Elite 8 Sunday Schedule
1 Virginia Cavaliers vs. 10 - Midwest Region - Chicago, IL
Tip-off: 6:09pm, TBS (Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner/Lewis Johnson)
So, how did Syracuse get here again? A 13-loss team that probably should not have made the tournament, let alone be granted a 10 seed, is now in the Elite 8 following a miraculous comeback/crushing Gonzaga collapse in the Sweet 16. That's a great accomplishment for a program that should have had a down year and heads into an awkward state of flux these next couple years, and those players deserve a ton of credit.
But I'm riding with Virginia in all my brackets all the way to the championship. The Cavaliers have been excellent this tournament, largely behind a terrific offense averaging 81 points per game in the tournament. It's hard to come up with a recipe to beat this team, and ultimately, I just don't think Syracuse has the horses to do it anyway. I think the Cavs take this one relatively easily and Tony Bennett gets his first of what I'm betting will be a few Final Fours.
Prediction: Virginia 72, Syracuse 64
Tip-off: 8:49pm (approx.), TBS (Brian Anderson//Dana Jacobson)
Who would've thought? Just two weeks after getting blown out in the ACC Tournament semifinals, Notre Dame has a rematch with North Carolina for the right to advance to the Final Four. The way the Tar Heels dismantled Indiana in the Sweet 16, just hanging with the Heels for 40 minutes might be seen as a victory. Can the Irish actually pull this off? Full preview is up, but I suspect Irish fans will have to settle for back-to-back Elite 8s.
Prediction: North Carolina 85, Notre Dame 74