MICHIGAN STATE 6 LSU
Thankfully, the Molehillers are not in charge of Michigan State — otherwise we would not be celebrating Sparty’s 14th trip under Coach Tom Izzo into the Sweet 16. We’d be mourning his dismissal. This is not to suggest winning is yelling but the masses offended by Izzo‘s player rant really need to get a hobby other than sports. If the player was 9 maybe not but since he was playing in the NCAA Tournament maybe it’s OK to teach loudly. So give me Izzo with every fiber of my being against Team Wiretap. Just protect the ball Sparty — and make it a halfcourt game — and it will be a Rockin’ Chair ride.
PICK: SPARTY ****
NORTH CAROLINA 5 1/2 AUBURN
The Tar Heels manhandled Iona and Washington the first weekend of the tournament — but Bruce Pearl is not afraid to run with them. After the first game survival against Nee Mexico State, Pearl’s squad raced to a 26-point lead against Rockchalk at halftime and rolled. But pace against UNC is like running with the devil: just a losing proposition even though it sounds like a good idea.
North Carolina BIG ****
DUKE -7 1/2 VIRGINIA TECH
The real Devils proved again why there has to be some unholy alliance. Missed oop by UCF to go up followed by a Barrett three for the 5 point swing followed by the Zion drive (no call offensive foul) followed by the missed free throw and Barrett put back (no call offensive foul) followed by the missed bank by UCF (no call defensive foul) and the missed tip at the buzzer. So here comes Tech — which can score and play defensive. Remember Hokies beat Duke 77-72 in February but no Zion for the Devils and no Tech point guard Justin Robinson. Zion wins the rematch — but close.
Virginia Tech plus the points ****
KENTUCKY -3 HOUSTON
Could be the best game of the tournament. The Cougars are certainly the most underrated team in the tournament. They ranked seventh defensively in the country and truthfully … they’re better than that. PJ Washington could play for the Wildcats and they need him. This is a Houston line and the read here is the Cougars win outright. The only hedge if Kentucky survives this matchup the Wildcats play in the national championship game. The young-ins will have grown up in a hurry.
Phillies back and boy they’re fun Cutch, Rhys and Franco all homered. Bet the over all year — the fab five is a kick!
Give me the Phillies Saturday and Sunday too — for the opening series sweep of the Braves.
I’m convinced the key to the rest of the season in betting the Sixers will be gauging the interest of Jo Jo and Jimmy. My guess is after Brooklyn they won’t completely be into it until the playoffs — then they roll.