By Thomas Romano
Just like everything else in 2020-21, this year’s men’s NCAA basketball tournament has been truly unique. As teams battle throughout the week, here are my predictions for the Final Four:
Florida State advanced to their third straight Sweet Sixteen with a 71-53 win over Colorado this week. And the Seminoles’ “junkyard defense,” as the writers at tomahawknation.com call it, was on display as they forced 19 turnovers and held the Buffaloes to a sub-forth percent field-goal percentage. Anthony Polite was the MVP on the court, scoring a career-high 22 points. FSU will play top-ranked Michigan on Sunday.
The beavers have won 4 NCAA team national championships. Their conference record was 14-4, and they are just 19-12 overall, but they still have what it takes to reach their first final four since 1963. Oregon State next plays Loyola Chicago on Saturday.
The Razorbacks took down mid-major Colgate and SEC-rival Texas Tech to reach the Sweet 16. Now Hill Sportsbook lists Arkansas as 11-point favorites over Oral Roberts, while the Over-Under for total points scored is 159. Arkansas is now 16-2 and takes on the Golden Eagles on Saturday.
At 14-3, some believe the Cougars are more likely than its in-state rival and number-one-seed Baylor. ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index agrees. It’s top four heading into this week’s games were Gonzaga (25%) Houston (18.3%) Baylor (18.2%) and Iowa (10%). Houston next plays Syracuse on Saturday.