PJ's Predictions: Sweet 16, East and West Regions
After a little break from March Madness, the Sweet Sixteen begins on Thursday, March 28th. In the East and West Regions, there are no teams remaining with a seed lower than four. The College Basketball Selection Committee did a good job with their selection in this region because of the outcome of these teams. The East and West Region teams have been playing up to expectations, but there is still a long road to the final four.
The first matchup in the West Region is between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Florida State Seminoles. Gonzaga has not had a challenge yet in the tournament, blowing out all of their competition. However, they are about to face one of the top teams in the country, Florida State. They are talented, have size, and have exceeded expectations in the tournament. This will be one of the best matchups yet, but the Bulldogs will probably survive and head to the Elite Eight.
The West Region also includes a matchup between Michigan and Texas Tech to decide who will play against the winner of Gonzaga versus Florida State. The matchup between Michigan and Texas Tech might not be the most exciting, because both teams are defensively focused. However, it will be an even matchup and a low scoring game. Michigan has played great so far, blowing out Montana and Florida, but Texas Tech will be their toughest competitor so far. Texas Tech has a similar story, destroying Buffalo in the second round but they have not faced a team like Michigan yet. Texas Tech and Michigan are both highly talented teams, but Michigan has more experience and the better coach and that will be the factor that will make them head to the elite eight.
Over in the East Region, the first matchup will be Michigan State versus LSU. LSU is a team that is very talented, but will struggle in this game, due to their head coach being suspended for the tournament. Despite this, they still managed to make it to the sweet sixteen. Michigan State, on the other hand, is more talented than LSU and has a hall of fame coach that will be with them. This matchup looks like it would be a good one due to the seeding, but Michigan State should win this game with ease and get to the Elite Eight.
The final matchup in the East Region, is Duke and Virginia Tech. Duke struggled in the second round against UCF with Tacko Fall, one of their top players. However, they will not face anyone like that against Virginia Tech. This game will be familiar with both teams because they are in the same conference and have played each already this year. This game will be different than the first, due to Zion Williamson recovering from the injury he had suffered. However, Virginia Tech also had their best player injured in this game and continued to win it. Although this had happened, Zion Williamson is a generational talent that will turn the entire game around and take over when needed. Zion, the surrounding cast, and Coach K will get the job done and Duke will continue on their path to the final four.
These matchups will be exciting to watch for fans all around the country as the teams continue to move on. After this round, there will be eight, then four, then two, and then a national champion. Many teams will continue to fight hard on this road to achieve the same goal, to be the national champs.