Kimberly’s March Madness Blog

Kimberly's March Madness Blog

photo credit to squaresmadness.com

kimberly messineo, reporter

Success is sweet, and the Sweet 16 is set to begin in just a few hours. This year’s tournament has definitely been the madness that everyone expects with March Madness. If someone were to tell me that a 15 seed had clinched a spot in the Sweet 16, I wouldn’t have believed them. But this year, for the first time ever, that has happened.

Over eight million brackets were filled out with ESPN, and there are no perfect brackets left. That is simply because no one would have ever thought that Harvard would win, and that 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast would come out of nowhere to get to the Sweet 16. My bracket is looking rough; I managed to choose nine of the Sweet 16 teams correctly. Tonight the games will continue, and these are my predictions for the teams that advance to the Elite Eight.

Louisville vs Oregon: Although Oregon has been on a run with their winning of the Pac-12, I think this will be the end of the road for them. Louisville is the number one team in the country and they’ve got a great defensive team to stop Oregon from outscoring them.

Michigan State vs Duke: The regular season was interesting for Duke, having to compete without one of their star players, and Michigan State was a team that not very many people thought too much about. Michigan State has had an impressive season and tournament run, but I think Duke will come out with the win. Duke has big guys who can score and defend, so they will stop Michigan State.

Wichita State vs La Salle: Neither one of these teams was expected to reach the Sweet 16. La Salle was a play-in team who managed to beat Kansas State and Ole Miss. Wichita State managed to take down Pittsburg and the one seeded Gonzaga (the one seed that I predicted wouldn’t make it far). This game could be in the hands of whichever team decides to really show up. But if I had to choose, I would say that Wichita State would be the one to advance.

Arizona vs Ohio State: I think that with Aaron Craft and the rest of the team, Ohio State will be able to outplay Arizona with their defense. ESPN expert predictions shows that only two of their 11 experts have chosen Arizona to advance.

Kansas vs Michigan: I am choosing Kansas to advance in this game, of course. As long as our defense comes to play, we shouldn’t have a problem controlling their backcourt. Jeff Withey will be able to guard and block shots inside, stopping their players from penetrating the paint. Kansas hasn’t been fully there in the first half of the previous tournament games, and if that happens again they will need to be in full force during the second half to have the chance to advance.

Florida vs Florida Gulf Coast: Florida Gulf Coast has came out of nowhere. This team has only been NCAA eligible for the last two years, and this is their first appearance in the NCAA tournament. Many people have jumped on the FGCU bandwagon, including myself. I can see this team pulling off another upset, but they are going to need to bring all their energy and focus that they have had so far.

Marquette vs Miami: Marquette has had two close wins in the opening rounds of this tournament winning their first game by one point and the second by two. Even though Miami is without one of top rebounders, I think they will still be able to knock off the Golden Eagles.

Indiana vs Syracuse: Indiana has held the number one spot multiple times in the AP Polls throughout the season. I think they will be able to control Syracuse behind the defense of Victor Oladipo and get the win. Defense is key in winning a game, and many of the Big 10 players have said that Oladipo is overall the best defensive player in that league.