NCAA Tournament: Second Round Midwest Region Fearless Predictions, Lines, Storylines

    What's going to happen in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament? Check out the Fearless Predictions, lines and storylines for every Midwest Region game.

    March 16, 2016

    What’s going to happen in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament? Check out the Fearless Predictions, lines and storylines for every Midwest Region game.

    NCAA Tournament: Second Round Midwest Region

    Who’s going to win each Second Round game of the NCAA Tournament? Here are the Fearless Predictions for every Midwest game.

    How are the predictions so far?

    Midwest Region: 4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS

    No. 1 Virginia (27-7) vs. No. 9 Butler (22-10)

    Why Virginia Will Win: The defense should be able to clamp down on the Butler three point shooters. The Bulldogs are able to crank up the offense in spurts and are terrific from the outside, but the Cavaliers are too tight, too mistake-free, and too smart with creating the right pass for the easy points.

    Why Butler Will Win: The Bulldogs are full of veterans who won’t succumb to the Cavalier defense. Great at hitting the boards and generating second chance points, Butler has the ability to outwork and outbattle up front. And if they start hitting their threes, everything will open up inside.

    What’s Going To Happen: Butler will be too good, too tough, and too solid in all phases. The Virginia offense can get going when it has to, but it’s at its best when it takes control from the start and clamps down with its great defense. That’s not going to happen.

    Line: Virginia -7

    Prediction: Butler 75, Virginia 71

    No. 4 Iowa State (22-11) vs. No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock (30-4)

    Why Iowa State Will Win: The Cyclone defense should be too strong from the outside – UALR aren’t going to get the threes they were able to rally back with against Purdue. The energy from the Trojans turned that game around, and as long as Iowa State doesn’t fumble away its chances on the inside, and as long as it keeps up the intensity for the entire game, there should be too much talent.

    Why Arkansas-Little Rock Will Win: Iowa State might be second in the nation in field goal percentage, but the aggressive Trojan zone D should be able to generate its share of fast break chances. UALR doesn’t turn the ball over and it managed to force Purdue to make way too many mistakes in key moments. Win the turnover battle, win the game.

    What’s Going To Happen: UALR will make it a fight, but it’ll go dead cold for a few long stretches and Iowa State will take care of it from there. The Boilermakers weren’t able to close. The Cyclones will.

    Line: Iowa State -6.5

    Prediction: Iowa State 78, Arkansas-Little Rock 70

    No. 3. Utah (27-8) vs. No. 11 Gonzaga (27-7)

    Why Utah Will Win: The Utes ripped through Fresno State without a problem and it should be able to handle Gonzaga on the boards. The nation’s leading rebounding team is well past the blasting from Oregon and is playing as sound and as tough as anyone left in the tournament – the Utes do just about everything well. But …

    Why Gonzaga Will Win: So do the Zags. Utah might lead the nation in rebounds, but Gonzaga is second with an aggressive front court that attacks the glass and doesn’t get out of position. The three-point shooting combined with the ability to hold up on the front line should match everything the Utes are able to do.

    What’s Going To Happen: There will be lots and lots of one-and-done possessions. The two teams do the same things well, but Gonzaga will rise up with a huge day from the outside doing a bit more to make the extra pass do a little more to get by in a slugfest.

    Line: Gonzaga -1

    Prediction: Gonzaga 68, Utah 66

    No. 10 Syracuse (20-13) vs. No. 15 Middle Tennessee (25-9)

    Why Syracuse Will Win: The defense should be able to attack Middle Tennessee’s perimeter a bit better than Michigan State did. Obviously the Spartans can play some D, but they were playing catchup all game long after getting out to an awful start. The Orange should have better control early on. They’re good at stopping the three, but …

    Why Middle Tennessee Will Win: The Blue Raiders can hit from outside, and if they’re on, Syracuse doesn’t have the firepower to fight back. They can do just enough to force mistakes to get into a bit of a transition game, and they’ll have to if they want to get the Orange out of their zone.

    What’s Going To Happen: Can the Blue Raiders rock past a mediocre Orange team after shocking Michigan State? No. Syracuse is playing loose and relaxed now, and it’ll dominate on the boards.

    Line: Syracuse -6.5

    Prediction: Syracuse 67, Middle Tennessee 62

    MORE: Campus Insiders’ 2016 Interactive NCAA Tournament Bracket


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