#1 Louisville vs. #9 Wichita State
Alec Fink: Louisville. Wichita State did a phenomenal job of getting to this point. However, Louisville is too powerful for this Cinderella and peaking at the perfect time en route to a championship appearance.
Josh Foreman: Louisville. Louisville and Wichita State is one of the most intriguing match-ups the tournament has seen in quite some time from a non-basketball perspective. Up until last week, every person outside the vicinity of Louisville, Kentucky would be pulling for the Cinderella Shockers. However, after the gruesome injury of Kevin Ware, practically the entire country has been a passionate Cardinals fan. Whichever story is more intriguing to you, the game comes down to X's and O's. Forget about Russ Smith and Peyton Siva, the dominance of Gorgui Dieng on the defensive end for the Cardinals has made them absolutely terrifying. Louisville advances.
David Harrison: Wichita State. My common sense tells me to pick Louisville. Without a doubt the Cardinals are a better team but, you know what? Where has following my common sense got my bracket in this tournament? Nowhere. I’m gonna go with Wichita State to win this game.
Joe Sageman: Louisville. I would love to pick Wichita State here because they’re better than just a Cinderella. They have a real shot in this game, but the Louisville backcourt simply has too much firepower with Russ Smith and Peyton Siva.
#4 Michigan vs. #4 Syracuse
Alec Fink: Michigan. Syracuse has won the last few games with the same formula: lights out defense and fundamental offense. If Michigan can hit their outside shots the way they proved they could do against VCU and Kansas, they should beat a solid Syracuse team. I like the Wolverines in this one.
Josh Foreman: Syracuse. If you don't know one thing about basketball, you probably have still heard the name Trey Burke tossed around nearly every hour for the past week. If this is the case, I feel sorry for you. Burke is a great player, but has received three times the credit he deserved for his explosion against Kansas. Many don't realize Burke shot a dreadful 32% from the field against Florida in the next round. The Wolverines may have been able to manhandle the Gators, but Syracuse is a different animal. A scary, horrifying animal. They play the best defense in the country and quite frankly, Tim Hardaway, Jr. impresses me less and less every time I watch him. Trey Burke will need to play like the hyped Trey Burke if Michigan has any chance of making this a close game.
David Harrison: Syracuse. The 2-3 zone is just too good even against the lights out shooting of Trey Burke and the rest of the Wolverines. There’s a reason Jimmy Boeheim has taken teams to the Final Four in four different decades. ‘Cuse will win this game.
Joe Sageman: Michigan. Syracuse plays a 2-3 zone because they don’t respect the deep shooting of college players. That theory could crash and burn against the likes of Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr, and Nik Stauskas.
Alec Fink: Louisville. As much as I want to see Michigan win this one, I don't see how they can get past the Louisville Cardinals. With both momentum from the Big East Tournament championship and motivation after watching Kevin Ware go down in the Elite 8, Lousiville is primed to cut down the nets in Atlanta.
Josh Foreman: Syracuse. Rick Pitino and Jim Boeheim. Can it get any better? Louisville is the better team. However, I'm not jumping to any conclusions. Louisville hasn't played a difficult opponent yet with the exception of Duke, who didn't play to their potential. Louisville needs to have a tremendous start in order to establish their offense against Cuse's zone. If there is any validity to the expression defense wins championships, the Orange will be victorious. As far as I'm concerned, nothing in this tournament has been as consistent as Syracuse's defense (other than Trey Burke's media coverage, of course). They beat Cal in San Jose, Indiana, and Marquette. There are two more wins left in this well oiled machine. 'Cuse... National champs.
David Harrison: Wichita State. Ah what the heck, I’m going with Wichita State. They’ve made it this far, let’s see Cindarella have a blast at the ball. If you don’t like this pick, you can kiss my press pass.
Joe Sageman: Michigan. Louisville is the heavy favorite to win it all at this point, but Michigan has thrived in an underdog role this tournament. They have great leadership, depth, and the ability to outscore any team in the country.