No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 6 Creighton
San Diego State pulled off a shocking upset against the top overall seed Alabama. Alabama shot an abysmal 32% from the field and 11% from beyond the arc. Part of that is a testament to how stout the Aztec defense is that is now the top-ranked defense left in the tournament. Senior guard Darrion Trammell put on an offensive show leading the Aztecs with 21 points on 9-16 shooting. Leading scorer Matt Bradley had an off game only shooting 2-9 from the field so the scoring boost from Trammell played a factor in pulling off this upset. Creighton took care of business against Princeton, but the Tigers gave them fits down the stretch with their 1-3-1 zone defense. San Diego State may look to exploit that on Sunday. The Bluejays had built a sizable lead behind efficient offense once again as they shot 58% from the field, but turnovers and the lack of bench depth let Princeton back into the game. As for Sunday, San Diego State’s defense and depth will be the key to the Aztecs making the Final Four. Creighton will need to shoot 50% or more to win this game, and I cannot see that happening. San Diego State prevails and smothers the Bluejays.
No. 2 Texas vs. No. 5 Miami
Similar to San Diego State, Miami was able to pull an upset against the last 1-seed left, Houston. The Hurricane backcourt showed out as they have done all tournament as Nijel Pack and Isaiah Wong combined for 46 points including Pack shooting 7-10 from three-point range. Miami will have to keep up their hot shooting and tighten down their defense in the next round. As for Texas, they controlled this game from the tip. Xavier had no answer for the Longhorn tenacity they displayed on the court. On a down note, Texas lost key forward Dylan Disu only two minutes into the game due to a foot injury suffered the week before. Disu has been listed as day-to-day. If he cannot go, that could play a role in this Elite Eight matchup. Miami is the worst-rated defense left in the Big Dance, and their hot shooting will not hold up. Texas will overwhelm and advance like business as usual.