(9) Butler vs. (1) Virginia
Virginia is loaded, with Malcom Brogdon, Anthony Gill and Perrantes. Still, they shouldn’t be a one-seed, and Butler has a knack for advancing. Head says Virginia pulls through, but the heart sort of wants Butler to extend the madness. Head pick: Virginia 68-63 Heart: Butler 68-64
(11) Gonzaga (27-7) vs. (3) Utah (27-8)
This one should be fun. Jakob Poeltl vs. Damontas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer. I think Utah wins, but I’ll pick Gonzaga, due to the experience factor. Prediction: Gonzaga 74, Utah 70.
(9) Connecticut vs. (1) Kansas
Like Virginia/Butler, the lower seed has a knack for surprising in the tournament, while the top seed tends to shockingly bow out every year. But, Kansas is clearly better, and I see them winning by double figures. Prediction: Connecticut 67, Kansas 81.
(9) Providence (24-10) vs. (1) North Carolina (29-6)
Ben Bentil and Kris Dunn are legit pro prospects. They struggled against USC on Thurday, but pulled out a last-second win.
If those two are on their a-game, Providence has a genuine shot of winning this one. But, I believe Brice Johnson, Marcus Paige, Kennedy Meeks and company will be too much to overcome, as North Carolina pulls away late. Prediction: Providence 76, UNC 87.