Jon Rothstein's March Madness Sweet 16 Day One Picks and Predictions: Houston ready to cruise past 'Cuse

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Jon Rothstein


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College basketball's hungriest insider. "Stay hungry, Stay humble"

We’ve reached the business end of the NCAA Tournament, as the Sweet 16 gets underway with some terrific programs in action. There have been a number of upsets so far, and I wouldn’t count on that changing here — it is March Madness, after all.

Below you can find my lock of the day and best picks for each of Saturday’s four games, with three of them entered as part of the Pickswise $10,000 Capper Contest, where I’m going up against some other top college basketball experts. I went 3-0 with my picks last Monday, so let’s see if I can carry that momentum over here.

Make sure you also read the Pickswise team’s thoughts on the side and total for all of Saturday’s Sweet 16 matchups.

Oregon State Beavers vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers

Is this a coronation for the Ramblers? Don’t be so sure. Oregon State has the physicality inside with both Warith Alatishe and Roman Silva to frustrate Cameron Krutwig. The Beavers have out-rebounded their opponents by 27 in their first two NCAA Tournament games. Keep an eye on Oregon State’s Ethan Thompson, who is quietly one of the best guards left in the bracket.

PICK: Oregon State +6.5

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Oregon State Beavers vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers.

Villanova Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears

Reaching the Sweet 16 without Collin Gillespie is a remarkable feat for Villanova. The weight class for the Wildcats now gets raised against Baylor. Anything less than a trip to the Final Four will be a disappointment for the Bears, who clearly look like the second-best team left playing behind Gonzaga.

PICK: Baylor -6.5

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Villanova Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears.

The king of March Madness upsets, Rashad Phillips, is back with his best picks for the Sweet 16, where he has found another valuable underdog! Read his predictions here.

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

Paul Mills’ squad is the only true Cinderella left in the bracket. Does it have one more trip to ball left? Don’t rule it out of the realm of possibility. Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor are as good of a one-two punch as there is left in the NCAA Tournament. For Arkansas, this is a golden opportunity to get back to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995.

PICK: Oral Roberts +11

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Arkansas Razorbacks.

Syracuse Orange vs. Houston Cougars

Kelvin Sampson lives his coaching life by a simple motto: ‘Tougher team wins’. That could be bad news for Syracuse. The Orange are going to have to out-will Houston to get to the Elite Eight. This will not be a finesse game.

LOCK: Houston -6

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Syracuse Orange vs. Houston Cougars.

Pickswise is the home of March Madness Predictions. Check out all of our March Madness Picks, including daily March Madness Parlays throughout the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

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