There are only eight spots available for the weekend in the NCAA Tournament, and today, we are making our Sweet 16 picks in the duel between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Sweet 16 Matchup: #6 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. #2 Ohio State Buckeyes
Date: Thursday, March 22nd, 9:45 ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Sweet 16 Odds: Ohio State -8
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: CBS
The Bearcats have already overcome some tremendous challenges just over the course of the last few weeks. They did the job against the Florida State Seminoles and the Texas Longhorns by using a tremendous defense, and this is the unit that is going to have to get them over the hump once again. Yancy Gates is a force in the middle, though he is clearly going to have his work cut out for him in this game against Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas.
The two big men for the Buckeyes are simply dominating. They are averaging a combined 33.3 points and 14.4 boards per game, and they have blocked over 40 shots between them on the campaign. Both guys can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court, and we know that William Buford and Aaron Craft are both insane sharpshooters. Buford is averaging 14.7 points per game, and he is going to be the man that OSU has to rely on from the outside to make a big time statement.
Cincinnati does have some big offensive problems, and against a team that has a great defense as well like OSU, it can’t afford to get into any sort of a track meet. The M.O. for the Bearcats is to keep the pace of the game slow and to keep close, only to pull it out in the end. That’s what happened against FSU, and that is going to be what has to happen in this one to get to the Elite 8.
We just don’t think that the Buckeyes are going to get the job done when push comes to shove. They just don’t feel like a team that is mentally tough enough to beat a team like this one. It is inexplicable to us to think that OSU is laying eight points in this one. This is a game that we think is going to be close all the way to the wire, and if that turns out to be the case, we think that the Bearcats are the mentally tougher team. They’ll pull off the upset in the end in our eyes over, in what our eyes, is a very weak Ohio State squad in the head.
Sweet 16 Free Pick: Cincinnati Bearcats +8
Wisconsin vs. Syracuse Projected Final Score: Cincinnati 59 – Ohio State 57