The Wichita State Shockers, one of the most under-seeded teams in the NCAA Tournament, will do battle with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this upcoming Thursday night. The Shockers made their way to the Sweet 16 by knocking off blue bloods Indiana and Kansas in succession. The Fighting Irish had to fend off both Northeastern and Butler to stay alive. This is one of the rare contests in which the lower seed (WSU) is actually favored by Vegas.
Date: Thursday, March 26
Time: 7:15 PM ET
TV Channel: CBS
Location: Cleveland, OH
Announcers: Marv Albert, Chris Webber, Len Elmore, Lewis Johnson
Opening Betting Line: Wichita State -2 (5Dimes)
Prediction: Notre Dame, one of the hottest teams in the entire country, is still the underdog, despite being a 3-seed. Why? Well, Wichita State is one of the toughest teams in the country, and the Shockers have gotten stellar guard play from both Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet. WSU, according to kenpom.com, has the 16th most efficient offense in the nation and the 13th most efficient defense. In short, they're very well-balanced.
Notre Dame, ironically, is elite offensively, but needed an incredible defensive play from Pat Connaughton to survive Butler. This is going to be a grind-it-out type of game. We'll take Wichita State by a bucket - those are the types of games the Shockers win.