If I had only listened to my gut. Yesterday, The Stack told you don't be shocked when Florida Gulf Coast pulls off the upset and beats Georgetown. They did. What a wild second day of the second round it was. Every numbered seed except a #4, #5, #14 and #16 won yesterday. A lot of people's brackets aren't looking too hot right now, but this is why we love March Madness. For Cinderella stories like Florida Gulf Coast, Harvard and LaSalle. For captivating stars like Ole Miss sharpshooter Marshall Henderson. This is the beauty of the tournament. As the round of 32 begins today (3rd round), it's going to be awesome. Here are the picks in a special Saturday edition of "the stack":
#5 VCU vs. #4 Michigan 12:15 PM ET CBS (Auburn Hills) South Region
This may be the most entertaining game of the day. Michigan got by South Dakota State while VCU absolutely trounced Akron. In fact, there are a few people who were upset with VCU for continuing to put the full court press on Akron late in the game when they were up by 40. Will karma come back to bite them in the butt? It certainly could. Michigan's Trey Burke struggled mightily against the Jackrabbits. He won't have two bad games in a row. Then again, will Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III shoot as well as they did from behind the arc as they did against the Jacks? Possibly, but VCU's defense will make that a little more difficult. A lot of people are high on Michigan, but I am very high on VCU.
#6 Memphis vs. #3 Michigan State 2:45 PM ET CBS (Auburn Hills) Midwest Region
Memphis looked really good for the first half against St. Mary's, but barely hung on for a 54-52 win. They'll need to play two outstanding halves to beat Michigan State who looked awfully good against Valporaiso.
Pick: Michigan State
#8 Colorado State vs. #1 Louisville 5:15 PM ET CBS (Lexington) Midwest Region
Louisville arguably was one of the most impressive teams in their opening game. Granted, it was against a #16 seed in NC A&T but still. The Rams will be a good test for Louisville, but the talent and the agressive play of Louisville will just be too much.
#14 Harvard vs. #6 Arizona 6:10 PM ET TNT (Salt Lake City) West Region
Amazing upset by Harvard Thursday night over New Mexico, a team I thought could reach the Final Four. Never again will I pick New Mexico to win more than one, maybe two games. Arizona played with a chip on their shoulders against Belmont, a team that many (including myself) were picking to upset them. Harvard will need a brilliant gameplan to stop the Wildcats from advacing to the West Regional in Los Angeles.
#12 Oregon vs. #4 St. Louis 7:10 PM ET TBS (San Jose) Midwest Region
The Ducks have tremendous balance in their scoring. Four or five different guys are all capable of making big shots. I don't know if they've seen a defense in the Pac-12 like what they'll see from St. Louis though. The Billikens are one tough club and I think they have enough to take down the Ducks, a team that is much better than their #12 seed indicates.
Pick: St. Louis
#6 Butler vs. #3 Marquette 7:45 PM ET CBS (Lexington) East Region
Both teams struggled in their first games. Butler was dreadful from three point range until the last few minutes while Marquette had to scratch and claw their way back to a last second win over Davidson. Butler just has an aura about them in the tournament. I see another Sweet 16 appearance.
#9 Wichita State vs. #1 Gonzaga 8:40 PM ET TNT (Salt Lake City) West Region
Nto too many people are high on Gonzaga and with good reason following their narrow win over #16 Southern. Perhaps it was just first game jitters or maybe this team really doesn't have what it takes to be a #1 seed. I think you'll see them play a far better game tonight, but the Shockers won't go down without a fight. They'll be in this game and don't be "shocked" when the Shockers win.
#12 California vs. #4 Syracuse 9:40 PM ET TBS (San Jose) East Region
Not sure what to make of Syracuse's 81-34 win over Montana. Did they play really well or did Montana just not bother to show up? Either way, the Orange looked impressive and they will advance to the Sweet 16 with a win over Cal.
More picks for tomorrow's games coming up tomorrow. Enjoy the Madness everyone.