I’m officially withdrawing my name from exam for the job in Indiana. Play a little hard to come by next time.
Gonzaga (-13) on Creighton: The Bluejays are lucky enough to be here after Greg McDermott’s racist remark, the team’s nosedive in the Big East and the Missed UC Santa Barbara game win in the first round. While no longer a mid-major thanks to the breakup of the Great East, Creighton certainly falls into the category of just being happy to be back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1974, after eight straight defeats in the round of 32. It also knows that its best is not good enough to beat the best team in the nation. The Zags should hardly have any problems to achieve their 26th double-digit record win in a row.
Michigan (2.5) over Florida State: The Big Ten is Princess Leia. The Wolverines are Obi-Wan Kenobi, the league’s only hope. But don’t overlook the Big Ten’s collapse in a single-elimination tournament that is supposed to wreak havoc. You would still choose the state of Ohio instead of Oral Roberts today. You’re still on the Purdue side of North Texas. You would still roll Illinois against Loyola Chicago. Michigan proved to be the best team at the deepest conference in the country all season, and the team’s elite two-way play has barely diminished with the loss of Isaiah Livers. Both teams could win here, but the high cap and consistency of the Wolverines have gained more confidence than a revenue-prone team with a coach (Leonard Hamilton) who can boast a 1-3 Sweet 16 record.
UCLA ( 6.5) over Alabama: The Crimson Tide are in a strong position to make their first Final Four, but their shooters may have trouble keeping the rhythm against an opponent who is playing at a snail’s pace. While Alabama was hot on the outside, UCLA’s shooters are even better with 37.4 percent of 3-point hits this season and nearly 43 percent in the three tournament games. The tide’s transition chances are limited by a Bruins team that averages less than 12 sales per game and is better on the boards.
USC (-2) over Oregon: After Kansas in the second round with a 34- Points victory was embarrassed, the Trojans will wear the ducks with their elite defenses and their front lines as well. In a meeting last month, USC received a sub-par performance from Evan Mobley, the potential No. 1 overall winner, and was without his brother Isaiah, but still dominated the glass, easily taking a 14-point win. Oregon has no answer for the brothers, who averaged 29.5 points, 18.5 rebounds, and four blocks in the tournament.
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