#MarchMadness: Your Guide to the Elite 8 - Today’s Games

NCAA-March-Madness

Oh, how very close we are getting to the Final Four! Cinderellas have waltzed into history, top seeds have been defeated. But there’s still a lot of basketball to watch, including today’s portion of the Elite 8 round. Find our analysis below.

Meanwhile, you can take a look at our predictions for yesterday’s Wichita State -vs- Ohio State (dare we say?) shocker.

Michigan (4) -vs- Florida (3)
2:20pm ET (CBS)
Pick: Florida

Florida wins: The third time’s going to be the charm for Billy Donovan’s Gators. They lost in the Elite 8 for the past two years, against Butler and Louisville. But Florida can punish a team like Michigan, with a combined nearly 48 percent shooting from the field.

Michigan wins: if it can keep the score close at the end, a situation that has bedeviled the Gators all season long. Trey Burke, a bright star whose future looks poised for greatness, will need to carry the Wolverines into the Final Four as he has done many times before. Burke’s ability to score at will, and to make assists for his teammates when he’s stymied, could guide his Wolverines to its first Final Four berth in 20 years.

Trivia: Trey Burke first signed to Penn State, then changed his mind to play for Michigan. Gators senior guard Mike Rosario has more than 60 tattoos on his body-

Duke (2) -vs- Louisville (1)
5:05pm ET (CBS)
Pick: Duke

Duke wins: if Quinn Cook has a solid game. The Blue Devils point guard was less than stellar against Michigan State, shooting 0-5 from the floor and committing three turnovers. But Cook was sensational the first time the Blue Devils played Louisville, scoring 15 points. He doesn’t have to be great against the Cardinals tonight, but he has to be solid against their defensive pressure. Cook’s shown consistency all season, averaging just 2.2 turnovers per game. Where he matters, though, is his ability to dictate tempo and keep his composure. Duke has a habit of getting to the free throw line and doesn’t miss much once it’s earned a ticket. Against Michigan State in the Sweet 16, the Blue Devils took 26 attempts and drained 24 of them. That’s a huge number, one that Louisville- who can get into foul trouble- has to be mindful of.

Louisville wins: if Luke Hancock can find a way to either get open, or a way to get others open. The Cards’ best 3-point shooter spreads the floor much like Duke’s Ryan Kelly does. But Hancock is still looking for a big game in the NCAA tournament. Through four games, he is only hitting 3 of 11 from behind the arc, having taken just 16 shots from the floor. Louisville hasn’t needed him to be strong lately, which is the good news for the Cardinals, but he’s due for his moment. This might be a nice time for it. The Cardinals had to play the better part of their Sweet 16 first half against Oregon without Peyton Siva. Kevin Ware helped stem the tide against the Ducks, but Louisville can’t afford so much bench time for Siva, Smith or Gorgui Dieng against a dominating Blue Devils squad. Louisville has to toe the line it has walked so well late in this season: playing aggressive without taking foolish risks.

Trivia: Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski have only faced each other twice, once in the 1992 NCAA Tournament (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo3G2MfOYeA - NCAA East Regional Final where Christian Laettner hit the shot) and once earlier this season in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The results: Coach K 2-0. Also worth noting is the fact that they share five NCAA championships and 1,618 victories between them, making them two of the finest coaches of their generation.

Sources: ESPN.com , Bleacher Report,

Rick Bulow contributed to this article.

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