, hats off to Jim Boeheim's crew for a truly magnificent finish in Friday's 63-60 win against Gonzaga as the 'Cuse scored 15 of the game's final 18 points with underrated star Michael Gbinije (team-high 20 points) and shot-blocking frosh Tyler Lydon taking center stage late.
Now, the $64,000 question is will this vaunted Syracuse zone defense - one that held the Zags without a field goal for the final six-plus minutes in that Sweet 16 tilt - keep the lid on the heavy-duty favored Virginia Cavaliers? Hey, nobody was moving the ball like Tony Bennett's Wahoos in Friday night's electric 84-71 win/cover against 6.5-point pup Iowa State - a big-time Jim Hurley Network winner! - as Virginia piled up 26 assists on 32 made field goals and the criss-cross in-the-paint passes led to lots off dunks for F/C Anthony Gill (see season-high 23 points). Virginia C Mike Tobey (18 points, 7 rebs versus Gonzaga) could be the most important reserve this whole holiday weekend.
Now, here's the NCAA Tournament roads that both Syracuse and Virginia have travelled so far ...
|3-20||Middle Tenn||- 6||75-50|
|3-25||Iowa State||- 6.5||84-71|
EAST REGIONAL FINAL - Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia (PA)
#6 NOTRE DAME (24-11) vs. #1 NORTH CAROLINA (31-6) - approximately 8:49 p.m. ET, TBS
Heck, we don't want to suggest that ACC rivals North Carolina and Notre Dame arrived at this Elite 8 game from different places but ND has won its three "Big Dance" games by a sum total of 13 points (although they all seemed even closer than that!) while Carolina has won its first three NCAA Tourney games by the grand total of 50 points ... any hoops knucklehead could tell you the Tar Heels are peaking at precisely the right time and now here's senior G Marcus Paige drilling three-pointers like they were suddenly going out of style! Paige banged home 6-of-9 triple tries en route to his sparkling 21-point, 0-turnover game in the rocking-chair 101-86 win/cover versus Indiana last Friday night and that monstrous size advantage that Roy Williams' crew has over any/all foes can't be dismissed here 'cause Notre Dame simply does not match up well up front even with rebounding machine F Zach Auguste (12 boards in 61-56 win against Wisconsin in Sweet 16 action).
Still, the Irish have a little magic working for 'em these days and "injured" head coach Mike Brey (calf muscle) perked up the working media by using the "D" word - as in "destiny" - to help describe his bunch after G Demetrius Jackson practically stole the Badgers' lunch money late in that comeback win against Wisky ... remember Notre Dame lost to North Carolina 78-47 in the ACC Tournament semifinal round back on March 11th. The Heels were 7.5-point favs back then and right now are listed as 9.5-point betting favorites ... just sayin'!
Now, here's the NCAA Tournament roads that both Notre Dame and North Carolina have travelled so far ...
|3-20||Step. F. Austin||- 1.5||76-75|
NOTE: It's the first look at the Final Four in the next edition of Jim Sez ... don't miss out!
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