BX Second Round Analysis and Picks (Saturday, March 22nd)

BX Second Round Analysis and Picks (Saturday, March 22nd)
Mar 22, 2008, 08:07 am
-#7. WEST VIRGINIA VS #2. DUKE (pick - Duke). Duke really struggled in their first round game and quite frankly are still lucky to be alive, but they are alive, they're still a good team, and I think they'll win today. There is no debating the fact that West Virginia looked much better in their first round game than Duke did, and if they were to win today it wouldn't be that big of a surprise. I just think that Duke has looked better more often this season, and that they'll rebound from their first round struggle and get it done today.

--#11. KANSAS STATE VS #3. WISCONSIN (pick- Wisconsin). Kansas State played what was perhaps their best game of the season in the first round against USC. If they play that well again, they'll have a chance of advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. It’s hard to not pick Wisconsin, though. They're well coached, they’re a smart team, and they aren't going to beat themselves. I believe they'll be able to handle K State's talent and advance to the next round.

-#6. PURDUE VS #3. XAVIER (pick - Purdue). Xavier had an amazing second half against Georgia and if they can play like that all the way through today's game they should be able to win. The problem is that the second half of their last game is arguably the best they've played all season. Purdue is better than anyone Xavier has beaten all year, and they'll have to play their best game of the year in order to win. Purdue is young, but they're battle-tested and they won impressively against Baylor in their first round game. They've looked more impressive than Xavier in the latter part of the season, and they certainly looked better in the first round.

-#5. NOTRE DAME VS #4. WASHINGTON STATE (pick - Washington State). Both teams looked impressive in their first round wins, especially Notre Dame, who showed up ready to play against a George Mason team that was very hard to prepare for. This is a toss-up game between two battle tested teams and if they played ten games against one another I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was an even 5-5 split. Wazzu has just looked better on the road more often than Notre Dame has, which is why I'm taking them.

-#6. MARQUETTE VS #3. STANFORD (pick - Stanford). Stanford looked as good as a team can look against what appeared to be a fairly solid Cornell team. I doubted them once and won't make that mistake again. Marquette is solid, but they're matched up against a good team with a geographic advantage that's just as battle tested as they are. I like Stanford because of their size, execution, and athleticism. Marquette is good and I wouldn't be surprised if they won, but Stanford just looks to be as good or better.

-#8. UNLV VS #1. KANSAS (pick - Kansas). UNLV played what was probably their most impressive game of the season in the first round when they absolutely wiped out Kent State. Kansas got past their opponents without too much trouble, and UNLV may give them a fight today, but Kansas is the better team, they've looked better more often, and they should be able to wrap up the win today and advance to the regionals. Vegas has a young and talented team, but Kansas is much more battle-tested and simply looks like a better team than UNLV.

-#5. MICHIGAN STATE VS #4. PITTSBURGH (pick - Michigan State). Both of these teams bring their lunch pales to work. They play tough defense, they work hard on offense, and they are all around blue-collar teams. I just have a feeling about Michigan State. Pitt has never been past the Sweet Sixteen, but if they win today I like their chances of advancing past the next round. I like Michigan State's as well. This one should be a black-and-blue defensive war.

-#9. TEXAS A&M VS $1. UCLA (pick - UCLA). The stars are aligning for UCLA. They're facing a TAMU team that hasn't really proven they can put up much of a fight against a top level team away from their home court. They did beat Texas earlier this season, but that was at home, and Texas returned the favor a few weeks later by blowing TAMU out. UCLA has been amazing all season long. They have a big geographic advantage, and if they win they're taking on the winner of San Diego vs Western Kentucky. It's to the point to where if they don't make the Elite Eight it will be a big disappointment. I think they win today. I think they win next week. I believe they're a national championship contender.

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