After posting an abysmal 5-3 in my predictions for round one of the NCAA Tournament, I look to improve on my record with tonight's Sweet Sixteen picks. To shake things up a little bit and make these predictions more interesting, I've decided to pick tonight's contest against the spread (ATS). Let this be your disclaimer, the following picks are solely for entertainment purposes only. If you win big by following my picks tonight, you can send a portion of your proceeds to my email address found at the bottom header of the blog. If you lose anything at all by following my picks, you cannot and will not attempt to sue me as I'm not responsible. Got it? Good.
If you've followed SOJ throughout the season and I know you have, otherwise you wouldn't be reading our NCAA Tournament Open Threads, you know we've posted Seton Hall's (ATS) when applicable (spreads aren't available for the Longwood's and NJIT's of the world) in the OGTs. The Pirates ended the season 12-15ATS. So, if you put even money on each one of their games this season, you would have ended the year in the red, sort of like their record. Onto tonight's picks!
#3 Connecticut vs. #2 SDSU - 7:15PM, CBS
West Region - Anaheim, CA
The Favorite: SDSU (-2)
This is basically a home game for the Aztecs, but it won't matter. SDSU was unable to stop Jimmer in their only two losses of the season and guess what? Kemba's better. The Connecticut Kemba's (shout out to JP), will let SDSU hang around late into the second half before they pull away, just as they have in their last ten tournament games. TEN. Let that sink in. The Huskies have won TEN STRAIGHT tournament games (3xMaui, 5xBET, 2xNCAAs). Tonight marks eleven.
Prediction: UConn +2
#3 BYU vs. #2 Florida - 7:27PM, TBS
Southeast Region - New Orleans, LA
The Favorite: Florida (-2.5)
Another sure home court advantage, this time for Florida and I'm going with another upset pick. Why? Well, the Cougars have Jimmer and the Gators don't. This is easy!
Prediction: BYU +2.5
#5 Arizona vs. #1 Duke - 9:45PM, CBS
West Region - Anaheim, CA
The Favorite: Duke (-9)
No question in my mind that Duke wins tonight. There's also no question in my mind that it won't be by ten or more. Had Michigan dished to the perimeter for a game-winning attempt on their final possession (and made it of course), Duke would already be sitting home at this point. Derrick Williams and his Wildcats are tough as nails, they'll go down swinging tonight. Take the 'Cats with the points.
Prediction: Arizona +9
#8 Butler vs. #4 Wisconsin - 9:57PM, TBS
Southeast Region - New Orleans
The Favorite: Wisconsin (-4.5)
This is my toughest call of the night. I can't put a finger on this game, just can't do it. Remember that disclaimer where I told you these picks were for entertainment purposes only? Yep. This game is why. I think Wisconsin will win, but the Bulldogs were on this stage last year, they're got the "nobody respects us after a national title appearance" card and Brad Stevens is a boss. And since I've rolled the dice with three Vegas underdogs already, let's go for the clean sweep. Baseball season is a week away, can I bat a thousand? It'd actually be batting one. But that doesn't sound cool. Enjoy the games, stop in and laugh at my picks and do me a favor. Don't gamble your mortgage on these picks. Don't even put your Pirate Bucks on them. Of course, if I win, it's, "told ya so" time.
Prediction: Butler (+4.5)