The drama has continued to build at the 2013 NCAA tournament, and there are just eight teams remaining in the competition.
It has been a memorable March Madness thus far, and it was a wild ride to the Elite Eight that featured buzzer-beaters, overtime games, upsets and chokes.
But now that only the country’s top teams remain, fans will be expecting the survivors to finish strong.
Be sure to use the links at the bottom for a full bracket, as well as all scores and scheduling info. Now, here are my predictions for Saturday’s games.
No. 4 Syracuse vs. No. 3 Marquette
When: 4:30 p.m. ET
Neither of these teams was especially impressive leading up to the tournament.
Syracuse blew a comfortable lead in the Big East tournament final, but the Orange bounced back from that and have been incredibly impressive thus far. The team has yet to be truly tested, even against No. 1 Indiana.
Marquette was bounced from the Big East tournament in the quarterfinals. In its next two games, Buzz Williams’ team thrived on adversity and pulled out two thrilling victories.
Then, the Golden Eagles cruised to a surprisingly convincing victory over Miami. Now, both Big East teams have plenty of momentum heading into this game.
Syracuse has struggled on offense at times during the tournament, while Marquette has struggled on defense. This is an extremely even matchup between Big East foes, and in the end the Orange’s talent advantage will prevail.
Prediction: Syracuse 71, Marquette 68
No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 2 Ohio State
When: 7:05 p.m. ET
Ohio State and Wichita State are very similar teams. Both have depth, balance and few weak spots.
The Buckeyes’ greatest flaw is that no player has consistently stepped up to help Deshaun Thomas on the offensive end this season. But this has not been the case in the tournament, and both Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross have delivered game-winning shots.
The Shockers spread out their scoring, but Gregg Marshall’s decision to put leading scorer Cleanthony Early in the starting lineup instead of bringing him off the bench caused him to have his worst game of the tournament against La Salle.
Marshall will have to decide how to best use Early, because if he has another off-night, Wichita State will find it extremely difficult to score against Ohio State’s stout defense.
Thad Matta’s team has triumphed over adversity twice already in this tournament, and with a favorable matchup standing between it and the Final Four, the Buckeyes will not falter.
Prediction: Ohio State 68, Wichita State 60
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