Sweet 16 record: 4-4
All times Central
South Regional Final
Loyola Chicago (31-5) vs. Kansas State (25-11)
Philips Arena, Atlanta
K State by 1
I thought the Ramblers were going to go out Thursday versus Nevada, but this team keeps pulling off the improbable. Sister Jean's magic is at work for the duration of the Ramblers' tournament hopes. When you have Divine Intervention on your side you're tough to beat. K State impressively defeated Kentucky Thursday Night with some clutch shooting despite their best player, Xavier Sneed, fouling out. I was thinking about this a lot, should I take a risk and pick a Ramblers victory against a slightly favored, but more athletic opponent. The answer is unequivocally yes. Loyola Chicago is heading to San Antonio.
Loyola Chicago 58, Kansas State 56
West Region Final
Florida State (23-11) vs. Michigan (31-7)
Staples Center, LA
Michigan by 4
I've been bullish on the Wolverines from the beginning and have them in my Final Four in my bracket. I can see them winning it all. Haven't gotten that far yet though. Want to see the other teams play as well. But Moritz Wagner and company are a highly formidable crew. They play great offense, great defense and get after it on the boards. FSU is a majorly athletic team that is skilled and can wear an opponent down with their physicality and their frenetic style of play that is all about getting out in the open court, running and scoring then locking down on defense. It's a very good matchup. But I'll stick with the Big Blue here. They are strong in all phases of the game.
Michigan 72, Florida State 66
East Regional Final
Texas Tech (27-9) vs. Villanova (33-4)
TD Garden, Boston
Nova by 6 1/2
The Red Raiders were massivley impressive in dominating Purdue last night. They are a fantastic team. They play super aggressive, uptempo basketball, and lock down on the defensive end. But this Nova team has faced all challenges and excelled and pulled away from a very good West Virginia team last night to win handily. I'm a believer in Nova. But this will be close. Texas Tech won't go away. They're too relentless.
Villanova 76, Texas Tech 72
Midwest Regional Final
Duke (29-7) vs. Kansas (30-7)
CenturyLink Center, Omaha
Duke by 3 1/2
You've got Google and Apple facing off in a matchup of bluebloods in college basketball. Kansas has prolific scoring. So does Duke. I see this as a high octane offensive game. Like the Blue Devils to get over the top though and get Coach K into his 13th Final Four in his 38th year at Duke. At San Antonio, he will be gunning for his 6th national championship. Coach K has won national titles in 1991, '92, 2001, 2010 and 2015. His illustrious career is only matched by the great John Wooden who won 10 national titles at UCLA. By the time he's done, Coach K may end up passing the Wizard of Westwood as the greatest coach of all time on any level.
Duke 82, Kansas 78
All 4 victors will be heading to San Antonio for the Final Four which will be played at the Alamodome. The first semifinal will be on Saturday, March 31st, at 5:09 PM CT, followed by the second semifinal at 7:49 PM. The national championship game will take place Monday, April 2nd at 8:20 PM CT. TBS will televise all 3 games. Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson will be on the call.
I know Chuck Barkley will be geared up. He's ready to go to the fort there because "I want my a' la mode!"