No. 9 Cincinnati vs. No. 8 Providence
The Providence Friars may be ranked higher, but they're the undeniable underdogs in this one. Rightfully so.
Sean Kilpatrick will rise up for Cincinnati and snap the Bearcats out of a recent funk in which they've lost six of nine games. One of those defeats came at the hands of Providence.
With that being said, Kilpatrick is a conference star that is making a homecoming to the New York area. In front of his friends and family, the three-ball will fall and the Bearcats will advance.
In turn, they'll preserve their NCAA tournament contention.
Cincinnati 68, Providence 57
No. 14 USF vs. No. 5 Syracuse
USF earned a quality win in the opening round, but they're simply outmatched by Syracuse.
Regardless of their ranking, we all know the Orange to be a threat to the title. With C.J. Fair catching fire and Michael Carter-Williams rediscovering his groove, we'll see 'Cuse take their first steps to such success.
It will be close early, but look for Fair to blow it open in the second half.
Syracuse 81, USF 65
No. 10 St. John's vs. No. 7 Villanova
St. John's is, technically speaking, the hometown team. Unfortunately, they're not the team with momentum.
Coming off of a win over Georgetown, Villanova will enter this game with confidence. Behind point guard Ryan Arcidiacono, they'll back that up with a gritty victory.
The Red Storm will keep it close, but the Wildcats simply have too much firepower for St. John's to contain.
Villanova 68, St. John's 59
No. 14 DePaul vs. No. 6 Notre Dame
This may seem like an easy win for Notre Dame, but they're on Upset Alert in this one.
The Fighting Irish barely escaped DePaul on Feb. 13, winning 82-78 in overtime. Although reasonably favored, the Irish will have similar struggles against the Blue Demons on Mar. 13.
With that being said, Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant will prove to be an elite backcourt tandem. Between their scoring prowess and facilitating mastery, both men will pace the Irish to victory.
A tough win, but a victory nonetheless.
Notre Dame 70, DePaul 62