SI's March Madness Expert Picks and Predictions

Probably two of the most impressive teams in the tournament take on each other in this friendly and neighborly semifinal. Germany fell in the group stages; Spain was ousted by Russia in the first knockout stage; and Brazil fell to Belgium in the quarterfinal. Accepts USA players from ALL 50 states and has one of the best mobile platforms for players looking to place bets on their phone. Uruguay vs. France (10 a.m. ET Friday, July 6)

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March Madness

The Shockers have their highest seed since entering the tournament undefeated in , but the matchups are less than comforting thanks to the unusual styles they will encounter. First up is Marshall, a No. And then, as with any No.

To get there, Wichita State better prepare to slow down its first opponent, then avoid getting sped up by its likely second. This might seem like a stretch. More people are griping about them being seeded too highly at No.

That draft pick is Collin Sexton, who is averaging Either of their potential opponents, who will play Thursday in Dayton, present potentially difficult matchups. UCLA is an uptempo team that can shoot the three-ball well and is led by a guard, Aaron Holiday, who just put up point games on consecutive nights in the Pac tournament.

Bonaventure has its own potential big-game scorer in senior Jaylen Adams Still, the Wildcats are too good in general and playing too well now to see them failing to reach at least the Elite Eight. In a squeaker, that gives us a No. But frankly, Villanova is the No. A year after another first-weekend flameout, the Wildcats live up to their seeding and head to San Antonio. The Midwest is headlined by a program that knows a thing or two about being a No. This marks the eighth time in 12 seasons, as well as the third consecutive season, that the Jayhawks earned a spot on the top line.

This region has something for everyone: Kansas will cruise into the NCAAs following its second Big 12 tournament title in three years—before that, the Jayhawks won a record-setting 14th consecutive regular season conference title.

In the league tournament, they beat Oklahoma State by 14 points only five days after the Cowboys took down Kansas in Stillwater, then handled in-state rival Kansas State in the semis and West Virginia in the finals. The Sooners got off to a really promising start this season, winning 12 of their first 13 games and rising as high as No.

But they had a rough time navigating the rigorous Big Oklahoma posted an record against league competition and at one point dropped six games in a row. Young is in the closing stretch of an awesome freshman campaign, but Graham was better than him against Big 12 competition. If Kansas is seriously tested before the second weekend, trust that Graham will lead it to safety. In Jared Terrell, the Rams have a first-team all-Atlantic 10 guard who can strain defenses by knocking down three-point shots, getting to the free-throw line and converting his attempts once there at a favorable rate.

And at full strength, fellow senior E. Matthews gives Rhode Island another dangerous perimeter scorer. The Rams are going to have their hands full trying to contain Young, but Oklahoma also has to reckon with a big defensive challenge. This might be the best team Tigers head coach Brad Brownell has had since he took over the program prior to the season. That said, Clemson could be in danger of being sent home in the first round.

The Aggies upended Miami on Dec. The West contains the most vulnerable-looking No. This feels wide open. To get to the Sweet 16, they could face a tall, athletic Missouri team that shoots the three well, holds tough defensively and returns Michael Porter Jr.

Ohio State was just a hair behind at No. Your best bet as a prognosticator is to disregard the seeding and focus on the data. Nothing about this looks simple. OK, so the Bulldogs are not a real underdog. In all likelihood, the Zags will be the only regional finalist in the West that actually plays on said coast. The Bulldogs are also headed to a favorable early site in Boise. Ohio State is plenty tough, but remember that Gonzaga topped them by 27 points at the PK80 in November.

And if they can get past a vulnerable Xavier team from there, a title game rematch against North Carolina should be primo viewing. If he comes remotely close to his usual self, the gifted freshman scorer could be the key to a surprise run for the Tigers, who could make life pretty tough for Xavier in a potential Sweet 16 tilt. South Dakota State is the small school most likely to make some first-round noise in this region. The Jackrabbits are dancing for the third straight year and will be playing relatively close to home in Boise.

Led by efficient, versatile junior big Mike Daum— They have the experience and chops to keep up with the Buckeyes, who will counter with a talent of their own, Big Ten Player of the Year Keita Bates-Diop The Tar Heels had everything clicking at the ACC tournament with a selfless, entertaining brand of ball, relying on a variety of scorers and an experienced starting five that moves the ball and makes hustle plays.

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You currently have no favorite writers. Croatia then made it extremely hard on themselves against host Russia, but prevailed after penalties. Sign up for a fubo. Belgium and England won impressively, but much more was expected from Croatia. Their performance was all but impressive and they were on the verge of being kicked out, but were saved on penalties.

After implementing the data from the quarterfinals, there are some changes in the tournament predictions, according to the AccuScore simulations. Probably two of the most impressive teams in the tournament take on each other in this friendly and neighborly semifinal. The clash of two young and extremely talented teams is likely a close battle, with not an inch of slack given from either side.

In AccuScore simulations, the match is so close that it is only fractions of a percentage point pushing the scales towards the winner. Belgium has scored more goals and had to upend a massive favorite Brazil in the last round, finally performing better on defense as well after the horrendous display against Japan.

While France has been very close to being equally impressive, they have had a tad easier path against unorganized Argentina and Uruguay without Cavani. That being said, both teams would be favored to win against either team they would face in the final, so this game can be considered somewhat of a final itself.

France is the more organized and tactically sound of the two teams, but Belgium might just have that X-factor to push through if only by less than percent probability. Schedule, scores, how to watch live.

Definitely an unexpected semifinal duo, but overall well-deserved for both. There was a lot of doubt over both of the teams before the tournament and their success is somewhat of a surprise, even though both were valued in the top by most oddsmakers. The quarterfinal games saw both teams play a similar, ultra-defensive opponent, with Croatia facing Russia and England taking on Sweden.

England completely disarmed the Swedes and controlled the entire game, taking a relatively easy victory.