2009 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Predictions and Picks

Your Way Too Early Sweet 16 Predictions

3/23/09 in NCAABB   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

Even though a lot of lower seeds have given higher seeds a run for their money is this year's NCAA Tournament, there's only one seed left below 4 that's made it into the Sweet 16 - Arizona. So what can we expect from this point on? Let's get to the way too early, completely knee-jerk Sweet 16 predictions.

1. Duke will get rocked by Villanova. Why? Villanova's guards are way too physical for Duke and down low Duke doesn't have a prayer going up against Cunningham, Anderson, and Redding. Coach K avoided his annual second round collapse, but he won't get past the Sweet 16 year.

2. Don't fret about Pitt just yet. I know they've won two close games against inferior opponents. And I know that their motto of "we play everyone close" is idiotic, since it means very little needs to go wrong for Pitt to lose. But Pitt's in no danger yet. Pitt plays a seemingly hot Xavier team, but in reality, Xavier just looks good because they beat up on a 13 and 12 seed. Pitt will beat them. 

3. Arizona's Cinderella run is going to end quickly and brutally. Arizona's in the Sweet 16 for only one reason. After they beat Utah, they were fortunate enough to face Cleveland St. in the second round. There are no more winnable games on Arizona's schedule. Louisville beats them easily.

4. Keep an eye on Michigan State. The Spartans hung on to beat USC, a 10 seed, which might make you write them off. But don't do that. USC was the hottest team in the country heading into their game against Michigan State. USC turned it on at the end of the year to win the Pac-10 Tourney (which is the only way they could have made the tournament) and they flattened Boston College in round 1. USC also may have been the most athletic team in the entire NCAA Tournament. Despite all of that, Michigan State beat them. Kansas will be in for a surprise.

5. Depending on Ty Lawson's toe, this may be Gonzaga's year. Gonzaga always seems to be a hair's breadth away from reaching the Final Four, and this may finally be their year. But it all depends on Ty Lawson's toe. If Lawson is below 75% for the game against Gonzaga, then Gonzaga moves on. If he's better than 75%, UNC moves on.

6. UCONN is the clear favorite now. They've dominated their first two opponents and are rolling despite Calhoun missing the first game of the Tourney. Anyone who says this team isn't winning the Tournament right now is crazy.

7. Forget about Memphis. They won't make it out of their bracket. I know they beat up everyone in Conference USA this year and they shut up Maryland (who might not have even belonged in the Tourney), but this team isn't anywhere near the same team as last year. Tyreke Evans is not Derrick Rose. That will be their undoing.

8. Syracuse will suddenly get everyone's attention by beating Oklahoma. A lot of people have ignored Syracuse's excellent play after their insanely long Big East Tourney run where they played an extra game thanks to 7 overtimes. I think this is due primarily to the fact that people just assume Syracuse will ultimately tire out in the Tourney and lay an egg against Oklahoma. Not so. Blake Griffin will go nuts, because Syracuse doesn't have anyone to guard him, but the rest of Syracuse's squad is way more athletic then anyone Oklahoma has faced in a while. Jonny Flynn and Paul Harris are going to give Oklahoma fits.

All right, feel free to mock my predictions in the comments and add your own.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

3/24/09   |   spartan4Life

michigan state is HEALTHY and ready to make a statement,  people like to say kansas is a different team than when they were blown out by msu jan 10th, well msu is also a different team, also i like hearing kansas is hungry for revenge, guess what?  michigan state wants it just as bad is you jayhawks its been 4 yrs since spartys last final four trip and that is far to long and with izzo as coach, i like msu's chances ...these arent the same spartans that were blown out by the tar heels earlier in the season...  

3/24/09   |   SSSWERIN

let me clarify. they dont suck and they are a good team.but Gonzaga is a better team and will give UNC a run for their money. Just wait and see what happens Saturday. They might just surprise you.

3/24/09   |   SSSWERIN

aos035 wrote:
Texas should be in it more than Gonzaga.
(Edited by SSSWERIN)

Texas doesn't deserve to be in the sweet 16.

3/24/09   |   donm454   |   20 respect

My Picks:

Xavier over Pitt
Villanova over Duke

UNC over Gonzaga
Syracuse over Oklahome

UConn over Purdue
Missouri over Memphis

Louisville over Arizona
Kansas over Michigan State

Final 4:
UConn over Kansas
Villanova over Syracuse

UConn over Villanova

3/24/09   |   zabin

csantia12 wrote:

Syracuse has a realistic chance of beating Oklahoma. Don't  forget that the competition that Syracuse has faced all season in the Big East it's by far superior than what Oklahoma has faced in the Big 12. Anyway, with all that said, with Ty Lawson back in the lineup UNC has to be considered a strong favorite, also taking into consideration that Hansbrough and Ellington are also playing their best basketball.

hiiiii  it's anup .........

3/24/09   |   shox13191

michigan st. has played the same type of game that they played when they beat kansas at the begining of the season.. kansas won't be surprised by anything.

3/23/09   |   mikehaines95

Check out my picks and predicitons and comment and critique
http://www.faniq.com/blog/2009-NCAA-Sweet-Sixteen-Picks-and-Predictions-Blog-21067

3/23/09   |   CowboyRockStar

Being a Cowboys fan, its a nice change of pace rooting for a hometown cinderella team, and AZ fits the mold perfectly.....GO WILDCATS!!!!

3/23/09   |   CowboyRockStar

aos035 wrote:
Texas should be in it more than Gonzaga.

sorry bro....you do know that this is basketball and not football right? Texas football is rockin' though.

3/23/09   |   CowboyRockStar

fourtime7 wrote:
memphis won't make it because of louisville when they meet

AZ will take care of Louisville before that happens

3/23/09   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

aos035 wrote:
Texas should be in it more than Gonzaga.

That's Texas's own fault that they couldn't beat Duke.

3/23/09   |   fourtime7   |   8 respect

memphis won't make it because of louisville when they meet

3/23/09   |   aos035   |   68 respect

Texas should be in it more than Gonzaga.

3/23/09   |   srvntofjesus   |   13 respect

the fact that syracuse has no one to guard blake griffin may be why they lose . michigan tried to dbl and trpl team him and gave up a few shots for it, also ou does need to hot a few more 3s this game . but even if i wasnt a huge fan i wld still say ou

3/23/09   |   csantia12

Syracuse has a realistic chance of beating Oklahoma. Don't  forget that the competition that Syracuse has faced all season in the Big East it's by far superior than what Oklahoma has faced in the Big 12. Anyway, with all that said, with Ty Lawson back in the lineup UNC has to be considered a strong favorite, also taking into consideration that Hansbrough and Ellington are also playing their best basketball.

3/23/09   |   yanksawboy   |   8 respect

 Oklahoma all the way.

3/23/09   |   cjhank241

I was going with Lousiville to win, but, heck, I suck at picking thesse things!

3/23/09   |   SteelCityPlayer

I am not so sure that UCONN will win the tourney...Nice read hear!

3/23/09   |   kantwistaye   |   4210 respect

I see no real reason for Xavier to beat Pitt (granted this is a bit of an unfair judgement.)  Had the Badgers been able to shoot at all from the outside, Pitt would be playing a 12 seed instead of a 4 seed.  I think Xavier is a good team, but certainly not one to be afraid of.

3/23/09   |   CowboyRockStar

barmarjeff wrote:
I like Arizona and had them in the Sweet 16, but I don't think they have enough depth to stay with Louisville.
(Edited by CowboyRockStar)

 O.K.....thanks for clarifying that....I agree about the depth part of it, but AZ's starting five has done pretty good and their backups seem to at the very least hold their own quite well.  I honestly don't watch that much college ball, but I did watch (I was at the games) the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds of the tournament back in 1997....the year that AZ won the championship and beat three #1 teams in the process. I can't remember too many details about the depth of their bench, all I remember is Mike Bibby schooling Jacque Vaughn when they played Kansas in Birminham in the third round.  Admittedly, I am an Arizona fan, and watching the team play this year, I couldn't help but be reminded of that 1997 team. Hey, anything can happen. GO CATS!!!

3/23/09   |   Mahave

I agree that I want Duke to win, but because they're my favorite team. Also, Pitt probably will not choke vs a team that needed a last second floater to beat Western Kentucky. 

3/23/09   |   Mahave

Duke is goin to crush Villanova. Their guards (Scheyer, Paulus, N. Smith) are just more athletic and faster than Reynolds, Fisher, and Stokes. Also, Gerald Henderson will light up whoever guards him.
Also, Memphis will beat UCONN in the Elite 8. I think that they have 2 much firepower with guys like Tyreke Evans, Antonio Anderson, and Robert Dozier. This game is where UConn will really miss Jerome Dyson, because they will only have 3 productive players, Price/Thabeet/Adrien.

3/23/09   |   barmarjeff   |   39 respect

CowboyRockStar wrote:
 all you guys that are saying Arizona is going to get rocked....well....let's just say...I can't wait till they prove you wrong.....they might lose, but they won't get "rocked"

I like Arizona and had them in the Sweet 16, but I don't think they have enough depth to stay with Louisville.

3/23/09   |   CowboyRockStar

 all you guys that are saying Arizona is going to get rocked....well....let's just say...I can't wait till they prove you wrong.....they might lose, but they won't get "rocked"

3/23/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

I'd give Duke just a bit of a chance against Nova and here is why. Sure, Nova has physical guards. But Duke is pretty good at taking charges and getting foul calls and Nova (I don't think) has the same depth at guard that Duke does with Scheyer, Henderson, Smith, Williams and Paulus. So I think Duke can get the Nova guards in foul trouble and then Duke depth gives them an edge.

Also, I think it is really in Duke's favor that this game against Nova is almost a week since their last game as opposed to being one day apart. I like Coach K and his staff's ability to come up with a better game plan than Jay Wright and his staff. Not a guarantee by any means, but I don't think Duke is gonna get "crushed" by Nova.

Also, no way is the Cuse gonna beat OU. I hope UNC can win over the Zags, because a matchup of Psycho T against Griffin would be awesome!

3/23/09   |   CUBBY4LIFE   |   1 respect

You know what I have had a soup sandwhich before and it is AWESOME!

3/23/09   |   CUBBY4LIFE   |   1 respect

The one thing that pops into my mind about Michigan ST. is the 30 point beat down they got from UNC at Ford field this year.

3/23/09   |   CUBBY4LIFE   |   1 respect

Not to mention that UNC is beating their opponents by almost 30 a game. UNC is as much of a favorite right now to win as is UCONN.

3/23/09   |   CUBBY4LIFE   |   1 respect

The Zags had a hard time vs WKU, Ty Lawson was Ty Lawson in the 2nd half vs LSU............ UNC by 15!

3/23/09   |   blondie45044   |   5873 respect

kramer wrote:
Assuming Pitt doesn't find a way to choke in the Sweet 16 again, I hope Duke beats Villanova because I believe they're an easier target for Pitt than Villanova would be.

3/23/09   |   barmarjeff   |   39 respect

I have seen Michigan State play a couple times this year and I'm not impressed.  Not too mention, they barely beat USC,when Taj Gibson did not do anything.   Arizona will get rocked.  Syracuse and Oklahoma should be an entertaining game. 

3/23/09   |   haller

I think Rick Jackson (6'9 240) and Arinze Onuaku (6'9 275) will do fine for Syracuse against Griffin (6'9 250) in the zone. I don't see him going nuts, I think they will hold him under 20 points.

3/23/09   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Assuming Pitt doesn't find a way to choke in the Sweet 16 again, I hope Duke beats Villanova because I believe they're an easier target for Pitt than Villanova would be.

3/23/09   |   Jubanator14   |   367 respect

I was rooting hard for Arizona St. because Syracuse is such a bad matchup for Oklahoma. That game will come down to who has the better game, Blake Griffin and the rest of OU's inside guys or the Syracuse guards.