I went three for four in my predictions on Thursday, which I’ll take every day of the week. Let’s see if we can’t go perfect today.
No. 12 Arizona vs. No. 1 Louisville
The Wildcats qualify as a Cinderella this year, though its a pretty big stretch to call Arizona an underdog. This “Cinderella” has three potential NBA players in Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger and Nic Wise and have the longest streak of consecutive tournaments made at 25. Many people rued Arizona’s inclusion into the field this year, but they seem to have risen to the challenge.
Can Arizona keep its roll on. The Cardinals have struggled a bit in the tournament, taking more than a half to break away from play-in game winner Morehead State and having to fend off Siena late. Louisville hasn’t played its best, but its depth and athleticism will get it through to Sunday.
No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 2 Michigan State
This is a rematch of a January matchup in East Lansing won convincingly by the Spartans. It might be harder for Michigan State this time around, as the defending champion Jayhawks looked impressive in outscoring North Dakota State and subduing Dayton. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich has been dominant thus far, though he’ll be matched up with a Michigan State team with a lot of big men, though only Goran Suton is a scoring threat.
The big key to the game is how Kansas handles the penetration of Kalin Lucas and if Michigan State can get production from athletic wings Raymar Morgan, Durrell Summers and Chris Allen. That happens, the Spartans cruise. If not, MSU struggles like it did against USC. I think Sparty has enough to move on.
Pick: Michigan State