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Michigan Rolls On to the Sweet 16, FGCU Looks to Continue Surprising Run

It was a quiet day in the South region on Saturday as there was only one game. #4 Michigan defeated #5 VCU 78-53 which quashed any hopes of another good run by the Rams. For the Wolverines, they haven’t been to the Sweet 16 since 1994.

Michigan's Mitch McGary

Michigan’s Mitch McGary

Michigan’s Mitch McGary led his team in scoring with a season-high 24 points and 14 rebounds. Trey Burke added 18 points while Tim Hardaway and Glenn Robinson III both contributed 14 points.

For VCU, its lead scorer was Juvonte Reddic with 16 points.

Next up for the Wolverines is the winner of #1 Kansas vs. #8 North Carolina game. A No. 1 seed is +110 yes/-150 no to win it all in April.

With a quiet Saturday, that means a busy Sunday with three games.

The #8 Tar Heels will kick things off against #1 Kansas at 5:15 p.m. ET. The teams are matched up after Kansas defeated Western Kentucky 64-57 on Friday while the Tar Heels beat Villanova 78-71.

Next up is #3 Florida vs. #11 Minnesota at 6:10 p.m. ET.

In a conference with many talented teams, the Golden Gophers have often been overlooked even with their fan favorite coach, Tubby Smith. Their 83-63 win over UCLA surpised many and playing Florida will be a more difficult task.

Unfortunately, their run could end on Sunday as the Gators get the winning nod (-7.5, 124.5 o/u).

The third game of the day is #7 San Diego State vs. #15 FGCU at 7:10 p.m. ET. On Friday, the Eagles knocked off #2 Georgetown 78-68. Everyone loves an underdog but it wasn’t time yet to kiss your brackets goodbye.

Will this be the Cinderella team of 2013?

North Carolina vs. Kansas

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams

For North Carolina coach Roy Williams, he’ll be playing against his former team but it’s been almost 10 years since he’s made the move to the ACC.

In the interim, both teams have won a National Championship and in their 11 all-time meetings, seven have come in the Big Dance. For the 2008 semifinals, Kansas defeated North Carolina, ultimately winning the championship and then in 2012, it again defeated  North Carolina to move onto the Final Four.

This year, the Jayhawks are only playing 40 minutes from campus, which should feel like a home game.

In addition to a location advantage, Kansas brings experienced players with its four starting seniors–three are fifth-year seniors. Rounding out the group is freshman Ben McLemore. Between their tough defense and experience, this helped them capture their ninth consecutive Big 12 title.

Against the Tar Heels, Jeff Withey could pose a challenge from his success in the paint.

But they could be ready as their change to playing four guards has brought success this season. This comes as the team has won 9 of its last 11 games including their conference tournament run.

North Carolina will bring leading scorer and rebounder P.J. Hairston.

Just this match up and the teams’ history is reason enough to watch but there will be a winner and it’s going to be Kansas (-6, 143 o/u).

San Diego State vs. FGCU

With Friday’s win over Georgetown, many scratched their heads and asked where FGCU is located (Fort Meyers). The bigger story has usually been the coach’s wife.

On Sunday, the Eagles will enter with a lot of confidence as it defeated a Big East team that included a 21-2 second-half run on Friday.

It also had Sherwood Brown leading with his 24 game points. Maybe this shouldn’t be too surprising as he was Atlantic Sun’s player of the year.

For San Diego State, their secret weapon is Jamal Franklin. He is the team’s leader in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. In his team’s 70-55 Friday win over Oklahoma, Franklin had 21 points and 11 rebounds.

For FGCU, history is not on its side as a No. 15 seed is yet to ever make it to a regional semifinal.

This won’t change on Sunday as San Diego State gets the win (-7, 133.5 o/u).




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