Dave's Sports Views

Analysis, humor and opinion on the sports world

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sweet 16 Predictions

With a couple of days to go until the Sweet 16 kicks off, I'm not going to analyze these any further. Here are the predictions, starting with the Thursday games:

Atlanta Regional
Duke over LSU -- A strong performance over George Washington is enough to make me believe the Blue Devils can last at least one more round. In a battle of speed vs. strength, I'm taking speed here and again later in the predictions. But the Tigers' toughness inside could wear the Blue Devils down for the regional final.

Texas over West Virginia -- Which Texas guards show up? The ones who looked like high schoolers against Penn or the ones who looked like pros against NC State? Look for the 'Horns to try to use their bench to counter a West Virginia team that moves exceptionally well but isn't very deep.

Oakland Regional
Memphis over Bradley -- In their first two games, the Tigers look like a team that has been reading their critics' words, and using them as motivation. Bradley, like conference mate Wichita State, is no fluke, but they'll face a team here with Kansas' talent and Pitt's heart.

UCLA over Gonzaga -- I'm just going to keep picking against the Bulldogs because they've done me in so many times before. But in all seriousness, UCLA held an offensive-minded Alabama team to just 59 points and has a pair of guards that can control the tempo.

Washington Regional
Connecticut over Washington -- I will go against the experts and say that this will be the easier of the two games that UConn plays this week. Their history has been that they get up for the tough teams and struggle against lesser-name opponents. You have to believe that if they beat Washington on Friday, some Connecticut players will already have their minds on Indy.

Wichita State over George Mason -- What a wonderful matchup to see these two teams playing for a chance to go to the Elite Eight. The inside battle between Paul Miller of Wichita State and Jai Lewis of George Mason could decide the game. I like Shockers' to avenge a (70-67) loss to the Patriots in February.

Minneapolis Regional
Villanova over Boston College -- Many are picking BC, but I still can't get past the image of UW-Milwaukee's dynamos running around and through the Eagles in the second round last year. Villanova's guards are too quick and too tough, and the Wildcats should move on if they shoot well.

Georgetown over Florida -- The Gators have been one of the most impressive teams in this tournament, but they are young and they showed inconsistency after starting 17-0. Again, tempo can win this game for the Hoyas. South Carolina slowed it down against Florida, beating the Gators twice in the regular season and nearly a third time in the SEC tournament.



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