Fantasy Masters: NCAA Tournament

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Tyler Watkins

Midwest:

 

Round of 64 Game to Watch:  7 Wichita State v 10 Indiana

 

Why: Indiana has something to prove to the critics after squeezing into the field. Offensively, the Hoosiers are one of the best teams in the nation, averaging 78 points per game this season, but they struggle to get stops. They are led by a potent backcourt, with Yogi Ferrell (16.1 ppg) and James Blackmon Jr. (15.8 ppg).

 

Round of 64 Upset: 11 Texas v 6 Butler

 

Why: Texas’s inexperienced players hurt them at the beginning of the regular season, but this young group has talent on the roster and has been playing better lately. The Longhorns lead the nation in blocks and hold opponents to under 37% from the field.

 

Predicted Elite Eight Game: 1 Kentucky v 3 Notre Dame

 

Final Four Pick: 1 Kentucky

 

West:

 

Round of 64 Game to Watch: 8 Oregon v. 9 Oklahoma St.

 

Why: Oregon’s Joe Young leads an offense that can push the ball up the court and score quickly. On the other hand, Oklahoma State plays offense slowly and looks for open shots, but boast two of the best players in the country in LeBryan Nash and Phil Forte III.

 

Round of 64 Upset: 14 Georgia St. v 3 Baylor

 

Why: Georgia State has an elite frontcourt with 2 first round draft picks in R.J. Hunter and Ryan Harrow. Against the Baylor zone, the slash and play style of the Georgia State frontcourt may lead to a nasty upset in this 14-3 game.

 

Predicted Elite Eight Game: 4 North Carolina v 2 Arizona

 

Final Four Pick: 2 Arizona

 

South:

 

Round of 64 Game to Watch:  8 San Diego State v 9 St. John’s University

 

Why: St. John’s is missing key defender in Chris Obekpa. Luckily, San Diego State can’t score, but they are one of the best defensive teams in the nation. St. John’s can score on anyone, so the game should be close. Expect St. John’s to win in a nailbiter.

 

Round of 64 Upset: 4 Georgetown v 13 Eastern Washington

 

Why: Eastern Washington is one of the top offenses in the country, and sophomore guard Tyler Harvey averages over 22 points a game. Georgetown has been inconsistent all season and isn’t an offensive or defensive juggernaut. They are overseeded as a 4 seed and have experienced little success in the tournament in recent years.

 

Predicted Elite Eight Game: 1 Duke v 2 Gonzaga

 

Final Four Pick: 1 Duke

 

East:

 

Round of 64 Game to Watch: 7 Michigan State v 10 Georgia

 

Why: Both teams are talented but have been inconsistent this year. Georgia nearly upset undefeated Kentucky a couple of weeks ago, but had a very disappointing SEC Tournament. After a disappointing regular season, Michigan State got on a roll in the Big Ten Tournament and nearly beat Wisconsin in the title game. Expect Michigan State to carry momentum into the first round and beat Georgia.

 

Round of 64 Upset: 8 NC State v 9 LSU

 

Why: Neither of these teams had the regular season or conference tournament that they were hoping for. NC State has had some inspiring wins, but their inconsistent play should doom them against an LSU team that has played fairly well in the SEC this season.

 

Predicted Elite Eight Game: 1 Villanova v 3 Oklahoma

 

Final Four Pick: 3 Oklahoma