Old Dominion's two point loss was all that stood between my pursuit of perfection in yesterday's four picks. Below we'll look at today's games of interest as I try to better my percentage from 75%.
#13 Oakland vs. #4 Texas - 12:15PM, CBS
West Region - Tulsa
As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm fairly confident that I'm in the minority of bracket selections that has the Longhorn beating the Golden Grizzlies this afternoon. Oakland is one of the more sexy Cinderella picks of recent memory, yet I'm not buying it. In all five of the brackets I've filled out, I've got Texas advancing. My prediction? It won't even be close, Texas is going to put Oakland away early and finish them by close to 20 points. Oakland brings a high-scoring offense (85.6ppg) to the table against the nation's #1 adjusted defense in Texas. The Longhorns offense isn't exactly lacking either, whereas Oakland's defense is one of the worst among tournament teams.
Prediction: Texas 80, Oakland 63
#9 Tennessee vs. #8 Michigan - 12:40PM, TruTV
West Region - Charlotte
Another distraction for Tennessee emerged this week as Bruce Pearl found himself answering questions as to whether or not today's matchup could be his last as head coach of the Volunteers. His tenure at Tennessee may be coming to a close, but it won't be today. The Volunteers should easily win the battle on the glass and it'll be the difference in today's 8/9 matchup.
Prediction: Tennessee 72, Michigan 67
#10 Georgia vs. #7 Washington - 9:45PM, CBS
East Region - Charlotte
Washington features one of the tournament's top offenses against the Bulldogs who have been less than impressive over the last month of the season. The winner will receive the reward of playing the Tar Heels in Carolina in the round of 32. The Huskies have a potent offense that's good for 3rd in the nation in (83.5) PPG, 12th in REB (39.3), and 8th in AST (17.2). They're coming off a second-straight PAC-10 tournament title, while their opponent was ousted by Alabama in the quarterfinals of the SEC, their second loss to Alabama in 6 days. The same Alabama that didn't make the tournament.
Prediction: Washington 82, Georgia 69
#11 VCU vs. #6 Georgetown - 9:50PM, TNT
Southwest Region - Chicago
Chris Wright is back from a broken hand and looking to snap the Hoyas four game losing streak against the Rams who just defeated USC in the NCAA's "first-round" on Wednesday. Georgetown enters the tournament well-rested after playing just 3 games over the last 3.5 weeks, including a first-round BET exit against the Connecticut Huskies. I look for the Hoyas to bounce back in convincing fashion over VCU, setting up a contest next week with a likely Barlow-less Purdue.
Prediction: Georgetown 71, VCU 62
Enjoy the tournament folks. Discuss it with us here as I try to go 7-1 after my prized Gonzaga over St. John's pick last night.