Today is day two of the Sweet 16 and we’re ready to see some upsets, especially after some close games yesterday. UCLA vs. Kentucky promises to be a fun one, and we’re betting some of our picks aren’t yours. That being said, Dr. Senkbeil has a good feeling about a few. Take a look below and tell us: which teams are you rooting for?
Without further ado, Dr. Senkbeil’s breakdown of today’s Sweet 16 Day 2 games:
BUTLER VS. NORTH CAROLINA (-7.5)
Projected Winner: UNC
UNC (6, 19, tempo 52) looked bad against Arkansas and trailed by five with under three minutes left. The ACC has been terrible in this tournament. I had UNC in my final 4 in my original bracket, but have serious reservations now. UNC has more talent but this Butler team should frustrate them. Butler (21, 43, tempo 288) avoids mistakes and plays well against guard-dominated teams. They will hope to slow this game down, avoid turnovers, and avoid UNC killing them in transition. This is a huge step up compared to their first two games, and they just do not have the athletes to compete with UNC if UNC is clicking. I want to pick Butler but that is too much of a reach here. UNC by 5.
SOUTH CAROLINA VS. BAYLOR (-3.5)
Projected Winner: Baylor
Baylor (20, 13, tempo 328) is balanced and slow with great size. Their losses this year came primarily against guard-dominated hustle teams like WVU and Kansas State, or efficient guard-driven offenses like Kansas and Iowa State. Who knows what to make of South Carolina? I have picked against them every game because they looked so bad to end the season. They were a strong defensive team (currently 4th) all year but all of a sudden they have an offense to match. In two tournament games their OE went from 152nd to 121st. That is absurd! I really enjoy watching this team and Frank Martin scowling. They GUARD you! And they have the quickness to beat Baylor. I am afraid that the old offensively challenged South Carolina will eventually show up, BUT if they continue to score they will beat Baylor and almost anybody. The pg Felder is a classic archetype of that position and Thornwell can play. I will pick against them again because I want them to keep winning and also because Baylor is much better statistically.
UCLA VS. KENTUCKY pick em
Projected Winner: Kentucky
UCLA (2,78, tempo 14) beat Kentucky at Rupp so on a neutral floor it should be easier to do it again. End of story….nah. Lonzo Ball can take over a game if he needs to and so many people are high on UCLA. Although they have been playing better defense, that (78) is still an eyesore. No team with a DE that low has ever won a title. Kentucky (12, 7, tempo 22) tried to run step for step with UCLA in December since both these teams play really fast. If Calipari is smart, he will concede and slow the tempo using his teams athleticism and superior defense to win this. Would you run with UCLA? NO. Kentucky is the rare team that can stop them enough and also score enough to beat them. Let’s see what Kentucky decides to do. Kentucky by 4 in a fun game.
WISCONSIN VS. FLORIDA (-2.5)
Projected Winner: FLORIDA
Florida (26, 3, 124) has looked really good in its two games. They beat ETSU easily and then gator rolled Virginia. Those were two defensive teams. Wisconsin (35, 8, tempo 334) is very similar statistically to Virginia. UH OH! Badgers. Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig will not go down easily, but the numbers suggest death by water thrashing in a gator roll. Florida by 8. Take comfort, Badger fans, since all of my overconfident picks have backfired.
Missed any previous posts? Check them out below:
- First Four
- Completing Your Bracket
- Round 1, Day 1
- Big Games & Bold Picks–Round 1, Day 2
- Round 2, Day 1
- Round 2, Day 2
- Sweet 16, Day 1