Gonzaga v Xavier – the two most prominent graduates of the mid major ranks go head to head to determine which one finally gets to a FF. Hard to bet against X’s momentum and Mack has been tremendous in getting a flawed team (due to injury as much as anything else) this far, and I don’t think the Zags have been great in either of their last two wins, but I’m going with the more complete team.

GONZAGA

Kansas v Oregon – I think the Ducks have a puncher’s chance, because when their guards are going good, they’re one of the few groups which can hang with KU’s backcourt. I think Oregon’s size at the guard spot will pose an interesting challenge for Mason and Graham as well. Still, how can you bet against Kansas, given how well they’ve played in this Tournament? Josh Jackson may be the element Oregon can’t match in the end.

KANSAS

South Carolina v Florida – All SEC and mostly “who cares” but still, a lot of credit due to both of those teams. Florida had the better, more consistent season but I think South Carolina passes the “look test” a little better. I’m going with Cheatin’ Frank Martin in a mild upset.

SOUTH CAROLINA

UNC v UK – This is the matchup that’ll get everyone going. UNC’s been maybe the second most impressive team in the whole field thus far (behind only Kansas) but I think UK looks dialed in. Was really impressed with the way they defended for much of that game against UCLA. I like UNC’s depth and interior players better than UK’s. UK has the better guards but as long as Berry and Co. aren’t tossing out one of their occasional stinkbombs, I think UNC gets it done.

NORTH CAROLINA