NCAA Tournament Picks and Previews for Sunday's Second Round Games

NCAA Tournament Picks and Previews for Sunday's Second Round Games
Mar 18, 2007, 01:06 am
-5. TENNESSEE VS 4. VIRGINIA (pick-Tennessee). Both teams looked very impressive in their first round games, and this one could really go either way. Both teams have also proven to be inconsistent throughout the regular season as well. I just have a feeling that Tennessee’s pressure will end up being a factor in this game, although UVA does have some very good guards as well.

-7. NEVADA VS 2. MEMPHIS (pick-Memphis). I must say that Nevada looked much better against Creighton than Memphis did against North Texas, but I just don’t believe that Nevada has as strong a backcourt and that could end up being a huge advantage for the Tigers. Nevada should dominate the glass and be able to score in the post, so the Wolfpack definitely have a shot in this game, but I just believe Memphis has more weapons and won’t lose if they play up to their potential.

-7. UNLV VS 2. WISCONSIN (pick-UNLV). For a tournament that hasn’t seen many upsets yet, I this could be one of the bigger ones. Both teams are very good and Wisconsin does play an excellent halfcourt offense and strong defense. I just think UNLV matches up very well against them and can get it done. The Runnin’ Rebs were able to beat Georgia Tech in an exciting first round game, and Wisconsin came from way back in the first half to take care of Corpus Christi. Wisconsin hasn’t played a great game in quite some time, and if they don’t play great today it could be their last game.

-5. VIRGINIA TECH VS 4. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (pick-Southern Illinois). Southern Illinois isn’t always the prettiest team to watch, but they are one of the best defensive teams in the country and have shown that they can pretty much shut down anyone. Virginia Tech won a close one in their first round win against Illinois, which denied the Salukis a shot at the Illini, but Southern Illinois is a better team than Illinois and VA Tech will have to play better than they did in the first round if they want to pull off a win in this game.

-11. WINTHROP VS 3. OREGON (pick-Winthrop). Winthrop looked like one of the best teams in the country when they built up a 20 point lead against Notre Dame, but then absolutely fell apart and allowed the Irish to come all the way back and tie it. They were able to hold on, but a collapse like that in a game like this could be the end of the line for the Eagles. Oregon is very good, but nearly went out in the first round to Miami, OH. Winthrop is capable of beating them, but the one thing they cannot be is satisfied for simply having made it to the second round. They need to stay hungry and look to advance further. If they play up to their potential, I believe they will beat the Ducks.

-9. PURDUE VS 1. FLORIDA (pick-Florida). Purdue has been playing outstanding basketball down the stretch and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they were able to make this a game, but Florida is just an absolute buzzsaw that is playing better than anyone else right now. The Gators virtually have no weaknesses and could very easily end up repeating as champions.

-8. KENTUCKY VS 1. KANSAS (pick-Kansas). Kentucky looked pretty good in their first round win against Villanova, but I don’t even remember the last time Kentucky played two solid games in a row. Unfortunately, they could play a solid game today and still end up losing because Kansas is simply a better team. Kentucky has a chance, but I don’t believe they have much of one.

-5. USC VS 4. TEXAS (pick-Texas). USC has been playing outstanding basketball lately, but Texas has been playing even better. This should turn out to be an outstanding ballgame between two teams that have had great years. I’m looking forward to this match-up more than any other of the second round.

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