Sports Prediction Central: Season 2, March Madness Edition


Brent Gelick / Talon

Welcome‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ March Madness ‌edition‌ ‌of‌ ‌Season‌ ‌2‌ ‌for‌ ‌Sports‌ ‌Predictions‌ ‌Central,‌ ‌a‌ ‌column‌ ‌for‌ ‌predictions‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌exciting‌ ‌games‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌sports‌ ‌docket‌ ‌this‌ ‌week.‌ 

‌It’s finally March – the best time of the year. In‌ ‌this‌ ‌edition,‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌predicting‌ ‌and‌ ‌breaking‌ ‌down‌ ‌the‌ ‌outcomes‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌following‌ ‌games:‌ #11 Michigan vs. #6 Colorado State, #13 Vermont vs. #4 Arkansas, #10 Miami vs. #7 USC, #10 Davidson vs. #7 Michigan State, and #9 TCU vs. #8 Seton Hall.

#11 Michigan vs. #6 Colorado State, Thursday, Mar. 17, 9:15 a.m.

Adam: Michigan may be the lower seed here, but they certainly don’t feel like the underdog. Colorado State has had a great season, but Hunter Dickinson and Michigan are simply too big and talented to lose. Michigan rolls.

Michigan 74, Colorado State 67

Alex: For me, this game comes down to which team is more battle-tested. Michigan comes out of the Big Ten Conference, which is sending 9 teams to the tournament, for the only second time in history by any conference. On the other hand, Colorado State’s Mountain West Conference only sent 4 teams to the tournament. While Michigan is very streaky, I think they’ll pull it together for this big game. 

Michigan 76, Colorado State 66

Eric: Michigan started the season as a top 10 team, they pittered off as the season progressed and limped into the tournament. However, the quality of teams that they play gives them much-needed experience for this tournament. Colorado State does have shooters and I think they will jump out to a lead, but I think Michigan crawls back and gets the win. 

Michigan 67, Colorado State 62

Final Score: Michigan 75, Colorado State 63

#13 Vermont vs. #4 Arkansas, Thursday, Mar. 17, 6:20 p.m.

Adam: Vermont has been getting a lot of talk as a potential upset pick here, but I don’t see it. Arkansas is a very sound defense team with a stud guard in JD Notae. Vermont is sneaky good, but the more talented team should come through here.

Arkansas 69, Vermont 61

Alex: In a game that many are considering to be upset-watch material, I think that the better team will win. Arkansas has some amazing wins over the nation’s best, such as Tennessee and Auburn, but also has some questionable losses to teams such as Hofstra, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. While Vermont is better than they get credit for, I think that the Arkansas team that was playing versus Tennessee and Auburn will show up to play, and be able to survive and advance to the next round. 

Arkansas 80, Vermont 72

Eric: Many are picking Vermont in their brackets as a potential upsets, but I don’t see the hype in Vermont. JD Notae, guard for Arkansas, has been very good and has the potential to carry this team far in the tournament. Arkansas has been a streaky team with some impressive wins, to pair along with bad losses. Vermont will come to play, but I think that Arkansas will pull out the win. 

Arkansas 75, Vermont 71

Final Score: Arkansas 75, Vermont 71

#10 Miami vs. #7 USC, Friday, Mar. 18, 12:10 p.m.

Adam: A tail of two teams, USC has a really good big man in Isaiah Mobley and Miami has very strong guards. Miami is an incredibly experienced team with an established coach in Jim Larranaga. In the tournament, guards are the way you win – they can control a game. Even though the Trojans have an electric guard in Boogie Ellis, I still think Miami will pull it out.

Miami 75, USC 71

Alex: This is a matchup that I feel has left a lot of people scratching their heads. USC is a strong, defensive-based team with streaky shooting, while Miami is a sharpshooting veteran unit that has knocked off top teams like Duke. While I do feel the matchup favors Miami, the scrappiness of the USC team down-low will serve them well in a low-scoring bout and push them through until the next round. 

USC 74, Miami 69

Eric: Many people believe that USC was poorly seeded and now have to face a talented Miami team. Isaiah Mobley for USC has been their best player and might have a field day with a small Miami team. However, this Miami team is fast and agile, which could cause USC problems, as they are a large team. I could see this game going either way, and this game is a clash of styles. 

Miami 72, USC 62

Final Score: Miami 68, USC 66

#10 Davidson vs. #7 Michigan State, Friday, Mar. 18, 6:40 p.m.

Adam: Davidson has been a strong team throughout the whole season, although they fell short in their conference championship. Michigan State has been up and down, and I just don’t think they’re that good. They don’t have very many good guards and Tyson Walker – one of those guards – is not going to be 100%. Davidson should pull off the upset.

Davidson 75, Michigan State 59

Alex: This is a matchup that I genuinely feel could go either way. Davidson can shoot the ball lights out on some nights, but this is not always the case. Michigan State is a well-rounded lineup and while I typically err on the side of shooters and explosive play during the tournament, I think Michigan State will get the job done.

Michigan State 86, Davidson 74

Eric: In this game, I can see this game being a dogfight also. Davidson is full of shooters and good defenders which would cause problems for Michigan State. Michigan State is full of experience and Coach Tom Izzo has plenty of tournament experience, which could give them a large advantage in this game. I see Michigan State winning in a close one.

Michigan State 78, Davidson 70

Final Score: Michigan State 74, Davidson 73

#9 TCU vs. #8 Seton Hall, Friday, Mar. 18, 6:57 p.m.

Adam: This is a very even matchup in my eyes. Both of these teams play in strong conferences and have had pretty solid seasons. TCU’s Mike Miles has come onto the scene recently with some strong performances against the likes of Kansas. I think he propels them to a win.

TCU 81, Seton Hall 77

Alex: This is another classic eight and nine seed game that could really go either way. Both TCU and Seton Hall have shown glimpses of greatness throughout their season. While Seton Hall has been shaky down the stretch, their non-conference victories throughout the season leads me to have faith in them in this matchup. The Horned Frogs will come up short against the Pirates on Friday night.

Seton Hall 86, TCU 80

Eric: Both teams are evenly matched. TCU came out to a 10-1 scorching hot start, but started slumping in the BIG12 play. Seton Hall is in a similar position, with big wins in the Big East. Jared Rhoden, guard for Seton Hall, is averaging 15 ppg. I see this game being close for the whole game, but TCU will pull this one out. 

TCU 80, Seton Hall 77

Final Score: TCU 69, Seton Hall 42

Current Prediction Standings:

Adam: 21-17 (4-1 last week)

Eric: 21-17 (5-0 last week)

Alex: 20-18 (3-2 last week)