7:15pm - 7 Wichita State -2 vs. 3 Notre Dame O/U 138 Bet Here
After winning the much anticipated battle of Kansas, can the Shockers avoid a letdown Thursday night against the #3 seed Irish? Many believe so and have made WSU a slight favorite despite their #7 seed primarily due on their impressive 78-65 win over the Jayhawks. The Shockers defeated 10 Indiana 81-76 in the first round.
Notre Dame has not overwhelmed their two NCAA tourney opponents, beating 14 Northeastern 69-65 and then 6 Butler 67-64 in OT.
The Shockers (30-4) come in as winners of 11 out of 12 games while the Irish (31-5) have won 7 in a row.
Wichita State will be the best team Notre Dame has faced so far in the tourney and if they play to the level of their first 2 games they'll lose. The Shockers beat a better team than the Irish in Kansas on Sunday and they did it fairly easily. I like Wichita State to continue their run and move on to the Elite 8.
Wichita State 80 Notre Dame 75
7:47pm - 4 North Carolina vs. 1 Wisconsin -6.5 O/U 145 Bet Here
The Tar Heels have survived Harvard and Arkansas to get this far. It's likely they won't have F Kennedy Meeks (knee) for this one which will be a blow to their size and depth against the #1 seeded Badgers.
Wisconsin will have everyone ready to go, especially C Frank Kaminsky, who averages 18.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. Kaminsky's all-round play and supporting cast should be steady enough to advance past the Heels.
Interestingly, UNC coach Roy Williams is currently tied with Dean Smith for 2nd place in all-time NCAA Tournament wins with 65. He'll have to wait for next year to pass the legend, but this one goes down to the wire.
Wisconsin 72 North Carolina 67
9:45pm - 5 West Virginia vs. 1 Kentucky -13 O/U 136.5 Bet Here
The Mountaineers have only split their last 6 games, but nevertheless find themselves one game away from the Elite 8. The problem is - the mighty Wildcats stand in their way.
36-0 Kentucky has failed to cover in either of their first two tournament games but they keep winning. There's big expectations for this squad as well as a big target on their back. Coach Calipari has done a nice job in keeping the team focused on the National Championship rather than highlight reels and blowout victories.
Much is made about WVU's defense, which is good, but Kentucky gives up 12 less points per games than the Mountaineers. Look for the Wildcats to get their first cover of this year's tourney.
Kentucky 74 West Virginia 59
10:17pm - 6 Xavier at 2 Arizona -11 O/U 136.5 Bet Here
The Musketeers survived Ole Miss and Georgia State, but will have their hands full tonight against the #2 seed Wildcats who come in with a gaudy 33-3 record and have reeled off 13 straight wins.
Xavier C Matt Stainbrook will need to have the game of his life if the Musketeers hope to pull off the upset. He had just 9 points and 6 rebounds in 35 minutes vs. Georgia State.
Arizona would like to get a better performance from one of their stars in freshman F Stanley Johnson. Johnson clocked in with just 4 points in 31 minutes against the Buckeyes.
Arizona has the depth to win even without the best from one of their players and I think this will be the difference tonight as the Wildcats win a close one.
Arizona 72 Xavier 65