NCAA Tournament: Friday Night Preview/Predictions

March 27th, 2009

So many games, so little time. helps you out by cutting to the core of each Tournament game. Click on team names for stats, results, and more. "Matchup" links include helpful injury news, betting tips and information.


Sweet Sixteen: Friday



Arizona vs Louisville



Favored: Louisville by 9.5

Over/Under: 139

More: Matchup


Star Watch: Nic Wise has been on a tear in the tourney (25 ppg), but must limit his TO's against Louisville's pressure D.

Nutshell: The lone surprise team remaining in the tourney faces the #1 overall seed. Biggest Sweet Sixteen mismatch?

At Stake: A win here by Russ Pennell and he'd have to be taken very seriously for potential coaching jobs.

CHN Prediction: Louisville (75% certainty)


Looming next: Kansas/Michigan St


Announcers: Gus Johnson/Len Elmore

Watchability: Arizona's had an impressive run, but Louisville is a major step up from Utah & Cleveland St



Syracuse vs Oklahoma



Favored: Oklahoma by 1

Over/Under: 132.5

More: Matchup


Star Watch: Blake Griffin is averaging 30.5 ppg & 15 rpg in the tourney, and he still doesn't get enough pub.

Nutshell: The Big East & Big 12 have dominated the tourney so far. Only one can prevail tonight.

At Stake: Neither of these programs have made the Elite Eight since 2003 (the year Syracuse won the title).

CHN Prediction: Oklahoma (50.01% certainty)


Looming next: North Carolina


Announcers: Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg

Watchability: Anytime Blake Griffin plays, it's a big deal. The close spread and the big stage set up a top-notch game.



Kansas vs Michigan St



Favored: Michigan St by 1

Over/Under: 138.5

More: Matchup


Star Watch: Cole Aldrich dominated the opening rounds (18 ppg, 16.5 rpg, 6 bpg), but Goran Suton is a more even match.

Nutshell: Compared to other Sweet Sixteen teams, these 2 legendary programs get surprisingly little respect.

At Stake: A win here by Bill Self would further cement his status as this year's true Coach of the Year,

CHN Prediction: Michigan St (55%)


Looming next: Louisville


Announcers: Johnson/Elmore

Watchability: Should be one of the best possession-by-possession games of the night, featuring solid play on both ends of the floor.



Gonzaga vs North Carolina



Favored: UNC by 8.5

Over/Under: 162.5

More: Matchup


Star Watch: Jeremy Pargo had a weak season for the Zags, but will his clutch game-winner against WKU propel him to a big night?

Nutshell: Gonzaga struggled to put away two mid-major opponents, not a good sign for a matchup with #1 UNC.

At Stake: The ESPNACC has had a dismal postseason.. and UNC is the only squad remaining.

CHN Prediction: North Carolina (75%)


Looming next: Syracuse/Oklahoma


Announcers: Nantz/Kellogg

Watchability: Even if UNC pulls away late like usual, this game should still provide its share of late-night entertainment.