NCAA Tournament -- Second Round News/Notes
HERE’S OUR “WEEKEND WATCH LIST”
Okay, NCAA Tournament, where’s all the drama?
The first two “full days” of the tourney (that’s this past Thursday/Friday) brought us zero buzzer-beaters and some 20 games decided by twin-figure margins… maybe this second round of games on this last-weekend-of-winter will bring forth a batch of nail-biters, so stay tuned!
All we know so far is the top four seeds in every region won and the twin-figure seeds that did snag victories were actually betting favorites, save for #11 USC and #11 Xavier (see wins by #10 Wichita State, #11 Rhode Island and #12 Middle Tennessee State – told y’all those teams were all seeded way too low for this man’s tourney!).
We’ve got a variety of items on our “weekend watch list” but first this quickie reminder:
Jim Hurley has all the NCAA Tournament Winners right through the Championship Game on the night of April 3rd and you can get it either right here at www.jimhurley.com or at 1-800-323-4453 – plus don’t forget we’re banging out lots of winners in the other college tournies such as the NIT, CIT and CBI and there’s lots of daily NBA Winners too these days.
NCAA TOURNAMENT – WEEKEND WATCH LIST
It’s gonna be interesting to see if any/all of those double-digit seeds will live to see the Sweet 16 and no doubt the most highly-anticipated second-round matchup of them all is aforementioned #10 Wichita State going up against old pal Kentucky on Sunday (tipoff at approximately 2:40pm ET). One thing for sure is the Shockers need jump-shot artist G Conner Frankamp to heat up against the favored Wildcats – Frankamp drained one key triple if 24 minutes of action in the 64-58 non-cover win against 6½-point pup Dayton…
Ask us and we say all four No. 1 seeds could face extinction here in Round 2 – maybe all the top seeds survive-and-advance but consider the following:
East… #1 Villanova vs. Wisconsin – The Badgers’ Bronson Koenig poured in a game-high 28 points versus Virginia Tech and sometimes didn’t have to set his feet and still bombed in made trifectas. On the flip side, usually under-control ‘Nova point guard Jalen Brunson committed a couple of silly charge fouls and didn’t always look poised in that so-what 20-point non-cover win against Mount St. Mary’s.
West… #1 Gonzaga vs. Northwestern – The Las Vegas folks posted the Zags as hefty 11-point betting favorites for this Saturday showdown (5:15pm ET tip) but truth is Mark Few’s club better get an early wake-up call here after freshman Zach Collins saved its bacon with nine of his 10 points coming in an otherwise flat first half.
Midwest… #1 Kansas vs. Michigan State – The thought of taking Sparty coach Tom Izzo plus a bundle of points in an NCAA Tournament game must scare any potential pro-Kansas bettor but consider this: Michigan State’s runaway 78-58 win against Miami on Friday night featured major playing time for four freshman who may not “know any better”. Nobody in this tourney looked any better than Michigan State in that 20-2 scoring run that closed out the opening half.
South… #1 North Carolina vs. Arkansas – Flagrant foul or not near the end of the Hogs’ 77-71 win against Seton Hall this past Friday, the fact of the matter is this SEC crew got off the mat in the game’s final few minutes and survived despite allowing 21 offensive rebounds. If Arkansas can seal off the likes of UNC’s Kennedy Meeks and friends here, this could get scary close.
Finally, are we gonna get an “encore” from the likes of Michigan G Derrick Walton Jr. (26 points/11 assists versus Oklahoma State) in his Sunday game against Louisville and will Saint Mary’s surprise 5-point fav Arizona on Saturday? The Gaels have stat-sheet stuffing big man Jock Landale (18 points/13 rebounds versus VCU) on their side and he may be the best player America knows nothing about.
NOTE: More NCAA Tournament News/Notes in the next Jim Sez.
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