(10) Stanford vs. (11) Dayton
7:15 pm on CBS, Location: Memphis
Breakdown: This is the matchup few predicted but is much anticipated. We are guaranteed a double digit seed will be in the Elite 8 and both of these teams have been impressive.
Difference maker: Experience. While neither of these teams have much NCAA tournament experience, the Cardinal did win the NIT when some of their current roster were freshman, led by the-freshman Chasson Randle.
Stanford wins if: Randle, along with Dwight Powell, are the different makers. If they can get loose in this game, they can win the game for the Cardinal.
Dayton wins if: They can frustrate Stanford like the did Syracuse and Ohio State on defense and not make mistakes. Syracuse only shot 39 percent from the floor and made no three pointers against the crafty flyer.
Prediction: Stanford in a close one. Experience wins out and Johnny Dawkins seat completely cools off.
(1) Florida vs. (4) UCLA
9:45 p.m. on CBS: in Memphis
Breakdown: This is a much better matchup than people think. UCLA is on an upswing and Florida is right where they have been most of the season. Unfortunately for UCLA that means Florida is the best team in the nation.
Difference maker: Billy Donovan. The last coach to win back-to-back title
UCLA wins if: Kyle Anderson has a great game. Anderson is the best player in the nation that you probably aren’t familiar with if he isn’t just the best player in the nation. A big guard, Anderson is a force scoring, passing and on the glass. Florida has to shut down everything he brings to the table, he makes his whole team better.
Florida wins if: They play Florida basketball like they have all season. While there have been a few hiccups, this is an impressive team, led by Scottie Wilbikin. If Wilbekin is allowed to maneuver and create, the Bruins are in trouble. The Gators are the favorites in this one, as they should be.
Prediction: My guy says UCLA has a chance but I can’t go against the eye test and pick the Bruins. Florida by 6.