Final Four on the line [Elite 8 Open Thread]
Let's get to the games, though.
No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 4 Syracuse
East Region from Washington D.C.
4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
One thing is for sure, in its last season as a conference, the Big East is going to have a team in the Final Four. This wasn't the Big East's best season, but the conference as it stands now still has a chance to go out with a bang. It is somewhat surprising that either team is here, but who will advance?
The Orange is coming off of a surprising upset of No. 1 Indiana in which Syracuse stifled the Hoosiers with its vaunted 2-3 zone. Part of Syracuse's advantage in that game was that the Hoosiers hadn't seen the zone before. Marquette has. The Golden Eagles downed Syracuse 74-71 in Milwaukee about a month ago. That game doesn't mean much today, other than that Marquette is more familiar with the Jim Boeheim zone than Indiana was.
A friend said the other day that Marquette just looks like a classic tournament team -- lucking into a few wins early before hitting its stride. After all, on Thursday the Golden Eagles dominated a very good Miami team to get here.
My pick: Marquette (probably a jinx).
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Wichita State
West Region from Los Angeles
7:05 p.m. ET, CBS
I will make zero "shocker" jokes, I promise. Wichita State is getting good use out of their dark, road uniforms this tournament, which is always good news for a low seed. Can their magical journey continue? I'll just say it: My heart says so, but my head says otherwise.
The big question for Ohio State is, who's turn is it to nail a game-winning three right before the horn. Two straight cold-blooded buzzer beaters have gotten the Buckeyes and Thad Matta to the brink of another Final Four. Unfortunately for Wichita State, I doubt this game comes down to the buzzer.
My pick: Ohio State (maybe a reverse jinx)