With only 16 teams remaining after a wild first weekend of action, it truly appears to be anyone’s tournament to take. There are four teams that are standing out in this reporters mind and will shape up the Final Four nicely.
The obvious choice. They soundly defeated both Hampton and Cincinnati to reach the Sweet 16. West Virginia will press them hard to try and force turnovers but Kentucky is talented enough to get past the press secure victory.
They will have a battle on their hands in the round of 8 with either Notre Dame or Wichita State, both teams have what it takes to take Kentucky to the limit. Expect Kentucky to battle hard and get past both these teams on their way to the final four.
They defeated Robert Morris and San Diego State to reach this point. Duke is strong in the paint and in transition which makes them a duel threat to win it all. They will be tested by Utah who boasts talented point guard point guard Delon Wright. They need to force Wright into making mistakes and they will be tough to do because of the poise he has already shown.
I do expect Duke to get past Utah and then the winner of UCLA and Gonzaga in the elite 8. Gonzaga would be a very tough out for any team, but Duke is the right fit for that matchup with the Zags, shall it occur.
The Wildcats reached this point with two convincing wins over Texas Southern and Ohio State. Head coach Sean Miller insists his team is yet to play it’s best ball. There next matchup with Xavier, will force Sean Miller to take on the team he once coached before leaving for Arizona a few years back.
If Stanley Johnson can get his shot back in order, expect the Wildcats to roll past Xavier and right into a heavyweight matchup with one seeded Wisconsin.
At that point, Arizona will begin to show the nation why they should have been the one seed and not Wisconsin as they will defeat them on their way to the Final Four. If Gabe York remains hot from three point land, there will be no stopping the Wildcats.
They soundly beat Albany before squeaking by 11th seeded Dayton. They are now the to remaining seed in the bracket after shocking upsets of Villanova and Virginia. Beating Michigan State will be no easy tasks, but the Sooners are desperate to prove the Big 12 does have quality teams worthy of a shot at the big stage.
They will need shooting guard Buddy Hield to remain hot to avoid any more upsets in that region. Only one weekend in and it has already been a wild tournament that fans will be talking about for ages.
What will this weekend bring, only time will tell!