Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pick Eight: Sunday's second round

Good basketball but nothing terribly out of the ordinary on Saturday, bracket-wise. Washington was the only better-seeded team that did not take care of business, and in a friendly environment no less.

Add Lorenzo Romar to the list of coaches I'll never pick again (it's growing by the day and I'm staring at you Leonard Hamilton).

First round: 24-8. Second round: 7-1.

On with the games:

Note: All games are on CBS


Wisconsin (12) vs. Xavier (4)
Time: 2:20
Regional: East

Bo Ryan can't be good for more than win, can he? He was worth one win against Leonard Hamilton and a vastly superior (talent-wise) Florida State team. Ryan went 2-0 against the ACC this year (also beat Virginia Tech).

Sean Miller was in the ACC (an assistant at N.C. State) but seems to have figured out how to coach in March in anyway. The X-Men didn't even let Portland State in the game in Round 1. Pick: Xavier

Marquette (6) vs. Missouri (3)
Time: 4:50
Regional: West

Tempo should be fun, just about the opposite of Wisconsin-FSU. Marquette was able to squeeze out one win without Dominic James. Not two, not against a hot Mizzou team. Pick: Mizzou


Dayton (11) vs. Kansas (3)
Time: 2:30
Regional: Midwest

Last chance for Kansas to prove to me it isn't the UNC '06 (overachieving team in the conference the year after the national title but not a tournament threat). If I'm right, Kansas will lose to Dayton. In '06, UNC lost to George Mason — in Dayton. Pick: Dayton

USC (10) vs. Michigan State (2)
Time: 5
Regional: South

Under the assumption that Tom Izzo will have his team ready for USC's junk defenses, Michigan State wins. If not, the Trojans certainly have the momentum, and NBA talent, to pull off the upset. Pick: Michigan State


Arizona State (6) vs. Syracuse (3)
Time: 12:10
Regional: South

Arizona State just doesn't have the parts to contain Syracuse point guard Johnny Flynn. And Syracuse, like ASU, plays a 2-3 zone. Teams that use a zone, know how to attack a zone. That should ultimately work in the Cuse's favor. Pick: Syracuse

Cleveland State (13) vs. Arizona (12)
Time: 2:40
Regional: Midwest

Cleveland State's no fluke, the Vikings won at Syracuse this season and beat Butler twice. The Vikings get another BCS team long on talent and short on coaching. Why not? Pick: Cleveland State


Oklahoma State (8) vs. Pittsburgh (1)
Time: 2:50
Regional: East

Pittsburgh, unlike UNC, doesn't bury teams by 40 points. It's just not in the defensive DNA of Jamie Dixon. But a 10-point win over a 16-seed? That's not a good sign.

OK State won't be the ones to knock out Pitt but it's coming in the regional. And then you can add Dixon to the No-Pick List. Pick: Pittsburgh

Siena (9) vs. Louisville (1)
Time: 5:20
Regional: Midwest

Justice is served because Louisville, the No. 1 seed in the entire tournament, did not deserve to play a road game against an eight seed (Ohio State). Siena took care of the Buckeyes in double-overtime and the Cards will take care of Siena. Pick: Louisville

-- J.P. Giglio