Sweet 16 Straight Up Picks

Sweet 16 Straight Up Picks

The 2014 NCAA Tournament resumes tonight when the first eight teams of the Sweet 16 take the court. This includes number one overall seed Florida, who will be looking for a 29th consecutive win against a dangerous UCLA squad. The Bruins are one of three Pac-12 teams in action as surprising Stanford faces equally surprising Dayton, and Arizona battles San Diego State in a rematch from November 14 won by the Wildcats. Here’s a rundown of who will win and why.


The Flyers have won two tourney games by a combined three points. A stingy defense held Syracuse to 0-10 from beyond the arc. Dayton lacks a go-to star, but makes up for it with a balanced roster of nine players who average at least 12 minutes per game. Tommy Amaker’s Cardinal have also utilized a suffocating defense to advance this far; they limited Kansas to 32.8% from the field and blue chip guard Andrew Wiggins to 4 points on 1-6 shooting. Stanford has more offensive talent, led by junior guard Chasson Randle who nets 18.7 points per game.

Bet Stanford SU


The Bears length inside was too much for Nebraska and Creighton. All five starters scored in double-digits versus the Blue Jays and reserve forward Rico Gathers pulled down 9 rebounds. Senior guard Brady Heslip is a deadly three-point sniper who must be contained. The Badgers have knocked down 21 three-pointers in two tourney tilts, paced by guard Ben Brust who is 8-15 from that range. Wisconsin must crash the glass and avoid foul trouble. They are a fundamentally sound team, but lack the size and depth to match Baylor’s prowess in the paint.

Bet Baylor SU


A high-flying Bruins offense collides with the Gators suffocating defense. Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson are two of the nation’s best all-around talents, but both are susceptible to erratic streaks. UCLA has to be patient and utilize their superior athletes to compete. If they get frustrated and sloppy, it will be a long night for Steve Alford’s charges. Florida is a savvy, veteran team that simply wears opponents down. Getting to 60 points against their ferocious defense is a struggle. They are masters at preventing transition scoring, which is a strength of UCLA. The Bruins have the skill to spring the upset, but Florida’s uncanny discipline will prove too much.

Bet Florida SU


Think the Gators play awesome defense? Well, the Aztecs sit one spot ahead of them in the national rankings. Sure, their level of competition was a notch lower, but victories over Kansas and Creighton are evidence this team is legit. Xavier Thames has totaled 53 points in two tourney bouts and scored 19 in the November loss to Arizona. The Wildcats are no strangers to stalwart defense, either; they rank 5th in the country and also boast one of the better rebounding units. Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon are a terrific one-two punch who combined for 39 points in the first meeting. The Aztecs have to limit them to march on.

Bet San Diego State SU