The Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament tips off Saturday and Monkey Knife Fight has contests to make the madness even more exciting.
- In the Midwest Region bracket-buster, the No. 8 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers and No. 12 Oregon State Beavers meet. Loyola-Chicago cruised through the first two rounds, with double-digit margins of victory against No. 9 Georgia Tech and No. 1 seed Illinois. Same story for Oregon State. They won both of their games with double digit margins, taking down No. 5 Tennessee and No. 4 Oklahoma State.
- On the other side of the bracket, the No. 2 Houston Cougars play the No. 11 Syracuse Orange. The Cougars walloped No. 15 Cleveland State before barely escaping against No. 10 Rutgers in the second round. Syracuse upset No. 6 San Diego State easily in the first round and then much closer against No. 3 West Virginia in the second round.
- In the South Region, the No. 1 Baylor Bears are matched up with the No. 5 seed Villanova Wildcats. Baylor steamrolled No. 16 Hartford and No. 9 Wisconsin in their first two games while Villanova downed Winthrop and North Texas, the 12th and 13th seeds in the region, respectively. This game could be a step up in competition.
Here are some Fantasy Basketball Monkey Knife Fight picks to consider when playing Saturday’s college basketball action on MKF.
Cameron Krutwig LESS THAN 16.5 POINTS
Loyola-Chicago’s hefty senior center is averaging 15.0 points per game this season and had 10 points in the first round, followed by 19 points in the second round of the tournament. Oregon State has played better defensively since the Pac-12 tournament so they may have a shot to at least contain Krutwig.
Ethan Thompson LESS THAN 14.5 POINTS
The Beavers’ senior guard is averaging 15.6 points per game this season and scored 13 and 26 points, respectively, in the first two games of the tournament. The challenge for Thompson is that Loyola-Chicago is excellent defensively. They have allowed 56.1 points per game on the season and before we get too caught up in the strength of schedule in the Missouri Valley Conference, recognize that they just held No.1-seed Illinois to 58 points.
Braden Norris MORE THAN 3.5 ASSISTS
The Rambers’ sophomore point guard is only averaging 3.1 assists per game this season but had 5.2 per game last season and had eight assists against Georgia Tech. in the first round and four assists against Illinois in the second round. He plays a lot, like more than 35 minutes in five of the past six games, so he is going to have his opportunities.
Warith Alatishe +5.5 FANTASY POINTS vs. Cameron Krutwig
Alatishe, a junior forward for Oregon State, is only averaging 9.5 points per game but he stuffs the stat sheet and his 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks per game make a real difference for fantasy scoring. An average game for Alatishe this season has yielded nearly 28.9 fantasy points. Krutwig is a physical force in his own right and his average game has been good for almost 32.5 fantasy points per game.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl LESS THAN 17.5 POINTS
Villanova’s sophomore wing is averaging 16.0 points per game this season but has scored 18 or more in each of the Wildcats’ past three games. Baylor can be tough defensively, allowing 65.8 points per game, but they do have a tendency to just run up the score on their side and force the opposition to try to keep up.
MaCio Teague MORE THAN 16.5 POINTS
The senior Baylor guard is averaging 16.1 points per game this season and had scored at least 17 in five straight games before he was locked down against Wisconsin in the second round, managing just nine points on 3-for-11 shooting.
Jermaine Samuels MORE THAN 5.5 REBOUNDS
The senior Wildcats forward is grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game this season and has at least six rebounds in six of the past seven games and that includes 16 rebounds in the first two games of the tournament.
Jared Butler -1.5 POINTS vs. Davion Mitchell
A couple of junior guards for Baylor and Butler is leading the team with 16.9 points per game. He has scored at least 15 points in six of the past seven games. Mitchell is averaging 14.1 points per game and has scored at least 15 points in four of the past seven games. That’s enough of an edge to prefer Butler.
Buddy Boeheim MORE THAN 20.5 POINTS
The coach’s kid is averaging 18.0 points per game for the season but the junior sharpshooter has scored at least 25 points in five of the past six games. If the Orange are going to have a chance to keep pulling upsets, they will need Boeheim to keep shooting.
Quentin Grimes MORE THAN 18.5 POINTS
The junior guard is leading the Cougars with 18.1 points per game and he should not get rattled when the Orange goes to a zone defense because Grimes is hitting 41.7% of his threes this season. He has also scored at least 19 points in seven of the past 11 games.
Marcus Sasser MORE THAN 11.5 POINTS
Coming off a terrible game against Rutgers, in which he was 1-for-9 from the field on his way to scoring four points, Sasser had scored at least 12 points in four straight games before that dud. He has had some wild fluctuations in scoring – he’s been held to six points or less three times in the past seven games – but it still seems more reasonable to expect at least a dozen points from him in this game.
Marek Dolezaj +2.5 REBOUNDS vs. Quincy Guerrier
For the season, Guerrier has been the more consistent performer, averaging 8.5 rebounds per game, compared to 5.3 per game for Dolezaj. This is a significant margin to cover, though so Dolezaj plus 2.5 rebounds seems like a more reasonable play.
*The contests listed in this article are subject to change leading up to tip-off of each respective game*
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