There are all kinds of people out there who think Gonzaga will beat West Virginia tomorrow for the Regional Semifinals. Our bracketologist, Dr. Senkbeil, isn’t one of those people. He is pulling for a West Virginia win over Gonzaga (with good reason), and we’re with him.
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Dr. Senkbeil, who is currently 39-9 for straight picks, has inspired us to make our bets for West Virginia on GoodBookey. We will be raising money for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center tomorrow before the game starts. Without further ado, Dr. Senkbeil’s breakdown of tomorrow’s games:
Without further ado, Dr. Senkbeil’s breakdown of tomorrow’s games:
Michigan (-1) vs. Oregon
Projected Winner: Michigan
Oregon looked vulnerable against a good Rhode Island team and trailed much of the game, including by 8 at halftime. The shot 43% from 3 to win that game and had a great disparity in free throws. That should be random and you cannot live off that. Oregon (16, 25, tempo 241) does not play with any distinctive style and that slower tempo helps Michigan. Michigan (3,73, 340 tempo) has looked terrific at the end of the season and in their first 2 games. OE is really important when you get to this stage of the tournament and games open up a little more. I think the Wolverines continue the hot shooting and take this game by 5-7 points.
GONZAGA (-3.5) vs. West Virginia
Projected Winner: West Virginia
I had this in my original bracket and I am not changing it now. WVU loves to press and force turnovers which has historically been Gonzaga’s problem. The Zags usually do not have the athletic guards to handle this, BUT this year Nigel Williams-Goss is outstanding. Outside of him?? We know Gonzaga has elite defense this year (1st in DE), but that is primarily against deliberate half-court offenses like St Mary’s who they destroyed three times. If WVU can relentlessly force turnovers with their quickness and athleticism, the Zags are going down. WVU also loves offensive rebounding but the Zags are huge so I don’t see as many second chance points. If the Zags can remain calm and use their size then WVU will get embarrassed. I think the pressure gets to the Zags who have only looked good for one half of basketball so far in the tourney.
KANSAS (-5) vs. PURDUE
Projected Winner: Kansas
Kansas (5,23) has looked like the eventual national champ so far. Purdue got an impressive victory over a similar Big 12 Iowa State team (11, 42) team and with Swanigan and Haas they have great interior presence. If Iowa State and Purdue played to the wire in a thrilling game and Kansas is better than Iowa State, then how can you pick against Kansas? Also, Kansas just got a training session against Big 10 Michigan State and dominated. Mason, Graham, and Jackson are just toooo much. Kansas by 9.
ARIZONA (-7.5) vs. XAVIER
Projected Winner: Arizona
Chris Mack seems to always overachieve with Xavier (29, 65) in another Sweet 16 and against Arizona again. Name an NBA player from Xavier that played under Mack. Jordan Crawford in 2010? Semaj Christon 2014? That is it! Xavier battled through adversity, injuries, and suspensions, and a losing streak at the end of the year to get an 11 seed and all of a sudden looks dangerous again. They are the worst team statistically in the Sweet 16. Arizona (17,24) is peaking and the win over St Mary’s was clutch. Both teams play at a relatively slow tempo so I think Xavier finds a way to stay close but they shouldn’t be able to beat Arizona. You can only overachieve so much.
Missed any previous posts? Check them out below:
- First Four
- Completing Your Bracket
- Round 1, Day 1
- Big Games & Bold Picks–Round 1, Day 2
- Round 2, Day 1
- Round 2, Day 2