clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament 2015: Elite 8 Preview and SOJuice Bracket Pool Update

New, 1 comment

My preview for Saturday's Elite 8 games and an update for our bracket pool.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

All in all, last night's quartet of games was mildly disappointing.

Gonzaga breezed past UCLA, NC State succumbed to a Louisville run mid-way through the second half that they wouldn't recover from and Duke held Utah at arms length for most of the game.

The finale on the night, Michigan State - Oklahoma, was a closely contested game but lacked that extra amount of drama that would be expected. Like their game against Dayton, the Sooners came out firing but then cooled off, which happened against Michigan State too, but Sparty was able to take advantage late in the second half.

SOJuice Pool Top-3

136 pts - Anybody but Kentucky

135 pts-  fdamato22

135 pts - agam22

Our leader has Wisconsin over Kentucky and Louisville winning tomorrow night, so it looks like they will either clearly win or not even be in the final top-3.

Elite 8 Previews

(2) Arizona vs (1) Wisconsin - 6:09et, TBS

I'd be very surprised if this game didn't come down to the wire. Wisconsin handled NC State's athleticism and tempo quite well and will be facing a different kind of monster tonight. The Badgers probably have the edge inside between the versatile duo of Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky (Stainbrook scored 17 on Kaleb Tarczewski), but I give the backcourt nod to T.J. McConnell and Gabe York over Bronson Koenig and Josh Gasser.

Traevon Jackson played nine minutes against UNC, so who knows how effective he will be, but Arizona is a long team (20th effective height) and will be fantastic prep should the Badgers advance to face Kentucky in that department.

I have no clue who will win in this one, but I'll take Arizona.

(3) Notre Dame vs (1) Kentucky - 8:49et, TBS

I've said that a hot-shooting team may be required to take down Kentucky, and Notre Dame qualifies as such. The Fighting Irish have the best effective field goal percentage in the country on the season and torched a well-known defensive team in Wichita State by scoring 1.23 points per possession and shooting 55 percent from the field.

Notre Dame is a team that plays at the 208th fastest tempo in the country, but I think they may need to out-gun Kentucky in order to win this. A massive burden will be on Zach Auguste in the paint against Karl-Anthony Towns; he'll need a ton of help defense and denial of entry passes to be even moderately successful.

The key for Notre Dame will be to dictate the scoring early and often and get some luck on their jump shots. Vegas has Kentucky by 11.