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2018 NCAA Tournament: Saturday Predictions

Just go ahead and blow it all up now.

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Buffalo v Arizona
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats and Jeremy Harris #2 of the Buffalo Bulls battle for the ball during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Here’s our take on Saturday’s games.

Duke-Rhode Island: We’ve been around Duke long enough to tell you betting against the Blue Devil is a bad idea. Rhode Island seems to have manufactured an insult - suggesting that while at Chipotle’s, the Blue Devils said they didn’t know who Rhode Island was.

Duke said they didn’t even go to Chipotle’s and have no idea what the Rams are talking about. Since they played last year, there’s a pretty good chance they are familiar with the Rams.

Alabama-Villanova: We’ll go with the Wildcats here. It should take a lot to beat Villanova early and Alabama doesn’t have that much.

Buffalo-Kentucky: We’ll go with Buffalo just because that team is so loose and also because coach Nate Oates told Calipari to quit whining. How can you not love that? Buffalo also, as they pointed out to anyone who would listen, has great guards. And experienced guards generally trump younger ones.

Loyola-Tennessee: One of the reasons we don’t even bother trying to pick a bracket is because it’s a total crap shoot and it’s impossible - absolutely impossible - to know enough to make informed decisions.

Take Loyola. Our opinion might have been somewhat different if we had known that Rick Majerus trained coach Porter Moser. Majerus had many eccentricities and a fatal attraction to eating, but the man was as smart a basketball mind as we have known. So we’ll take Loyola here with a wary eye at Tennessee’s physical strength. UT is a very strong team.

Seton Hall-Kansas: We’d love to take Pirates over the Jayhawks and we may regret this one. We’ll stick with Kansas.

Ohio State-Gonzaga: UNC-G was Gonzaga’s wake-up call. They’ll be ready.

Florida-Texas Tech: Have to go with the Techsters here. Florida rising but the team is erratic.

Houston-Michigan: People often make an understandable mistake of assuming because a team played one great game they’re going to play another at that level. Sorry, but it usually doesn’t happen. Look no further than Phi Slamma Jamma for verification: after Houston’s shock-and-awe aerial campaign against Louisville, the Cougars were stunned in the following game by Jim Valvano’s Wolfpack.

We’re not saying Houston can’t win, but if they do, it’ll be a grinder.

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