Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, March 18, 2016 at 1:10 PM
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT - SATURDAY'S ROUND OF 32 GAMES
Get out the dance shoes for a full day of Saturday action, but first remember ...Jim Hurley has all the NCAA Tournament winners right through the championship game on the night of April 4th and you can get it either right here online or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - plus don't forget we're banging out lots of winners in the other college tournies such as the NIT, CIT and CBI and there's lots of daily NBA Winners too these days. Join the fun and profits with all the hardwood action - win big starting today!
NCAA TOURNAMENT - SATURDAY'S GAMES
Here's quick-hitter commentary on each of Saturday's eight games in this year's NCAA Tournament Round of 32 ...
At Raleigh -
#9 PROVIDENCE (24-10) vs. #1 NORTH CAROLINA (29-6) - approximately 9:40 p.m. ET
Only really had two wire jobs among Thursday's 16 first-round games and the PC Friars were winners in one of 'em ... though the 70-69 non-cover triumph over USC was more a case of the Troy Boys just handing Ed Cooley's guys a gazillion opportunities to win late. Now, Providence's tag-team duo of Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil (a combined 12-of-34 FG shooting for just 35 points) really step up in class against run-run Carolina crew that shot wobbly 31-of-73 from the field and Heels gotta make more of those in-close "bunnies" and show a bit more intensity from the very start if Roy Williams' gang is gonna cover 9.5 points here.
At Des Moines -
#5 INDIANA (26-7) vs. #4 KENTUCKY (27-8) - 5:15 p.m. ET
Everyone's foaming at the mouth for this game pitting two of college basketball's real bluebloods with point guard battle royal between Hoosiers' legend Yogi Ferrell (20 points and 10 assists in 99-74 win/cover against Chattanooga) and Wildcats' super-soph Tyler Ulis (quiet 10-point, 7-assist showing in 85-57 win/cover against stinky Stony Brook) the game's biggest sidebar story but gotta believe underdog Indy will win here if it comes close to another 62 percent shooting game from beyond the arc (see 10-of-16 versus the Mocs), so expect John Calipari's crew to extend the "D" and that means cat-and-mouse game here with Hoosiers needing some backdoor hoops against block-happy Kentucky front line (see tourney record 15 blocks against the Seawolves). Hey, enjoy it 'cause these guys don't ever like to schedule one another!
At Raleigh -
#9 BUTLER (22-10) vs. #1 VIRGINIA (27-7) - 7:10 p.m. ET
Biggest scare the Wahoos had in Round I was that pre-halftime sideline collapse by woozy head coach Tony Bennett (he's fine) but here Virginia's sticky "D" must get out on three-point gunner G Kellen Dunham (23 points in Butler's 71-61 win against Texas Tech on Thursday) ... if the Bulldogs are able to hurl up 25-or-more triples than they'll have more than the proverbial "puncher's chance" here. The Vegas folks have Virginia as a 7-point fav and that could be "shy".
At Denver -
#12 LITTLE ROCK (30-4) vs. #4 IOWA STATE (22-11) - 6:10 p.m. ET
If the I-State Cyclones ever wanted an easier first-week draw in this here tourney - that's #13 Iona and now 12th-seeded Little Rock - than you could have fooled us but there is a bit of pressure on first-year boss Steve Prohm to possibly scale back the minutes for sore-shouldered G Monte Morris and Georges Niang as they played 37 minutes each in the 94-81 win/cover against the Gaels and combined for 48 points. If there's any magic dust left here by the Little Rock kids who never did say die in that 85-82 2-OT win against Purdue this past Thursday, then it's time to sprinkle it around with senior G Josh Hagins (31 points against the Boilers) likely needed to take a minimum of 25 FGs here.
At Denver -
#11 GONZAGA (27-7) vs. #3 UTAH (27-8) - approximately 8:40 p.m. ET
The 'Zags had major height advantage over exhausted Seton Hall in Thursday's non-competitive 68-52 win with lefty Domantas Sabonis (21 points and 16 boards) stealing the show but Utah big man Jakob Poeltl (16 points and 18 rebs against Fresno State) showing a bit more mobility 'round the hoop and Ute guards are staying active ... this one in toss 'up category and Utah wins if half-court defense plays A game.
At Des Moines -
#9 UCONN (25-10) vs. #1 KANSAS (31-4) - approximately 7:45 p.m. ET
The Jayhawks rolled into this tourney off Big 12 regular-season and mini-tourney titles and feeling the heat of being the shortest-priced betting favorite to win it all but now here comes good-karma UConn team that raced back from 11-point first-half deficit, thanks in large part to 22-of-23 FT shooting in win/cover against Colorado. The Huskies' bunch up front needs to steer clear of foul woes - we mean you, C Amida Brimah - and UConn guards better handle the pressure better than they did late in that win against Colorado. Hey, Kansas had 23 assists and just 10 turnovers against Austin Peay.
At Providence -
#11 WICHITA STATE (26-8) vs. #3 MIAMI (26-7) - 12:10 p.m. ET
No doubt you all know the stat by now that since the NCAA Tournament first started with the "First Four" back in 2011, there's been at least one team that came out of that grouping to win two-or-more games ... this year that team is Wichita State and the Shockers were their usual dive-all-over-the-floor, contest-every-shot selves in Thursday night's rollicking 65-55 win against Arizona (the 'Cats were deflated five minutes into the game and never did emotionally recover!) but can Gregg Marshall's team sap a Miami team that has Grade-A point guard Angel Rodriguez (24 points, 7 rebs and 4 assists versus Buffalo) running the show? The 'Canes may be the best power conference team that nobody's talking up when it comes to winning this man's tourney ... and we don't know why this is, folks!
At Providence -
#12 YALE (23-6) vs. #4 DUKE (24-10) - approximately 2:40 p.m. ET
Most veteran NCAA Tournament fans know that these double-digit seeds rarely string together back-to-back "Big Dance" wins but this Yalies bunch might be exception to the rule providing G Makai Mason (31 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 79-75 upset of 5.5-point fav Baylor) has "eye of the tiger" look again. Hey, one thing we want to see here is Yale front-court folks must do the bump-and-grind with Duke F Brandon Ingram (20 points, 9 boards) who still needs to get off more than a dozen field goals attempts here.
NOTE: Catch our Sunday previews of the NCAA Tournament's Round of 32 games in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez.