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From left: Mark Macon, Nate Blackwell, Mike Vreeswyk, Tim Perry . . . As they say, one picture is worth 7,335 Temple Owl points.
From left: Mark Macon, Nate Blackwell, Mike Vreeswyk, Tim Perry . . . As they say, one picture is worth 7,335 Temple Owl points.|Courtesy of Mike Vreeswyk
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NCAA Friday: Guest Selections for the Sweet 16

Regional Semifinals, Day 2

Bob Vetrone

Bob Vetrone

BRUCE LEFKOWITZ

(Penn Hall of Fame Player)
> North Carolina (-5.5) over Auburn
No team is playing better than the Tar Heels. With Nassir Little performing up to his recruiting status, they are solid all around. Auburn can run with anyone, but you need to rebound to get out on the break. Too much size and rebounding prowess to offset for the Tigers. Carolina advances a lot easier than people think.
> Duke (-7) over Virginia Tech
Tech beat them during the season . . . UCF had them in its grasps . . . The Blue Devils vulnerable ... Blah, blah, blah.... They got tested for sure and probably don’t deserve to still be in. But with Zion Williamson back, Tech has no one to match up with him .... Duke comfortably.
> Kentucky (-2.5) over Houston
This spread would be a seven if PJ Washington was good to go. Houston has proven their value but Kentucky found a way without Washington and they had been improving all season. The last “underdog” falls here.
> LSU (+6) over Michigan State
Don’t think the Tigers have the experience for an outright win, but they have the talent and size to match up with MSU. If Tremont Waters can play close to even with Cassius Winston, this will be close right up to the end.

MIKE VREESWYK

(Former Temple player)
> Houston (+2.5) over Kentucky
I really like Houston in this spot. The Cougars are ready to take the next step with a veteran team. Kentucky is not only the youngest team in the NCAA Tournament, they are one of the youngest teams in the country. Four of their top six scorers are freshmen. By contrast you have to go all the way to Houston’s fifth leading scorer (7.5 ppg) to find a freshman that contributes. This isn’t the Kentucky team of the past with five one-and-done lottery picks.
> Michigan State (-6) over LSU
I’ll take Tom Izzo over turmoil any day, and not just because Michigan State is 25-11 ATS this season, best among the 16 teams that made it to this round. With five days to prepare, Izzo will have his team ready and focused.

BILL RUSHTON

(Co-owner High Tides Restaurant)
> Auburn (+5.5) over North Carolina
Love me some 50/40/80 guy in Bryce Brown (percentages in twos, threes and free throws). And his name is Bryce. Come on!
> Kentucky (-2.5) over Houston
As long as Hakeem Olajuwon doesn’t show up, I think the Cougars run may finally be over.
> LSU (+6) over Michigan State
I have just had an SEC feel all tournament and this is not the time to turn my back on it.

KEN LANDIS

(Co-owner Chick's Deli)
> Duke (-7) over Virginia Tech
With the revenge factor in play and a healthy Zion Williamson, Duke easily avenges a loss from a month ago and gets their first cover of the tournament.

KEVIN CALLAHAN

(Host of South Jersey Sports Talk on RVNTV.com)
> Michigan State (-6) LSU
Must be anti-LSU since my first-round upset special was picking Yale over the Tigers outright. Yale did cover the modest eight-point spread in the five-point loss, but also took Maryland to cover the -1.5 in the second round and LSU covered by a half point on last-second layup. No matter on likes or dislikes, the Sweet 16 is where coaches separate and in this match-up they are already separate as Tom Izzo is on the bench and LSU’s coach is suspended since Will Wade is benched by the school while snared in an alleged pay-for-play scheme. Take Sparty and enjoy watching the game on TV like Wade.
> North Carolina (-5.5) Auburn
Had the Heels to cover the 10.5 against Washington and North Carolina squeaked by with a 12-point win. Been riding the favorites all tourneys and going to stay on the chalk, so take Roy Williams and the Tar Heels laying 5.5. But also like the Heels because the winning formula in NCAA tourney action is to take more better shots – North Carolina does as their shot selection is better while they box out on defense and hit the offensive boards for easy follows.
> Virginia Tech (+7) Duke
Been riding Virginia Tech and hit covering in a 14-point win over Saint Louis in the first round, but pushed at nine against Liberty in the second round. Staying with the Hokies and their hot coach Buzz Williams and more importantly with Justin Robinson back from injury the last two games after sitting 12 games. Meanwhile, Duke barely escaped as a 13.5 favorite over Central Florida when a tap-in rolled out at the buzzer, so Zion Williams and his freshmen classmates might already be looking at the NBA.
> Kentucky (-2.5) Houston
Kentucky
rode the number before winning by six over Wofford in the second round while Wildcats coach John Calipari won by as many points as the Kentucky coach wanted to against Abilene Christian and settled for 35 in the first round. The youthful Wildcats are enjoying the ride and will ride on even though Houston was impressive as a 5.5 favorite in beating Ohio State by 15.