After a great weekend of Sweet 16 matchups, we are down to the Elite 8. With Monday’s Elite 8 games here, let’s find out who has the best chance to make a Final 4 appearance.
And then there were 8… 🍿
(2) Houston vs (12) Oregon State
(1) Baylor vs (3) Arkansas
(1) Michigan vs (11) UCLA
(1) Gonzaga vs (6) USC
Elite 8 starts tomorrow. Let the madness continue 😈 pic.twitter.com/tzEde3QWPj
— Overtime (@overtime) March 29, 2021
#2 Houston vs #12 Oregon State
Houston had a tough Sweet 16 matchup but was able to come out on top. The Cougars beat the red-hot Syracuse Orange 62-46 to advance to the Elite 8. After scoring 70+ points in their first two tournament games, the Orange were shut down by Houston’s defense. The Cougars played a near-perfect overall game. Houston did a great job closing out on shooters, rebounding the ball, and they tore apart Syracuse’s zone defense. This sets them up with a matchup against the Oregon State Beavers. This will be another tough test. The Cougars held Syracuse to only 20 first-half points. To beat the Beavers, they’ll need to play another perfect defensive game.
The 12-seed Oregon State Beavers are still on their Cinderella run. Just a few weeks ago, Oregon State was not supposed to make the NCAA tournament. After going on a run to win the Pac-12 tournament, the Beavers haven’t looked back. The Beavers knocked off Loyola-Chicago in the Sweet 16. Loyola came into this matchup with the number 1 defense in D1 basketball. That was until Oregon State scored 65 on their head.
This Beavers team can really do it all. They are great on offense between running good sets and can knock down shots from anywhere. Their defense is swarming with traps and doubles coming from anywhere. With the skill of Ethan Thompson on the wing and the size of Roman Silva down low, this team is good.
Oregon State was picked last in this year's Preseason Pac-12 Conference poll. Now they're headed to the Elite Eight.
Cinderella story continues for the Beavs ✨ pic.twitter.com/bI31ybOPxB
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 27, 2021
This is going to be a defensive minded matchup. Houston will look to control the game with their defense. Oregon State will look to slow the game down and not let Houston play in transition. I think the Beavers will keep it close in this one but would be very surprised if we don’t see Houston winning in Monday’s Elite 8 game.
#1 Baylor vs #3 Arkansas
Even though Baylor won their Sweet 16 matchup, they didn’t play great in it. The Bears are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country. They shot 3-19. Between their three star guards of MaCio Teague, Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell, they shot 1-13 from three. If they shoot like that in their Elite 8 matchup with Arkansas, they’ll lose. Even in their horrible shooting day, the Bears still got the job done. The Bears play electric defense. This team is very athletic and rarely gives up open looks. If Baylor is knocking down shots tonight, they’re unstoppable.
.@BaylorMBB x ELITE 8
1-seed Baylor battles back to take down 5-seed Villanova and advance to their first Elite 8 since 2012 🐻 pic.twitter.com/AWeWZFrDdn
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 27, 2021
After almost being upset by an Oral Roberts buzzer beater, the Razorbacks survived and advanced to the Elite 8. This is a very talented Arkansas team. From their athleticism to skill, they have all the boxes checked off.
They haven’t had an easy road to get to where they are. The Razorbacks have won their last two games by a combined 4 points. This is a much more interesting matchup, though. If you were looking for teams very alike to Baylor, Arkansas would be in that conversation. The Razorbacks love to run the floor and play a fast-paced game. With Moses Moody on the team, it is hard to overlook Arkansas.
Unlike the first game of Monday’s Elite 8 matchups, we should have a lot of points in this one. Baylor averages 83 points per game which is 6th in Division 1. Arkansas averages 82 points per game which is 7th in Division 1. Both teams will be very fast-paced and pulling shots from anywhere on the floor. I’d expect a close game with Baylor having the slight edge.
Either way, grab your popcorn and get ready for a show. This one will be good.
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