#3 Kansas State vs. #9 Florida Atlantic
Saturday, March 25th 5:09 PM CT, TBS
3 seed Kansas State (26-9) advanced in a what was a thrilling Sweet Sixteen victory over Michigan State. That built upon the Wildcats’ previous wins over 14 seed Montana State and 6 seed Kentucky. KState will now take on a mild Cinderella in 9 seed Florida Atlantic (34-3). The Owls got to the Elite Eight with wins over 8 seed Memphis, 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, and 4 seed Tennessee. That Tennessee win was particularly impressive, as it showed that FAU was unfazed by Tennessee’s physical style of play. This game will likely be a clash of styles, as Florida Atlantic plays stronger defense than Kansas State and Kansas State has been in some high scoring affairs, like their 98-93 victory over Michigan State. FAU, on the other hand, has not let an opponent score over 70 in the tournament so far, even holding Tennessee to a mere 55 points. While Jerome Tang and KState have been a great story this tournament, FAU seems like an underseeded team of destiny. Give me the Owls.
73-69 Florida Atlantic
#2 Texas vs. #5 Miami
Saturday, March 26th 4:05 PM CT, CBS
2 seed Texas (29-8) has made it to the Elite Eight after a dominate victory over 3 seed Xavier. That followed a close win over 10 seed Penn State and a blowout victory over 15 seed Colgate. The Longhorns now square off against 5 seed Miami (28-7) for a trip to the Final Four. Miami has looked stellar in their tournament games, seemingly getting better with each match up. They began the tournament with a seven point win over 12 seed Drake, followed by a 16 point win over 4 seed Indiana. Their most recent game was a highly impressive 14 point victory over 1 seed Houston. Both of these teams seem to be peaking at the same time, which could make for an exciting game. But given what I’ve seen recently, I like Miami in this one, especially given their roughly equivalent defenses and Miami’s stronger offense.