Word on the Street: Storck’s Sweet Sixteen Predictions!

Daniel Storck, Staff Writer

And then there were 16. The NCAA tournament field has narrowed down even further. As we have a short break before the next barrage of basketball, here are my predictions for the upcoming round. In the parentheses is the win margin for the victor, in points.


  • Kansas beats Maryland (5-9): In my opinion, this is the game to watch. The Jayhawks rolled over Austin Peay and solidly defeated Connecticut, while Maryland has stocked up good wins against South Dakota State and Hawai’i. While Maryland’s paint work will give Kansas a run for their money, the Jayhawks’ depth will give them the win.


  • Miami beats Villanova (1-5): The Hurricanes are the enigma of this year’s tournament. Reaching their first Sweet 16 in 37 years, this Miami team is hungry. Not to say they won’t have a challenge in ‘Nova. Ryan Arcidiacono can shoot 3s and layups, and Daniel Ochefu can rule the boards, but Miami’s speed will leave the Wildcats in the dust.


  • Oregon beats Duke (5-9): Tough pick. Duck Nation decimated Holy Cross and edged Saint Joseph’s, while Duke eked out wins against UNCW and Yale. I think that the disruptive and shifting defense of Oregon can frustrate Marshall Plumlee enough to get him in foul trouble. This hands the Ducks an advantage and a win.


  • Oklahoma beats Texas A&M (9-14): Defense. Defense. Defense. Both squads are experts at mounting comebacks and ruling the defensive end. This time around, though, the height (point guard Buddy Hield is 6’5) and athleticism of the Sooners will outlast the Aggies.


  • North Carolina beats Indiana (9-14): Experience is key in this one. Veteran coach Roy Williams knows how to play the floor, holding opponents to under 70 while scoring above 80. Yogi Ferrell may hit some shots, but the knowledge of the senior UNC team, coupled with their rebounding, will win.


  • Notre Dame beats Wisconsin (1-5): This is my buzzer beater game. The Badgers crushed Xavier’s dreams with a last-second 3, while Notre Dame had a game-winning shot of their own. Zach Auguste will be on target for the Irish from inside and out, and Notre Dame will win, but barely.


  • Virginia beats Iowa State (5-9): Cavalier Nation secures this contest. Crushing Hampton and Butler has turned a lot of heads this year. Although Iowa State runs the glass with 7 foot center Georges Niang, Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon will override the Cyclone defense for the win.

Gonzaga beats Syracuse (9-14): Nobody really expected this face-off. The only two double-digit seeds against each other will certainly be entertaining. Personally, this game will come down to free throws. The Bulldogs shoot 78.7% from the line, while Olly Orange shoots 68.5%. This deficit may seem small, but it will give Gonzaga the win.