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Previewing Friday’s Slate of The Sweet 16

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Kansas (1) vs. Clemson (5) 7:07 PM

Bill Self and Rock Chalk Jayhawk are seeking a third straight Elite 8 appearance. After beating Penn, Kansas played Seton Hall and pretty much controlled the game from start to finish. Kansas is an elite offensive team with tons of firepower led by senior point guard, Devonte’ Graham. On the other hand, the Clemson Tigers are not all that familiar to the hardwood. They are seeking their second Elite 8 appearance in program history. Clemson is an elite defensive team and can definitely pull an upset over the Jayhawks. Vegas has set the line at Kansas -5, but I expect this game to be closer than that. I will be advancing Kansas to the Elite 8 just based off of their leader, Devonte’ Graham.

Jayhawks 72, Tigers 68

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Villanova (1) vs. West Virginia (5) 7:27 PM

This game has the potential to be an all time classic. First off, the dual between Villanova’s Jalen Brunson and Press Virginia’s Jevon Carter will be a joy to watch. Both these players leave so much on the court and are really inspiring college players. This could be Carter’s last game as a Mountaineer, which makes this game extra special. Villanova is an offensive juggernaut. The Wildcats offensive efficiency rating is a monumental 127.6. Out of the last 10 years, only the 2015 Wisconsin Badgers have put up better offensive numbers. While Villanova has the edge offensively, the Mountaineers still have an elite offense that ranks 10th, per KenPom. I expect this game to be played at an exhilarating pace, and I will pencil in Villanova to the Elite 8.

Villanova 83, Press Virginia 77

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Duke (2) vs. Syracuse (11) 9:37 PM

An ACC battle in the Sweet 16. Before Selection Sunday, we all expected Duke to get to the Sweet 16. Syracuse, well, not really. The last team that got in the tournament has already won three games. Arizona State, check. TCU, check. Michigan State, check. You really can’t make that stuff up. The saying for all sports continues to hold true. “Once your’e in [The Post-Season], anything can happen.” The run ends here for the Orange. Duke wins this game by double digits.

Duke 80, Syracuse 65

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Purdue (2) vs. Texas Tech (3) 9:57 PM

The last game of the Sweet 16 is the only battle between a 2 and a 3. Purdue got to this point by beating up on Cal State Fullerton, and then surviving a scare against a feisty Butler team. Texas Tech has played their games in Dallas and had a late run to beat another team from Texas, Stephen F. Austin. They followed up with a win against Florida in the Round of 32. Texas Tech is a stout defensive team led by guard Keenan Evans, where as Purdue is a force offensively. I expect a late-game thriller between these two teams that will involve back and forth clutch shots by Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Tech’s Keenan Evans. Give me the RedRaiders of Lubbock to advance to the Elite 8.

Tech 72, Boilermakers 69

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