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Sweet 16 Cranks Up Today!

Tournament play resumes on Thursday, with four games kicking off the Sweet 16:

  • 7:10 PM ET: No. 4 Southern Illinois at No. 1 Kansas
  • 7:27 PM ET: No. 3 Texas A&M at No. 2 Memphis
  • 9:40 PM ET: No. 3 Pittsburgh at No. 2 UCLA
  • 9:57 PM ET: No. 5 Tennessee at No. 1 Ohio State

No one lower than a four seed in action, too. Some tough matchups here.

If we're Kansas, Southern Illinois is not who we really want to see coming. The Salukis are a tough defensive team, and they'll make life miserable as they have for everyone else. We don't really have a feel for this game, but we'll take SIU just because the defense is so good, and because they're not exactly neophytes when it comes to tournament play.

The next game is tough, too. Memphis is highly athletic and they've been hot. But Texas A&M is very, very tough, and they've played a higher level of competition. So it's hard to not pick them.

Pitt-UCLA is a matchup of (former) assistant vs. mentor, and while Pitt is certainly a tremendous team, in our experience, assistants usually lose this matchup. We'll take UCLA.

And Ohio State has a rematch with Tennessee. In the first game, Greg Oden wasn't really incorporated into the team, but he is now, and Ohio State is much better than they were in January. Forget the inside with Oden there, and defend the perimeter, and it's hard to see how Tennessee pulls this off.

On the other hand, we should all thank Bruce Pearl for injecting some serious fun back into college basketball, which sometimes takes itself too seriously. He's a breath of fresh air.