Both teams have a fast-paced offense but North Carolina is a great team. I don’t see a chance of an upset here.
Prediction: North Carolina
Utah State vs Washington
Utah State has a great duo of Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta. Merrill is an experienced offensive leader that can shoot the three and Queta is a talented rim protector with NBA potential.
Washington’s head coach Mike Hopkins brought the 2-3 zone to Washington from Syracuse and the Huskies have a strong defense. Matisse Thybulle is one of the best defensive players in the country and part of their balanced scoring attack.
I really don’t see a plausible scenario in which Duke could possibly lose this game.
VCU vs UCF
UCF has gotten some attention in the last couple weeks but VCU is by far the better team. Despite an A10 tournament loss to Rhode Island, VCU is really good. They dominated the A10 in the regular season and they have KenPom’s 7th best defense.
When I think about March Madness, memories of watching guys like Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette carry their team on tournament runs always come to mind. It’s one of the most interesting narratives in the tournament-one guy putting the team on his back, especially offensively, and willing them to victories. Everyone loves watching a hero, here are this year’s candidates to play that role.