Michigan's magical run through the Big Ten Tournament and into the Sweet 16 of the Big Dance is over. Xavier is the lowest remaining seed at No. 11.
The victor advances to the Elite 8. Also, there's this: Kansas has just four losses this season, one of them a season-opening defeat to IN (back when the Hoosiers were assumed to be good) and another to Iowa State at home on February 4. Now they'll meet Baylor, a team that is still getting overlooked, in NY.
Kentucky Wildcats guard Malik Monk (5) reacts after a three-point basket against the Wichita State Shockers during the second half in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. This is going to be a fun, up-and-down game without a lot of defense, but the Ducks are slightly better at that end of the court. OR advances to the Elite Eight behind superior play from Tyler Dorsey (20 points) and Jordan Bell (16 points). It'll be that close.
No. 1 North Carolina vs. The Gonzaga Bulldogs will battle with the region's No. 4, West Virginia, who impressively knocked off the red hot Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday afternoon, 83-71. However, the Zags haven't had any problems when facing pressure this year, and while they haven't faced a team as good at it as West Virginia, they will do a reasonably good job breaking it and taking care of the ball.
No. 1 seed Gonzaga minus-3 vs. In three games without him, that number has increased to 1.117 points allowed per possession. I expect the Bulldogs to hold a steady lead throughout the entirety of the game.
Now, Baylor and West Virginia are out, leaving Kansas as the only Big 12 team with a shot at winning the National Title. This seems like a good time to mention that SC is ranked 122nd in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to kenpom.com. The Wildcats may be comfortable playing at such a quick rate, but the Bruins are one of the few teams in the country who can turn that against them, given UCLA's ruthless efficiency on offense. The key might be whether Moe Wagner, Michigan's postseason breakout star, can shrug off foul trouble. But Kansas has an elite backcourt led by Frank Mason III.
No. 2 Arizona (-7.5) vs.
Eleventh-seeded Xavier might be a surprise team in the regional semifinals, but with their 3-point prowess, the Musketeers are capable of shooting their way past any opponent.
On the flip side, Arizona has the offensive weapons to take advantage of the holes in Xavier's extended zone.