Big-name schools battle for Elite 8 berths [NCAA Open Thread]
Is there a better thing to do on a Friday night than to watch basketball? I didn't think so.
Let's get to the games.
No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 12 Oregon
Midwest Region from Indianapolis
7:15 p.m. ET, CBS
Much has already been made of Oregon being under-seeded. In fact, the Ducks were arguably better than both of their first two opponents, Oklahoma State and Saint Louis -- both of whom got dispatched in short order by Dana Altman and company. No matter how good the Ducks are, they are very clearly the underdog tonight against the red-hot Cardinals. If you got points for not turning the ball over on offense against Louisville, North Carolina A&T and Colorado State would probably still be losing. The Cardinals' swarming, pressing defense causes every offense fits, and for the Ducks to survive they will need to find a way to slow down Peyton Siva and Russ Smith (who has been the best player in the tournament thus far). Good luck with that.
My pick: Louisville
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Michigan
South Region from Arlington, TX
7:37 p.m. ET, TBS
Michigan looked absolutely dominant in beating VCU in the third round. The Wolverines looked so good, in fact, that you can understand why they were once ranked No. 1 in the nation this season. Michigan could present matchup problems for the Jayhawks, who are one of the best defensive teams in the nation. You won't get anything down low against Kansas with Jeff Withey roaming the paint. To beat the Jayhawks you need to shoot over them and run by them -- Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. very well might be able to do just that.
Kansas' offense has been complacent at times this year, just as Ben McLemore has been in the first two games of the tournament. There is a reason McLemore is thought of as perhaps the best pro prospect in the tournament, however, and tonight could be the night his massive talent is on display to carry the Jayhawks to victory.
My pick: Kansas