An NCAA tournament featuring very few upsets (other than the East) has provided some interesting Sweet 16 matchups.

It’s been a difficult tournament to predict, since the general feeling is that upsets will happen. However, for the most part, that hasn’t been the case, with the South, Midwest and West featuring only two surprising Sweet 16 teams (No. 11 Xavier and No. 7 Michigan).

The East is a different story, with No. 7 South Carolina and No. 8 Wisconsin carrying the flag for Cinderella (if you consider programs in power-five conferences as an underdog).

In preparation for Thursday’s games, here’s the best bets to move on to the Elite Eight.

Michigan (-1.5) vs. Oregon

At some point, Michigan’s ridiculous shooting will cease to exist. I was one of the many handicappers rejoicing on Oklahoma State’s last-second three-pointer in the first round, but during the entire game, I couldn’t believe how Michigan was unconscious behind the arc. The Wolverines shot over 50 percent from 3-point land, and followed that performance with a near 50 percent shooting performance from the field against No. 2 Louisville. It’s just clicking for the Wolverines and Oregon doesn’t seem like the team it was earlier this season. The injury bug that has hit the Ducks will show in this game and Michigan will continue its hot shooting. — Go Chalk with Michigan

West Virginia vs. Gonzaga (-3)

Everybody’s on the West Virginia train. I get it. The Mountaineers were undervalued coming into the tournament. West Virginia’s losses have all come by single digits, and only three of them have been by more than four points. The game will be close and West Virginia’s defense is not easy on opposing teams unaware of their speed. But I still can’t shake the notion that West Virginia can’t score at times. And Gonzaga is one of the best offensive units in the country. Gonzaga has serious talent and should be able to bully West Virginia down low. It will be close once again, but Gonzaga should prevail. — Go Chalk with Gonzaga

The Kansas Jayhawks are favorites to win the NCAA title. Flickr

Purdue vs. Kansas (-5.5)

I don’t trust Purdue to shoot as well as it did in the second round, and while Caleb Swanigan hasn’t been in foul trouble this tournament, I’m expecting that to happen in this game. Kansas will push the tempo and will go at the big guy from Purdue. With Swanigan in foul trouble, the Jayhawks should have their way with the Boilermakers. I’m going with the Jayhawks in a rout. — Go Chalk with Kansas

Xavier (+7.5) vs. Arizona

Xavier has shown throughout this season to be able to compete. I don’t see that changing in this game. The Wildcats should win, but Xavier’s inside presence should cause frustration for the Wildcats. Xavier took on the much bigger Seminoles and dominated inside and out. That interior play won’t be good enough to win the game, but it will keep this contest closer than the experts believe. — Go Against The Chalk with Xavier

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