Weekend watch

If you’ve got a busy weekend planned for Easter festivities with family, but still want to be up to date in the realm of the NCAA tournament, check out my Elite Eight game previews and predictions.  


Swartz on sports and Gabe Swartz

West Regional Final | Anaheim, CA | Saturday

1 Oregon Ducks vs 2 Oklahoma Sooners 5:09 p.m. CT, CBS

If you’re the kind of person who likes high scoring, up-tempo basketball and star power, this is the game for you. Oklahoma plays a Golden State Warriors-esque style of basketball, with a three-point shooting prowess. Led by Player of the Year candidate Buddy Hield, the Sooners can put up points quickly. Don’t sleep on Oregon though. With Oregon’s spread-the-floor attack headed by guards Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey, the Ducks also score the ball with efficiency. Both Oregon and Oklahoma average 81 points per game and have shot 49 percent in their first three games of the tournament. With those similar numbers, this figures to be a very tight game until the very end.

Prediction: Oklahoma 85, Oregon 82


South Regional Final | Louisville, KY | Saturday

1 Kansas Jayhawks vs 2 Villanova Wildcats 7:49 p.m. CT, CBS

If you like the Jayhawks, I already know you’ll be tuned in Saturday evening. However, if you don’t like Kansas or have no rooting interest at all, the guard play in this game is something to watch for. Both teams backcourts have experienced leaders who have gotten them to this point. The Jayhawks look to get back to the Final Four Saturday evening for the first time since 2012, while Villanova attempts to get back to the Final Four for the first time since 2009. If Villanova defeats the Jayhawks, it will be in large part due to the play of senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono, junior guard Josh Hart and junior forward Kris Jenkins, their three leading scorers.  

Prediction: Kansas 76, Villanova 68


Midwest Regional Final | Chicago, IL | Sunday

1 Virginia Cavaliers vs 10 Syracuse Orange 5:09 p.m. CT, TBS

If you like underdogs, Syracuse is the team for you. Although this isn’t a role the Orange play very often, this year they’ve stepped into the role nicely. The defensive presence of Syracuse’s 2-3 zone throws a wrench in how teams run their offenses, but Virginia had the answers in their first meeting, a 73-65 victory for the Cavaliers. Virginia is an efficient team on offense and will need to solve the zone one more time to earn a trip to Houston for the Final Four. This game will not be a fast-paced track meet, but Virginia’s efficiency and strong defense should solidify their spot in Houston.   

Prediction: Virginia 70, Syracuse 59


East Regional Final | Philadelphia, PA | Sunday

1 North Carolina Tar Heels vs 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 7:49 p.m. CT, TBS

If you like dominant big men, and explosive guards, this is the game to watch for you. The emergence of forward Brice Johnson for the Tar Heels has made North Carolina into the legitimate contender they are right now. Notre Dame forward Zach Auguste will matchup with Johnson, a battle that will be crucial in determining the winner of this game. In two matchups earlier this season, the Tar Heels and Fighting Irish each won one game apiece. If North Carolina is capable of hitting their jump shots similar to their performance Friday night against Indiana, they should be able to cruise past the Fighting Irish.

Prediction: North Carolina 77, Notre Dame 65

You can watch the official live streams for the games here: