Still, UConn!

Mar 21, 2006 4:23 AM

The Madness is now down to the Sweet 16, with just a few mild surprises such as Bradley, George Mason and Wichita State.

The four top seeds (Duke, Memphis, Connecticut and Villanova) are all there. UConn really hasn’t played up to their No. 1 ranking, struggling against Albany and then blowing a nice lead against Kentucky. I think the Huskies will now show their best and have no problem getting to the Final Four.

As for the Minneapolis Regional, all four remaining teams look to have a shot. Villanova will have their hands full with Boston College. Florida, really playing great ball, will have no easy task getting past a Georgetown team that looks to be peaking at the right time.

In the Atlanta Regional, Duke should beat LSU but will be hard pressed to down the winner of the West Virginia Texas game. WVU can upset Texas if it can hit the three pointers. If the Mountaineers get by the Longhorns, I think they will beat Duke and get to the Final Four. If it’s Duke-Texas, I favor the Blue Devils.

Moving over to the Oakland Regional, this one really looks to be wide open. UCLA will have its hands full with Gonzaga in a game that looks to be a toss up. Memphis will have no easy time with Bradley, which is really playing some inspired basketball. I do believe Memphis will advance and face either Gonzaga or UCLA. The Tigers will beat UCLA, but I think they will have a tough time with the Zags.

Let’s examine the individual games.

Thursday, March 23

Atlanta Regional

LSU +6½ vs Duke (148): I just don’t see Duke stumbling here. Look for a solid performance with few mistakes as the Devils get the job done by 10. DUKE.

W.Va +6 vs Texas (138). I really like the way WVU is playing and I do think they will be on their game. Look for the cover and lots of scoring. WVU, OVER.

Oakland Regional

Gonzaga +4 vs UCLA (138½): I see this game as a pick. If so, I will most likely take the points and bet the money line. GONZAGA.

Bradley +6½ vs Memphis (142): Bradley has played inspired ball beating two real good teams in Kansas as a seven-point dog and Pittsburgh as a five-point dog. Now that’s a nice little parlay on the money line. I really didn’t think the Braves could get past both. I think Memphis is tough, but I will not buck the red hot team. I see some top defense in this game. BRADLEY, UNDER.

Friday, March 24

Washington, D.C. Regional

G.Mason pk vs Wichita St (123): I never thought I’d see this matchup. I really thought Wichita had a good shot at winning a game or two, but I didn’t give Mason much of a shot taking one let alone two. I just don’t see the Patriots going any further so I will be all over the Wheat Shockers. WICHITA ST, OVER.

Washington +6 vs Conn (156): You will see the real Huskies here, whether it’s Washington’s or Connecticut’s. My money is on the top seed and you can take it to the bank. UCONN, OVER.

Minneapolis Regional

Georgetown +3 vs Florida (141): No one playing better than the Hoyas, except maybe the Florida Gators. I probably would have been on G’Town, but I think this line is just a tad low. I would have taken +4½ so the number forces me on Florida for a very small bet. I see defense in this matchup. FLORIDA, UNDER.

BC +2½ vs Villanova (141): If the Wildcats get past BC, they most likely will play Florida in a rematch of last year’s second round. Nova won that matchup close. The Eagles played great all year except for two losses to Duke. That tells me Nova is the right side, especially laying less than three. I see Villanova with the win here, then going on to lose to the Florida Gators. NOVA, UNDER

Postseason: 6-3-1