NCAA game previews

Jon Wilner's picks for Saturday's Elite Eight matchups:

SOUTH

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 11 Dayton (3:09 p.m., TBS): A daunting challenge for the Cinderella, which has eliminated the Nos. 3 and 6 seeds and was impressive from start to finish against Stanford. But the Flyers are taking a major step up in class: Florida has one of the best guards in the tournament in Scottie Wilbekin, a well-balanced attack -- four players scored in double figures against UCLA -- and enough depth to counteract Dayton's onslaught of fresh bodies. Above all, the Gators will defend Dayton better than any opponent thus far, forcing the Flyers to take shots out of their comfort zone. It's always fun to watch a double-digit seed reach the Final Four, and in this case Flyers coach Archie Miller could see his brother Sean (Arizona) there. But it's not happening. The Gators, who haven't lost since early December, are too good.

Pick: Florida.

WEST

No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 2 Wisconsin (5:49 p.m., TBS): The top seeds in the West meet in a collision of contrasting strengths: The Wildcats have one of the nation's best defenses, which was on display in the Sweet 16 against San Diego State, while the Badgers possess one of the most efficient offenses, as we saw in their demolition of Baylor (52 percent from the field, 18 assists on 26 baskets). For those reasons, the outcome could hinge on the other chess match: Arizona's offense against Wisconsin's defense. It's difficult to imagine the Cats overcoming another poor shooting game from guard Nick Johnson. Then again, it's difficult to imagine them needing to. This should be close, reasonably high scoring and -- unlike Florida-Dayton, which has blowout potential -- worth every minute.

Pick: Wisconsin.



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