Picking the NCAA Tournament’s Second Weekend

Every year, you fill out what you believe is an awesome bracket that’s going to win your pool. You’ve spent time researching your picks and made sure to include the popular upset teams. But two buzzer beaters, 11 double-digit seed wins and one weekend later, your bracket sits in the trash can, busted yet again.

Even with your bracket busted, the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament is stacked with great games. In an effort to get some redemption from our busted brackets, The Campus Weekly Sports Staff makes new predictions on which team will cut down the nets in Houston.

Sweet Sixteen Picks

 Breck Spencer   Brian O’Donnell  Patrick Engel
Kansas (1) vs. Maryland (5)  Kansas Kansas Kansas
Miami (3) vs. Villanova (2)  Miami Villanova Villanova
Oregon (1) vs. Duke (4)  Duke Oregon Oregon
Texas A&M (3) vs. Oklahoma (2) Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
UNC (1) vs. Indiana (5) Indiana Indiana Indiana
Notre Dame (6) vs. Wisconsin (7) Wisconsin Notre Dame Wisconsin
UVA (1) vs. Iowa State (4) Virginia Virginia Virginia
Gonzaga (11) vs. Syracuse (10) Gonzaga Gonzaga Gonzaga


Breck Spencer, Sports Editor: I think Kansas has the best chance to win it all is because of its depth. The team doesn’t rely on one superstar to take control of the game and dictate the pace. One player can have an off night and their lack of production will be made up for by the rest of the team, both starters and bench players. If they can continue to shoot at the high percentage they have thus far in the tournament, the opposition will have to produce something special to take down the Jayhawks.

Final Four: Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Virginia

Brian O’Donnell, Associate Sports Editor: Villanova. I doubted the Wildcats because of their history in the tournament. That said, they are playing as well as any team remaining, dominating Iowa in their second round matchup. They are led by upperclassmen who seem hungry for success. Even without this added motivation, the Wildcats are shooting well from the three-point line and defending at a high level. Jay Wright has his team peaking at just the right time.

Final Four: Villanova, Oklahoma, Indiana, Virginia

Patrick Engel, Sports Columnist: I’m picking Virginia to beat Kansas in the championship game. The Cavaliers finally won’t face Michigan State, which has knocked them out of the past two NCAA Tournaments. Virginia has a top-10 offense and defense, per KenPom.com, and possibly the most complete player in college basketball, Malcolm Brogdon. He’s as good a defender as anyone. Offensively, he has a rare ability to know where his defender is at all times and uses screens extremely well. Virginia will ride its defense and Brogdon to its first national championship.

Final Four: Kansas, Oregon, Indiana, Virginia


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