Sweet 16 Part One: It’s still Kentucky vs. everyone else

john-calipari1

The first weekend of the 2015 NCAA tournament is over. While there are several surprise teams to advance this far, Kentucky is still the overwhelming favorite.

Bold predictions for the Sweet 16 & Elite 8:

  • Kentucky will get tested, but will ultimately survive. – The Wildcats will have an interesting matchup with West Virginia on Thursday night, and then will take on either Wichita State or Notre Dame in the elite 8. This is all assuming Kentucky gets past the Mountaineers. WVU plays an up-temp style offense and they like to go fast. Kentucky has the size to disrupt West Virginia’s offense. The main question will be if the Wildcats can score consistently, especially if Bob Huggins goes into his 2010 coaching form and plays zone all night against the Cats. It should be interesting for a while, but Kentucky should prevail as expected.

 

  • UK will have a rematch with the Shockers- You just have to absolutely love and respect what Gregg Marshall has done at Wichita State. They have some of the best guards in the country in Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet. The Shockers have done a tremendous job doing more with less talent. Plus, we all know Wichita State wants to get a shot at revenge and take down Kentucky.

 

  • North Carolina will upset Wisconsin- I hope I am wrong about this one honestly. I love watching Wisconsin play, and I enjoy seeing Frank Kaminsky dominate every game. That being said, this will be a tough matchup for the Badgers. UNC has the size down low with Kennedy Meeks, and the athletes to beat Wisconsin. The Badgers will need to have productive nights from Dekker, Hayes, Koening, and of course Kaminsky. Marcus Paige will be the key for the Tar Heels. Don’t forget about Joel Berry either.

 

  • Arizona will face Kentucky in the Final Four- I really think Arizona is clicking at the right time on both sides of the ball. The Wildcats are red hot on offense and it definitely helps having Brandon Ashley back. Ashley missed the tournament last year after suffering a sever injury. T.J. McConnell and Hollis-Jefferson have been extremely productive for Arizona lately. If Arizona shows up and plays hard, there is no reason for them to not make the final four.

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