2015 NCAA Tournament for March 22: Who, What, Where, and When


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It’s been an exciting three days and the field of 68 for the 2015 NCAA Tournament is whittled down to the Sweet 16 with today’s games.  One #1  bid in Villanova has bitten the dust already.  Today’s action is highlighted by a battle for the state of Kansas and the evening ends with a couple of solid #4 vs #5 games.  Let’s take a look at today’s TV schedule and the matchups.

Virginia (30-3) vs. Michigan State (24-11), 12:10 PM, CBS

Duke (30-4) vs. San Diego State (27-8), approximately 2:40 p.m., CBS

Kansas (27-8) vs. Wichita State (29-4), approximately 5:15 p.m., CBS

Oklahoma (23-10) vs. Dayton (27-8), 6:10 p.m., TNT

Gonzaga (33-2) vs. Iowa (22-11), 7:10 p.m., TBS

Wisconsin (32-3) vs. Oregon (26-9), 7:45 p.m., TruTV

Maryland (28-6) vs. West Virginia (24-9), approximately 8:40 p.m., TNT

Louisville (25-8) vs. Northern Iowa (31-3), approximately 9:40 p.m., TBS

And here are my bets for the picks of the day.


The beauty of the NCAA Tourney is that it does not care about feuds and takes teams that don’t want to play … and makes them play.  As a Kentucky Wildcats fan, I still remember the “Dream Game” when UK and UL faced off after years of bickering about scheduling.  And the same happens today in Kansas.  The Jayhawks have owned this series, but Wichita State has a prior win in the NCAA Tourney.  The big story here is that Kansas has dodged Wichita State.  That is not completely accurate, but the Jayhawks have not been welcoming in playing their cross state rivals.  Today should be the best game of the day as for the last couple of years, these teams have been on an even level on the court.  Expect the Shockers to be disrespected for more than one reason.  Despite finishing the season at #11, they got a #7 seed while 8-loss Kansas got a #2 seed.  The tourney Gods have spoken and this game must happen.


This should be a war.  Look for Maryland’s perimeter play of Dez Wells and Melo Trimble to attack West Virginia’s pressing, attacking defense.  This game will probably come down to how well Maryland can shoot.  West Virginia is a very solid rebounding team and can limit Maryland to one shot  for most of the day.  West Virginia, on the other hand, will struggle on the offensive end.  It’s a true contrast of styles as the winner gets to face Kentucky on Thursday.  It is interesting that both teams had upset scares to even get to this point, so they both should be focused and ready to battle.


Louisville is known for their defense and yes, Louisville was the #6 team in defensive efficiency entering the tournament, but Northern Iowa was #20.  So both teams can play defense.  The big difference stat-wise is that UNI is the #15 team in offensive efficiency while UL comes in at #48.  The common thought is that if you can shut down Seth Tuttle, you can beat Northern Iowa, and Louisville certainly has the personnel to do so.  Besides Tuttle, Northern Iowa has a ton of guys that can beat you from long-range as they have six guys that are around 40% from long-range.  UL is one of the worst hitting threes at 30.9%.  In the end, this game is going to come down to how well UNI responds to Louisville’s physical play.  I can see either team winning by double digits.

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