The Stack is here with a special Saturday edition what with the Elite 8 starting and everything, you need to know how it's all going down. Last nigh we saw perhaps the best game of the tournament as Michigan clawed their way back from fourteen down to beat Kansas in overtime 87-85, but it was Trey Burke's shot that has everyone talking. He made them from what seemed like downtown Dallas. What an incredible shot under pressure late in the game. Kansas had some poor execution on their final play in overtime with a chance to win or tie. Seems like that is what we say a lot about Bill Self's teams that they have talent, but don't live up to it or make some bad decisions...The Cinderella run is over for Florida Gulf Coast. Dunk City stormed out to a commanding lead, but Florida weathered the storm and came back and played a solid defensive game. Their free throw shooting is a concern and something that may hurt them against Michigan in their Elite 8 matchup. Louisville and Duke looked impressive in their wins, but only one will reach the Elite 8. That should be a fantastic game. As for today's games, let's get right to it in "the stack" for today, Saturday, March 30:
#4 Syracuse vs. #3 Marquette 4:30 PM ET CBS (Washington D.C.) East Region
We've said it before, we'll say it again. In what could be the final Big East matchup between the two teams, the matchup of Syracuse and Marquette provides us with an unexpected East Regional final. Few people thought we'd see either of these teams in the final with #1 Indiana and #2 Miami (FL). Heck, even some people thought #6 Butler would make it here. Marquette didn't look good in their first two games, but turned it on and pounded Miami Thursday night. They did it with defense and got some good outside shooting, something that hasn't come easy for the Golden Eagles. They rank in the 300's in three point shooting in all divisions of the NCAA. That's not good. Syracuse beat a pretty good Indiana team, but Indiana seemed scared even before the game tipped off with Cuse's 2-3 zone. That 2-3 zone will not scare Marquette who has seen it before. Syracuse is playing really well ever since their loss to Georgetown in the same building their playing the final in just a month ago. I want to go with Marquette here, but I'm a jynx at picking so, in what should be a good game with lots of emotion, I'm taking...
#9 Wichita State vs. #2 Ohio State 7:05 PM ET CBS (Los Angeles) West Region
No one should be all that "shocked" that the Shockers are here in this position. Head coach Gregg Marshall has assembled a tremendously talented team and they match up well with Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won their last two games with last second threes. That won't fly against Wichita State. The Shockers knock down their outside shots. They rebound and they're physical. If you look in the mirror, both teams look a lot alike. Ohio State must play better than they did against Arizona or they will lose. Heck, play all forty minutes. Apart from the game against #15 Iona, Ohio State hasn't displayed a great forty minutes in this tournament. Now would be a good time, because it will take all forty minutes to take down the Shockers. Desean Thomas needs to be dominant. I think he will. Aaron Craft needs to be, well, Aaron Craft. Don't be stunned by whoever wins this game, because frankly, it's a toss up. This, like the first game, should be an intense and well played ball game.
Pick: Ohio State
Coming up Sunday: Saturday Elite 8 reaction plus preview and picks for Sunday's Elite 8 games.