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2021 March Madness Round of 64 Predictions

West

#1 Gonzaga vs #16 Norfolk St. 

  The 26-0 Gonzaga Bulldogs will be going head to head with the MEAC champion (whatever that is) Norfolk St. And if you don’t have the Zags in the 2nd round you’re a sick male/female.

Winner: Gonzaga 

#8 Oklahoma vs #9 Missouri 

  The Sooners will have a tough task by playing Missouri in the 1st round in my opinion. Missouri has very valid wins this season over #1 Illinois, #2 Alabama, #3 Arkansas, #5 Tennessee, #7 Oregon. Missouri also started the season scorching hot with a 13-3 start but dropped off towards the end, with a dynamic trio of Dru Smith (14.1 ppg) , Xavier Pinson (14.1 ppg), and big man Jeremiah Tilmon (12.7) the Tigers are gonna be very hard to stop in March

Winner: Missouri 

#5 Creighton vs #12 UCSB

  After their devastating Big East Tournament lost to Georgetown the Blue Jays are gonna be looking for redemption in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll be going up against the Big West (yet again I don’t know) champs who’ve been on a 18-1 streak behind JaQuori McLaughlin. But I think the Blue Jays are the superior team because they play in a hard conference and they were ranked the whole season basically.

Winner: Creighton 

#4 Virginia vs #13 Ohio

  This game will be an interesting matchup to watch for, the Cavaliers will be having their first game since March 11th after getting COVID that cancelled their tournament chances in the ACC so we don’t know how they’ll play coming off of that. While Ohio is carried by a name you need to remember in Jason Preston who filled out the stat sheet with 16 ppg, 7 rpg, 7 apg. Ohio brought a game down to the wire against debatably the best team in college basketball with Illinois but in the end Virginia has been here before and they know how to win these games. 

Winner: Virginia  

#6 USC vs #11 Drake

 Well the matter of the fact is Drake is injured, played in a less conference, and has no notable wins. USC has been playing very solid lately behind NBA prospect Evan Mobley (16.8 ppg) and I don’t see a world where Drake can guard this man so…

Winner: USC

#3 Kansas vs #14 E Washington 

 The Jayhawks were getting very hot in the late stretch of the season before a positive case. Kansas has a really solid defense and a really solid starting 5. The starting 5 doesn’t have eye popping names but all of them can combine for 60-75 points a night.

Winner: Kansas

#7 Oregon vs #10 VCU

Coming off a Pac-12 championship loss, the Ducks finished the season with a 11-1 record. Now what the Ducks have for them is Chris Duarte (16.8 ppg) and Eugene Omoruyi (16.8 ppg) who can outshoot any team in this tournament. Now VCU has always been notorious for their defensive play and they rank top 10 in the nation in turnover %, block %, and steal% which could be very big for them and they have a guy who nearly averaged 20 ppg in Nah’shon Hyland. 

Winner: Oregon

#2 Iowa vs #15 Grand Canyon 

 Luka Garza, Luka Garza, Luka Garza.

Winner: Luka Garza 

East

#1 Michigan vs #16 Southern Texas

 See as a writer I feel like I need to write something here but I really don’t at the same time because it’s clearly Michigan and I don’t have a case to make for Southern Texas or Texas Southern I don’t know or care.


Winner: Michigan 

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#8 LSU vs #9 St. Bonaventure

 The Tigers impressed me a LOT in their championship game vs Alabama and I have them going decently far in this tournament. Before I go on a spjut on why you should have had LSU going far let’s not discredit the Bonnies, the Bonnies are a really good team and can definitely beat LSU but it’s not gonna happen. LSU is a powerhouse with a misleading record and seeding, LSU have a All Star TRIO who were all SEC 1st Team and 2nd Team in Cameron Thomas (22.8 PPG) who’s basically their version of Stephen Curry, Trendon Watford (16.2 PPG) who can dominate inside-out, and Javonte Smart (15.7 PPG) who can shoot the hell out of the ball as well. Convinced yet?  

Winner: LSU

#5 Colorado vs #12 Georgetown 

Colorado did not roll the dice good with the #12 seeds because they’ll be playing probably the most hot team in college basketball right now in my opinion. Georgetown just ran through the Big East Tournament as if they were the 1st seed in that. Colorado has a very efficient offense and if they can limit the big men of Georgetown I think they can be beaten but I cannot see it.

Winner: Georgetown 

Why Patrick Ewing and Georgetown are the feel-good story of March Madness  so far - SBNation.com

#4 Florida St vs #13 UNC Greensboro

Florida St has one if not the best offense in the nation plus they are the best offensive rebounding teams in the country. They have height, length, shooting, inside scoring, paint defense. Florida St is gonna be very lethal in this tournament and it’s gonna start with this UNC Greensboro team.

Winner: Florida State

#6 BYU vs #11 UCLA
Coming off an impressive play in a game against Michigan State, UCLA will try to resemble that performance against BYU. BYU had to play Gonzaga 3 times this season and besides that they were a very good team. Alex Barcello averaged 15.9 PPG and shot 49% from 3 which is insane and had 2 other players averaging double-digits.


Winner: BYU 

#3 Texas vs #14 Abil Christian 

Texas just won their 1st conference chip in 26 years and they haven’t looked this good since the Kevin Durant days. With Andrew Jones, Matt Coleman, and Courtney Ramey this team is very solid all around and there’s NO way Abil Christian can win

Winner: Texas

#7 UConn vs #10 Maryland 

The Huskies have struggled down the stretch as of recently but I think behind James Bouknight (19.4 PPG) they can do some things, plus UConn’s defense is probably their biggest strength going into this game. Maryland has a win over #1 Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Rutgers. Maryland can hit shots from everywhere and they are efficient from everywhere, but with UConn’s outstanding defense and Maryland’s big problem in their turnover department I think it goes one way.

Winner: UConn

#2 Alabama vs #15 Iona

Herbert Jones is an absolute monster and that’s all you need to know about this game.

Winner: Alabama 

South

#1 Baylor vs #16 Hartford

🙂

Winner: Baylor

#8 North Carolina vs #9 Wisconsin 

 Tar Heels grinded for this tournament ticket with wins over Florida State and Virginia Tech. The key for Wisconsin and NC is gonna be controlling the glass, both teams are hella efficient and both coaching sides have a lot of experience as well. It’s really gonna be the youth of North Carolina vs the experienced Wisconsin.  

Winner: North Carolina 

#5 Villianova vs #15 Winthrop

  Now if you remember the 2019 NCAA Tournament where everyone had the same upset with Murray St going over Marquette which became true and this might be the same story. The Winthrop Eagles are coming off a conference championship and one total loss this season, the Eagles have a 6 FOOT 7 GUARD in Chandler Vaudrin who averaged a triple-double. Now why people are saying this is an upset is because VIllianova lost their best player who was a 1st team Big East player and one of the countries best players in Colin Gillespie but the reason I don’t have this upset is because of the experience the Wildcats have at winning, Nova is still a dangerous team and they know how to win games that they have to.

Winner: Villianova 

#4 Purdue vs #13 North Texas

 Purdue has one of the tallest rosters in the tournament which results in them being very good with interior defense, interior offense, and rebounding which can be very big in this tournament. Purdue also have 2 wins over #2 Ohio State which means they can stand toe to toe with anyone. North Texas why are you here?

#6 Texas Tech vs #11 Utah State

  Another really good matchup to watch is this game right here. Texas Tech behind Mac McClung is one of the nations best at forcing turnovers and scoring off those turnovers. And usually in these tournaments, turnover rate is a big part of why people choose that team because these kids get nervous and make a lot of dumb decisions. BUT Utah State has one thing going for them and that is 7-foot Neemas Queta who averaged 14.8 PPG and 10 RPG, the Aggies were ranked in the top 10 in rebounding in the nation so if they can control the glass and limit their turnovers they can win this game.

Winner: Texas Tech

#3 Arkansas vs #13 Colgate 

Is this a spelling bee or a basketball game? Because if it was the spelling bee I would have picked Colgate but I think we’re playing basketball so…


Winner: Arkansas 

#7 Florida vs #10 Virginia Tech

I think the NCAA committee might be blind to good talent because Virginia Tech was probably the most slept on team based on their seed. With wins over fully healthy Villianova, and Virginia they should have solidified themselves at least a top 7 seed but I can understand. The Gators lost their best player in Keyontae Johnson but that doesn’t mean they are out of this because they have 4 dudes averaging double figures which means if they can be consistent they can make a run but they unfortunately rolled a not 10 seed Virginia Tech team so…

Winner: Virginia Tech

#2 Ohio State vs #15 Oral Roberts (BRO?)

Who names a college Oral Roberts, who’s great idea was that?


Winner: Ohio State

Midwest

#1 Illinois vs #16 Drexel

 Illinois 


Winner: Illinois 

#8 Loyola Chicago vs #9 Georgia Tech

I guess the Ramblers are gonna try to make another run but this time as a #8 seed,more dangerous, and just a more skilled team. But the key to Georgia Tech is gonna be stopping LC 6-foot-9 255-pound Cameron Krutwig who led the Ramblers in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks. Georgia Tech has wins over Florida State (twice), North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Syracuse so they have a lot of notable wins going into this game. Not to mention they are scorching hot after winning the ACC Tournament even though half the teams had COVID BUT with ACC Player of the Year Moses Wright the Jackets have a chance to be the Cinderella story of this tournament.


Winner: Georgia Tech

#5 Tennessee vs #12 Oregon State

 Tennessee ended the season with a rough 8-7 record and didn’t win back to back wins since January. The Vols really need their defense to step up because their offense is something you can see at your local High School game. While the Beavers are playing their best basketball in years with a Pac-12 championship and wins over Colorado, USC, Oregon, and UCLA. Carried by their backcourt Ethan Thompson (15.3 PPG) and Jarod Lucas (12.9 PPG).Oregon State is my pick for the upset because they’re hot and Tennessee is cold, it’s as simple as that folks.

Winner: Oregon State

#4 Oklahoma State vs #13 Liberty 

 Cade Cunningham > Any Liberty player of All Time

Winner: Cade Cunningham and Teammates 

#6 San Diego State vs #11 Syracuse 

 Syracuse as a low seed? It’s like we haven’t seen this story before. With Jim Boehiem’s experience at winning these types of games it’s very hard to root against the Orange. But the Aztecs do statically have a top 10 defense in the nation which will be very hard to overcome. Both teams have notable wins over teams already in the tournament and both have 2 players they rely on dearly. Now I’d usually go with the better defense in this scenario but I just have a feeling about the Orange this game, they just came off a close loss with Virginia and you really cannot dispute the experience part of this game so…

Winner: Syracuse 

#3 West Virginia vs #14 Morehead State

 With wins over Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma St, and a 5 point loss to Gonzaga West Virginia is a legitimate team to beat in the Midwest. West Virginia is very dominant in the paint thanks to the help of Derek Culver who’s a walking double-double. Morehead State WHY ARE YOU HERE!!

Winner: West Virginia 

#7 Clemson vs #10 Rutgers 

To be honest with you I don’t know how Clemson is ranked 7th they should at least be #11th that is how bad I think they are. And on the other hand Rutgers was ranked for a good chunk of the season and they’re ranked 10th? Rutgers has wins over Illinois, Maryland, and Purdue. Personally I think any team that beat Illinois a team to be wrecking with. With defensive stud Myles Johnson and offensive threat Jacob Young Rugters is gonna be very hard to beat.

Winner: Rutgers

#2 Houston vs #15 Cleveland State

“CLEVELAND!!!THIS ONE IS NOT FOR YOU” – Adjusted LeBron James quote

Winner Houston

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