There are four games remaining before the season will be reduced to nothing but the dance. Here are the games, and here is why each team will lose.
North Carolina vs Miami, 1:00, ESPN
The Tar Heels have been playing great basketball since they went to a small lineup. They are 8-2 in ten games, with the only two losses coming against Duke. Maryland did them a favor by knocking off Duke so that the Heels didn't have the potential indignity of three losses in one season to the Blue Devils. And based on past experience, they would have lost. UNC has now played five teams ranked in Pomeroy's top 20. Their record in those five games is 0-5. Miami is currently No. 14.
The Hurricanes struggled down the stretch, losing three of five to close the regular season. Then BC played them even for the first 37 minutes of their ACCT opener. Now they get North Carolina, who they rolled at home in the regular season. But this is a new look Tar Heels, and one of the things they're doing better is scoring quickly like patented UNC teams. The Heels are going to push the tempo, and the Canes won't like that. In games this year which have featured 69 or more possessions (1 was an OT game), the Canes are 2-3.
Ole Miss vs Florida, 1:00, ABC
Ole Miss is no match for Florida.
The Gators are too reliant on the 3-pt shot. They take 40% of their shots from beyond the arc which is more than 314 of 347 Division I teams. Ole Miss only allows opponents to make 31% of their 3s. Florida made a season low 18% against Alabama yesterday and now have to play their 3rd game in three days, and the legs won't be as strong as usual.
VCU vs St. Louis, 1:00, CBS
VCU lives off of turnovers, and force more than any other team. But St. Louis is rarely rattled by pressure, as evidenced by their 8 turnovers the last time these two played. Only once all season has the Billikens turnover rate been higher than what the VCU defense averages (28.7%).
Saint Louis is just running into the wrong team at the wrong time. Since Shaka Smart took over VCU they are 20-4 in the postseason. For St. Louis, this is Jim Crews' third ever postseason game at the helm.
Wisconsin vs Ohio State, 3:30, CBS
This is the third time that these two have met this year. Each team took care of business at home. Unfortunately for Bo Ryan he hasn't beaten Ohio State twice in the same season since 2005.
Of course, Ohio State hasn't beaten Wisconsin twice in the same season since 2007. But more importantly they've advanced to this point largely by the heady play of point guard Aaron Craft. In two tourney games he's made 10-12 2s, and has 17 assists to just 4 turnovers. But against Wisconsin this season he's made just 6-15 2s and has 3 assists to 4 turnovers.