Saturday, March 28, 2009

Washburn's Saturday NCAA Picks

(3) Missouri vs. (1) Connecticut in Glendale, Ariz. (UConn by 5 1/2) The Huskies have looked great in their first three games but they will need to slow things down against the speedy Tigers, who beat Memphis at their own game in the Sweet 16. UConn has enough experience and solid guard play to withstand the Missouri onslaught. The key players to watch at Huskies guard A.J. Price and Craig Austrie and how they handle the full-court pressure. Missouri played a sparkling game against Memphis and it's likely it won't be able to repeat it. UConn 75, Missouri 65.

(3) Villanova vs. (1) Pittsburgh in Boston, Mass. (Pitt by 2) It's an old Big East battle for a trip to the Final Four and Pitts lost to Villanova in January. But this will be different because the Panthers are a team that appears destined for the Final Four. Levance Fields willed the victory over Xavier on Thursday and he and DeJuan Blair will do it again. The Villanova defense stifled Duke but the Blue Devils had no beef inside and that made them vulnerable. That won't happen against Pitt. Pittsburgh 63, Villanova 59.

Washburn's Friday Picks: 2-2.