When you think about it, who's in a better position than NC State? The Pack has won two nail biters and each has increased its confidence exponentially. The win over LSU was intense; the one over Villanova remarkable.
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If Louisville and Virginia continue to win, State's prep work will be greatly reduced. All of a sudden, if things break right, the Pack has a legitimate path to the Final Four.
We couldn't be happier for our lupine friends.
Notre Dame came through too, in exciting fashion, beating Butler in overtime. As we found out afterwards, Mike Brey lost his mother earlier in the day. Under the circumstances, he did an amazing job. Our hearts go out to him. Losing your mother is not easy.
We thought that UNC would struggle at the end against Arkansas, but we got that one backwards: the Razorbacks were the ones who struggled. UNC came through in fine fashion, although Kennedy Meeks injured his knee at the very end. No word yet on the severity of the injury.
So on Sunday, Duke plays San Diego State, Louisville gets Northern Iowa and Virginia gets Michigan State in a rematch from last year's tournament (the Spartans won that one).
Justin Anderson is coming back fast and Virginia is vastly better with him. We'll go with the 'Hoos, although as always, Tom Izzo has Michigan State playing beautifully in March.
Rick Pitino will bring Louisville in with a win over Northern Iowa, and as always, we don't pick against Duke.
As for the rest Sunday, we'll take Dayton over Oklahoma, Gonzaga over Iowa, Wisconsin over Oregon and Wichita over Kansas.
That leaves Maryland and West Virginia, which is tough one. For the most part Maryland has played well this year and has an outstanding freshman in Melo Trimble.
West Virginia brings pressure though, and lots of it. Can the Terps handle it?
We think Trimble is up to it, so we'll go with Maryland here.