Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 11:43 AM
Network 19-9 (68%) in the NCAA's after a 5-2 Sweet-16!
2-1 in Friday's Sweet-16!
Texas Tech (+2) Purdue WINS 78-85
Syracuse (+11) Duke WINS 65-69
Kansas (-5) Clemson 80-76 Loses by 1 point
3-1 In Thursday's Sweet-16!
Loyola-Chicago (+1) over Nevada 69-68
Texas A&M (+2.5) vs. Michigan 72-99
Kansas State (+5.5) over Kentucky 61-58
Florida State (+6) over Gonzaga 75-60
NCAA TOURNAMENT - THE ELITE 8 MATCHUPS ARE HERE
Survive-and-advance ... yes, and this time ladies and gents you advance right to the Final Four! Here's the rundown on this weekend's four big, big, big games in the NCAA Tournament's Elite 8 round.
Don't miss out as we bring you all the winners in this week's NCAA Elite 8 games to go along with all the other College Basketball Tournies plus get all the daily/nightly NBA action too as Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep ripping it up on the hardwood - just check it out right here online or 1-800-323-4453. Make sure you're all aboard for all the "March Madness" winners as there's plenty of profits straight ahead!
On Saturday, it's ...
NCAA TOURNAMENT - SOUTH REGIONAL FINAL
Philips Arena - Atlanta, GA
#11 LOYOLA-CHICAGO (31-5) vs. #9 KANSAS STATE (25-11) - 6:05 p.m. ET, TBS
Hope you're not tired of seeing those camera shots of Loyola-Chicago's 98-year-old super-fan Sister Jean, 'cause the school's chaplain will be getting plenty of "air time" here should the Ramblers bang out a fourth consecutive win in this NCAA Tournament. You can talk "divine intervention" all you want - the fact of the matter is Loyola plays air-tight defense much of the time (remember it held Nevada scoreless for the final 7:55 of the first half) - and there's a new/different hero every game with Marques Townes (18 points / 5 assists and key triple late) the center-stage guy in that delicious 69-68 win over the Wolf Pack in the Sweet 16 while K-State comes into this tilt hoping to steer clear of foul trouble after the refs went whistle-crazy in Thursday's down-to-the-wire 61-58 upset of 5.5-point fav Kentucky. Sure, it helped matters that Kentucky's free-throw shooting was abysmal - the SEC Wildcats drained just 23-of-37 FTs, typical for a John Calipari-coached team! - but here Kansas State needs yet another stat-sheet stuffing game from Xavier Sneed (22 points / 9 rebs versus Kentucky) because still-hurting F Dean Wade was really rusty in his first game back. The Las Vegas folks have Kansas State favored by a one-and-a-half - and tourney history this spring says it'll go down to a final play, a final possession. Watch!
Here's the earlier-round NCAA Tournament games for Loyola-Chicago and then Kansas State:
NCAA TOURNAMENT - WEST REGIONAL FINAL
Staples Center - Los Angeles, CA
#9 FLORIDA STATE (23-11) vs. #3 MICHIGAN (31-7) - approximately 8:45 p.m. ET, TBS
Will this be another case of "bombs away" for Michigan - or are the 4.5-point favored Wolverines gonna be on the wrong end of a defense-first showdown here? Hey, John Beilein's crew stroked home 14 trifectas in Thursday's runaway 99-72 win against Texas as A&M as streaky G Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman poured in a game-high 24 points (four treys in all) and the maize-and-blue guys cranked up 39 made field goals in 63 tries (that's 62 percent) but count us among the folks that'll be shocked if Beilein's bunch can bang out a bunch of open trifecta looks here - Florida State defends the whole floor and allowed Gonzaga to shoot just 20-of-59 from the field in Thursday's easy-as-pie 75-60 win that featured 11 different scorers (G Terance Mann's 18 points led the way) and it's that depth/balance that figures to create problems for the Wolves. Can FSU boss-man Leonard Hamilton count on G Trent Forrest and the rest of this terrific bench to seize the day when Michigan tires?
Here's the earlier-round NCAA Tournament games for Florida State and Michigan:
On Sunday, it's ...
NCAA TOURNAMENT - EAST REGIONAL FINAL
TD Garden - Boston, MA
#3 TEXAS TECH (27-9) vs. #1 VILLANOVA (33-4) - 2:20 p.m. ET, CBS
The 'Nova Wildcats sat number one in the polls for almost three full months this year - and if Jay Wright's club delivers the goods the way they did for approximately a 10-to-12 minute stretch the other night in the eventual Sweet 16 blowout win against West Virginia then these 'Cats will be Final Four-bound and all that much closer to wearing the crown for a second time in three years. Let's face it: Point guard Jalen Brunson (27 points / 4 assists against the Mountaineers) was brilliant in taking control of that Sweet 16 tilt and it sure helped that sweet-shooting Omari Spellman drilled some big-time corner triples. If both follow similar scripts here, then 6.5-point pup Texas Tech is in major trouble although the Red Raiders' PG Keenan Evans (16 points / 4 assists in that 13-point win against Purdue on Friday night) really came alive after halftime the other night and his TT teammates were skying high on alley-oops that could give grounded Villanova some headaches.
Here's the earlier-round NCAA Tournament games for Texas Tech and Villanova:
|3-15||Texas Tech||-11||S.F. Austin||70-60|
NCAA TOURNAMENT - MIDWEST REGIONAL FINAL
CenturyLink Center - Omaha, NE
#2 DUKE (29-7) vs. #1 KANSAS (30-7) - approximately 5:05 p.m. ET, CBS
Here's the one-and-only bracket that went chalky as the number one and two seeds square off but take note it's #2 Duke that enters this game as 3.5-point betting favorites (and basically co-favorites with Villanova to win it all!). No doubt the Dookies were forced to play a clunky alley-oop oriented game against Syracuse the other night as G Grayson Allen was a rotten 3-of-14 from beyond the arc as Mike Krzyzewski's crew nailed only five triples in all but here expect Duke to take 30-plus treys while steering clear of massive Kansas C Udoka Azubuike (14 points and 11 rebs in 25 busy minutes in the non-cover win against Clemson the other night). Looking for a true X-factor here? Let's see if the J-hawks' bench can give Bill Self's club a shot in the arm ... reserve Silvio DeSousa kicked in 9 points and 6 rebounds in just 13 minutes against Clemson and could "backdoor" this Duke zone while playing along the baseline.
Here's the earlier-round NCAA Tournament games for Duke and Kansas:
NOTE - Much more NCAA Tournament News in the next Jim Sez.