Yesterday we predicted the Ole Miss upset of Wisky and the Minnesota ousting of UCLA, while we missed narrowly in the bid for a Colorado upset of Illinois. But really, who could have predicted that in 16 games, no less than SIX higher seeds would advance? Of course Florida Gulf Coast and LaSalle were the most thrilling and surprising of the day, but Iowa State and Temple also managed to overcome their seed.
It can’t get crazier on Saturday, right? Actually, it just might be. The bracket isn’t totally shot for me, after all I still have my Final Four teams alive, but it doesn’t look great in spots. Still, it’s the tournament and there isn’t a team out there who cares about our meaningless brackets so we’ll persevere into the third round with some more upset picks for the day.
- #12 Oregon over #4 St Louis: It’s not going to be an unpopular pick, Oregon pretty much destroyed 5th seeded Oklahoma State in their opening round game. However this is a much more intriguing match-up with the “Blue” Billikens of St Louis. Both teams have speed and play-makers at the guard position, along with gritty, undersized inside players. The difference should be Oregon’s star forward E.J. Singler, as St Louis will struggle to match up with his versatility.
- #6 Butler over #3 Marquette: This may not be considered an upset and Butler probably takes the Vegas odds, but fact is Marquette is the #3 seed. Neither team can play as badly as they did to open the tournament, I don’t think. But Butler’s defensive intensity could have the Golden Eagles again searching for a late comeback.
- #12 Cal over #4 Syracuse: For the second round in a row, could the #12’s from the Pac-12 advance? While the pick will not be popular, at all, I am a believer that Cal got back to their winning ways after their win over UNLV. The swag was back, Allen Crabbe came back and the defense at times was stifling. Syracuse is a new animal, but we haven’t seen the best of Cal in a few weeks. Today we might get a peek.
- #5 VCU over #4 Michigan: Whoo! This might be the best of the bunch today. VCU wiped Akron off the face of the bracket on Thursday, but Michigan was impressive as well in their domination of South Dakota State. Each team is a scoring machine, but VCU’s defense might be the difference late in this one.