By: Adam Sussman
With the round of 64 starting tomorrow afternoon, I bring you my predictions on a few of the key games. Here’s what I think will happen tomorrow:
#5 Indiana Hoosiers vs. #12 Chattanooga Mocs:
The Hoosiers went an impressive 15-3 in Big Ten play, which lead to a regular season Big Ten title. Yogi Ferrell is one of the top point guards in the nation, and will be instrumental in Indiana’s tournament run. They are a face-paced offensive team, but will need to improve their defense to make a deep run in the tournament. In opposition, Chattanooga has a history making year as they captured a school record 29 wins. Most notably they beat Illinois, Georgia, and Dayton. The Mocs defense should slow Indiana down and keep this game close. Historically, defense has been known to supersede offense. Let’s see if the Mocs can overpower and upset Indiana.
#3 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. #10 Temple Owls:
The Hawkeyes come into March Madness on a bad steak loosing six of their last eight. For a team that ranked in the top 10 earlier in the season, they have really been in a slump. They are a fast-paced team that pushes the floor and has the ability to make shots. On the other hand, Temple is a tough defensive team that should lock down Iowa’s guards. I assume this game will be determined by the number of shots Iowa makes, but Temple has the ability to make this projected upset a reality. However, I believe either team will loose to #2 Villanova in the second round.
#6 Seton Hall Pirates vs. #11 Gonzaga:
Seton Hall won their first Big East title in 23 years after finishing the season on a 12-2 run. Gonzaga is making its 18th consecutive tournament appearance and is by far one of the most talented #11 seeds ever. I really liked both of these teams heading into the tournament and its unfortunate they have to match up in the first round. The Zags will win in a close game here, and then go head to head in another fabulous matchup against Utah on the weekend.
#6 Arizona vs. #11 Wichita State:
The Wildcats finished third in the Pac-12. They have a very strong trio of Ryan Anderson, Gabe York, and Allonzo Trier. However, they severely lack depth and can be beaten if these players do not perform or if foul trouble becomes an issue. The Pac-12 is a very strong conference this year, and I believe #3 Utah and #1 Oregon will both make a deep run. The Wichita State Shockers return to the tournament with passion after being eliminated in the Sweet 16 last year. The team is led by the same spectacular backcourt that helped guide the team to the Final Four in 2013, and are a top scoring defense in the country. Wichita State will win, perhaps by double digits, but then looses a nail-bitter to Miami on the weekend.
Do you agree with Adam’s picks for these games? Comment below!
Keep checking back for more predictions from our March Madness expert, Adam Sussman!
Don’t forget to follow SportsNak on Facebook and Twitter!