2013 NCAA Picks - West. OSU vs. Wichita State

Posted Mar 30, 2013

Predicting and projecting every NCAA Tournament game - West Region

2013 NCAA Basketball Tourney

West - Regional Final

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How are our picks so far? Straight Up: 9-6  ATS: 5-10

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know, we're CollegeFOOTBALLNews.com, but like the rest of the world, we take a wee bit of a break for NCAA college basketball tournament.  SCROLL DOWN for the earlier round picks and quick looks. 

No. 2 Ohio State (29-7) vs. No. 9 Wichita State (29-8)
Line: Ohio State -4.5
Why To Pick Ohio State: Wichita State has a guard oriented attack that could have problems against Ohio State's quickness and athleticism. Beating up La Salle is one thing, but forget about coming up with all the rebounds against the Buckeyes that fell into the right hands on Thursday night. Arizona also can hit from the outside, but when needed, Ohio State did it better and managed to come up with the right rebounds at the right time. It took way too much work to get through the last two rounds; the team has yet to hit its stride.
Why To Pick Wichita State: Ohio State did almost everything right all game long and yet it still took a three point bomb to get by Arizona. Wichita State is getting production from everywhere, helped by a good presence inside on the boards from Ehimen Orukpe and with six players grabbing four rebounds or more against La Salle. This is a fearless team that's not going to be fazed in any way by Ohio State - the Shockers already handled Gonazga without a problem.
The Pick: Ohio State 68-61. Wichita State might have the right mix to come up with the big win over the Big Ten, but it's about to deal with a whole other level of physical play. The Buckeyes are finding ways to win.
FINAL SCORE: Wichita State 70-66


No. 2 Ohio State (28-7) vs. No. 6 Arizona (27-7)
Line: Ohio State -3.5
Why To Pick Ohio State: The Buckeyes should be much, much better on the boards then they were against Iowa State. Harvard couldn't shoot a lick, leading to several offensive rebounding chances, but there were also too many second chance points allowed. It's not like the Wildcats have their foot on the gas for a full 40, but they also didn't do nearly enough when the Crimson got active up front. The Buckeyes had their big scare, and now should come the tight play inside and out. 
Why To Pick Arizona: Can the Wildcats stay hot? Harvard isn't Ohio State defensively, but Arizona nailed its open shots and was red hot when it had its chances, too. Inside and out, everything worked in the first two rounds and there won't be any shying away from physical play. If Ohio State isn't locking down on the perimeter, there will be huge problems against the three - Arizona nailed 9-of-15 from three against Harvard.
The Pick: Ohio State 77-70. The Buckeyes will come up with a terrific performance after the Iowa State close call. Expect the intensity on the boards to be much, much higher.
FINAL SCORE: Ohio State 73-70

No. 9 Wichita State (28-8) vs. No. 13 La Salle (24-9)
Line: Wichita State -4.5
Why To Pick Wichita State: Say what you will about Gonzaga, but it was a No. 1 team that was good enough to have gone much, much deeper - Wichita State came up with a phenomenal shooting game and was able to overcome problems on the boards with big shots. This is a nice, balanced offense that should be able to shoot and defend its way out of jams. Gonzaga didn't get many open looks, and neither will La Salle.
Why To Pick La Salle: The Explorers are great at defending the perimeter and better when getting on the move. This is a very active guard-oriented team that should give the Shockers more fits than Gonzaga was able to. The production comes from all the spots and there should be a total team effort to keep the game alive - this is a battle tested group that can get hot with Ramon Galloway, Tyreek Duren and Tyrone Garland able to get hot and go on a run.
The Pick: Wichita State 78-67. The Shockers don't have a Marshall Henderson to keep missing from three to take them out of the game. They'll be far more active with too many second chance points.
FINAL SCORE: Wichita State 72-58


No. 1 Gonzaga (32-2) vs. No. 9 Wichita State (27-8)
Line: Gonzaga -6.5
Why To Pick Gonzaga: As good as Wichita State was in the opener against PItt, it couldn't do anything from deep. Cleanthony Early missed everything from three, combining with Ron Baker to go 0-11. The Bulldogs got picked apart from three against Southern, but if the Shockers stay cold, it'll be tough to come up with enough plays inside to make up for the problems. Gonzaga shouldn't have a problem scoring in the interior.
Why To Pick Wichita State: Yes, the Shockers were awful from three against Pitt, but Gonzaga couldn't defend the three against Southern getting lit up time and again to keep the game close. The Bulldogs got by on the boards, and while they have a bit of advantage from inside, they're not going to blow away WSU on second chance points. Southern came up with just one offensive rebound, and against a rough and tumble Pitt team, WSU got ten.
The Pick: Wichita State 67-64. It won't be a shocker. Wichita State will simply be better as it finds the outside touch again to come up with the big three each time it needs one.
FINAL SCORE: Wichita State 76-70

No. 12 Ole Miss (27-8) vs. No. 13 La Salle (23-9)
Line: Ole Miss -3
Why To Pick Ole Miss: Everyone wants to talk about Marshall Henderson and the offense, but the defense shut down Wisconsin cold. The Badgers couldn't hit any open shots, but they were also hounded and intimidated on the interior. Against a team that's supposed to be as tough and as good on the glass as any in the tournament, the Rebels managed to win the rebounding battle 40-38.
Why To Pick La Salle: The Explorers might have had to hold on for dear life, but they also were hot enough from the field to take the big lead early on to take control of the game. With Ramon Galloway outside and Jerrell Wright inside, there's a nice blend of talents to work give the Rebels some problems.  The key will be outside shooting; they'll love getting into a showdown of bombs.
The Pick: Ole Miss 68-61. Henderson might have finished strong against the Badgers, but he can do even more. The Rebel interior will be the difference.
FINAL SCORE: La Salle 76-74

No. 6 Arizona (26-7) vs. No. 14 Harvard (20-9)
Line: Arizona -10
Why To Pick Arizona: The Wildcats have a much, much deeper bench and should be able to keep running on the Crimson all game long. They got balanced scoring in the first round layup against a dangerous Southern team, and they should be able to bother the Harvard guards way too easily. New Mexico tried to win on the inside, and Arizona will simply run its way to points.
Why To Pick Harvard: If the Crimson can keep shooting well from deep, they have a shot. As good as Arizona was in the opener, it also helped that Belmont couldn't hit its open shots. The Wildcat defense had a lot to do with that, but the Bruins weren't shooting well. Laurent Rivard has to stay hot and the offense as to capitalize on is opportunities.
The Pick: Arizona 71-64. Harvard will be plucky and will make it a fight, but one big Arizona run and one bad stretch of Crimson outside shooting will prevent the upset.
FINAL SCORE: Arizona 74-51

No. 2 Ohio State (27-7) vs. No. 10 Iowa State (23-11)
Line: Ohio State -7
Why To Pick Ohio State: Tremendous on the boards, this is a tough, bruising team that can also run with Iowa State. There shouldn't be a problem banging away and getting several second chance points, but the key will be clamping down on defense from the outside. At long as the turnovers are kept to a minimum, the Buckeyes should have the right blend to handle any style.
Why To Pick Iowa State: The Cyclones dealt with a tough, bruising team in Notre Dame and didn't have a problem. They might have been outrebounded, but they made up for it with a tremendous shooting day and being very, very careful with the ball. Aggressive on the ball, they forced several turnovers and did a great job of capitalizing - they should be able to force several mistakes against the Buckeyes.
The Pick: Ohio State 79-68. The Buckeyes are playing too well in all phases. Iowa State is good, but Ohio State has the type of overall game to come through no matter what style is being played.
FINAL SCORE: Ohio State 78-75

No. 1 Gonzaga (31-2) vs. No. 16 Southern University (23-9)
Line: Gonzaga -22
Why To Pick Gonzaga: It's time for the Bulldogs to prove they really and truly belong in the top spot. Maligned for their mediocre schedule, beating up Southern won't prove a point, but they'll be looking to make a statement in the opener. Southern doesn't have the ability to make the extra pass or two to score to keep up the pace.
Why To Pick Southern University: The solid defense could be just enough to give the Bulldogs a hard time on the perimeter. Gonzaga's offense gets a kickstart by moving the ball around, the SU does a good job of guarding up top and not letting the ball get in deep.
The Pick: Gonzaga 84-58. Southern doesn't have the offense to keep up any sort of pace. The Bulldogs will put this away early.
FINAL SCORE: Gonzaga 64-58

No. 8 Pittsburgh (24-8) vs. No. 9 Wichita State (26-8)
Line: Pitt -4
Why To Pick Pittsburgh: The Panthers are tremendous at moving the ball around and are great at getting the ball in deep. They can make the extra pass that Wichita State doesn't come up with, but the bigger key could be the toughness; the Shockers' big advantage on the boards should be negated. However …
Why To Pick Wichita State: The Shockers are really, really good on the boards and could overcome shooting issues against the strong Panther D with second chance points. Outside of Ohio State and Wisconsin, this is the one team in the West tough enough to punch back with Pitt.
The Pick: Pitt 66-61. There won't be anything pretty about this slugfest. The two teams will battle tooth and nail for a full 40 minutes, but Pitt will win the fouling game late.
FINAL SCORE: Wichita State 73-55

No. 5 Wisconsin (23-11) vs. No. 12 Ole Miss (26-8)
Line: Wisconsin -5
Why To Pick Wisconsin: Ole Miss is an almost perfect team for the Badgers to face. Wisconsin, as always, wins on tough defense and loves to bang away on the inside, and while the Rebels did a great job from deep against Florida in the SEC championship, they're not great from three. The Ole Miss defense is okay, and against Bucky, it needs to be great.
Why To Pick Ole Miss: Wisconsin's offense can be brutally painful for long stretches. If Ole Miss can somehow get hot early and go on a few big runs, the UW could have a hard time trying to play catch up – it's not built to crank up the offense. The O has to get up and down the floor in a hurry, and while the Badgers force teams to get ugly, there will be problems if the Ole Miss offense can get them out of their comfort zone.
The Pick: Wisconsin 67-56. It's the Badgers against a team that plays mediocre defense. This will get ground into a crawl and Ole Miss won't be able to shoot its way out.
FINAL SCORE: Ole Miss 57-46

No. 4 Kansas State (27-7) vs. No. 13 La Salle (22-9)
Line: Kansas State -5
Why To Pick Kansas State: The Wildcats have the guards to make a nice run. They don't make a slew of huge mistakes and they're great at making the extra pass when needed. They're not a grinding team, but they can get rough when they have to. La Salle is better against the high-powered teams, not the tough ones.
Why To Pick La Salle: While the Explorers were able to roll past a good Boise State team without much of a problem, they could have similar success if they can dominate on the perimeter like they did in the first round. Kansas State's inside presence is fine, but the guards need to control the game. La Salle could stop that.
The Pick: Kansas State 69-57. La Salle looked great against Boise State, but the KSU guards will be too sound and too good.
FINAL SCORE: La Salle 63-61

No. 6 Arizona (25-7) vs. No. 11 Belmont (26-6)
Line: Arizona -4
Why To Pick Arizona: The Wildcats can win on sheer talent alone – as long as their heads are right. If they can get into an up-and-down shootout, they have a chance on their athleticism and aggressiveness on the boards. If Belmont isn't hot, they'll be in big, big trouble.
Why To Pick Belmont: Shooting. Arizona can't guard the perimeter and Belmont is one of the best shooting teams in the country. The Bruins might not be able to run with the Wildcats, but they can move the ball around as well as anyone in the tournament to find the open man.
The Pick: Belmont 78-74. This will be as fun as any first round game. The Bruins will go on just enough scoring spurts to knock Arizona out early.
FINAL SCORE: Arizona 81-64

No. 3 New Mexico (29-5) vs. No. 14 Harvard (19-9)
Line: New Mexico -11
Why To Pick New Mexico: One of the trendier picks to make some huge noise, New Mexico has the defense to bother the Harvard sharpshooters and the unselfish offense to make the extra pass needed to get the easy baskets. More than anything else, the Lobos should dominate on the boards; the Crimson can't rebound.
Why To Pick Harvard: Shooting. New Mexico can't do it. If the passing isn't there, the offense doesn't produce. On the flip side, Harvard is one the best shooting teams in the tournament and has the ability to get red hot for a stretch and pull off the upset.
The Pick: New Mexico 68-60. A big day on the boards will be just enough of a difference when Harvard comes up with the occasional miss. The Lobo toughness on the perimeter will help get by – but barely.
FINAL SCORE: Harvard 68-62

No. 7 Notre Dame (25-9) vs. No. 10 Iowa State (22-11)
Line: Notre Dame -1
Why To Pick Notre Dame: Can the Irish power and toughness be enough to get by the flash? Able to control games and keep them under control, Notre Dame should be able to handle the tempo and do whatever it needs while handling the boards and getting by on good defense.
Why To Pick Iowa State: Scoring. The Cyclones aren't going to get rattled by a tough defense and will force Notre Dame to play faster than it might like. While they'll give up several easy inside baskets, they'll take that once in a while to get the offense moving.
The Pick: Iowa State 78-72. The Irish will be in control most of the game with its good defense, then one good Cyclone run in the second half will change around the game in a hurry.
FINAL SCORE: Iowa State 76-58

No. 2 Ohio State (26-7) vs. No. 15 Iona (20-13)
Line: Ohio State -14.5
Why To Pick Ohio State: The Buckeyes are a No. 1 seed playing as a two. Everything is clicking inside and out at the moment, and scoring at will shouldn't be an issue against an Iona team that doesn't exactly clamp down defensively. If OSU's perimeter defense is on, it'll get ugly fast.
Why To Pick Iona: Bombs away. Give Iona a puncher's chance on hot shooting alone. The Gaels can't rebound with the Buckeyes and they can't even run with them, but they can hit from outside and have to use the three to somehow stay alive.
The Pick: Ohio State 82-67. Iona will try to make this interesting by getting the offense going, but the Buckeyes can play up-tempo offense, too.
FINAL SCORE: Ohio State 95-70

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