Commentary

Picks for the Sweet 16

Updated: March 27, 2013, 12:36 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Aaron Craft #4 of the Ohio State BuckeyesJason Miller/Getty ImagesAaron Craft has led Ohio State into the Sweet 16. Can he take the Buckeyes all the way to Atlanta?

It is time to break down the Sweet 16, baby! Here are my picks and analysis:

MIDWEST

No. 1 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 12 Oregon Ducks

The Cardinals won their first two NCAA tournament games by a total of 57 points. Russ Smith has been sensational, with 50 points and 10 steals in the two wins. Gorgui Dieng provides shot-blocking ability while Peyton Siva is doing a great job distributing the rock.

Oregon has been solid with diaper dandy Damyean Dotson averaging 20 points per game in the tournament while Rice transfer Arsalan Kazemi has averaged 16.5 rebounds per game. The Ducks have proved they should not have been a 12-seed. Dana Altman has done a super job all season.

It will help Louisville that this game is in Indianapolis.

Pick: Louisville

No. 2 Duke Blue Devils vs. No. 3 Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans have power inside with Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne. Gary Harris had 23 points in the win over Memphis. Keith Appling is going to play despite a shoulder injury.

Duke will have to hit the trifecta to beat the Spartans. The Blue Devils did a nice job defending Doug McDermott of Creighton. Izzo versus Coach K, wow!

Pick: Michigan State

WEST

No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 6 Arizona Wildcats

The Wildcats have been impressive in wins over Belmont and Harvard. Arizona shot 55 percent in the win over the Crimson, showing great offensive efficiency. For the tournament, the Wildcats are shooting 56 percent. Mark Lyons has hit 20 of 32 field goal attempts and totaled 50 points in the two wins.

Deshaun Thomas has been dominant for the Buckeyes. Aaron Craft could be the stopper against Lyons. He also hit a key shot in the Maalox masher win over Iowa State.

Sean Miller used to work for Thad Matta; now he goes against him.

Pick: Ohio State

No. 9 Wichita State Shockers vs. No. 13 La Salle Explorers

Wow, No. 9 versus No. 13 for a spot in the Elite Eight.

The Shockers are physical and have multiple scoring options. They stunned the world and Gonzaga. Cleanthony Early has been a big factor off the bench. It also helped to hit 14 of 28 trifectas against the Zags.

La Salle beat VCU and Butler in the regular season. Are the Explorers this season's VCU, going from the First Four to the Final Four?

Ramon Galloway has been outstanding for La Salle.

Pick: Wichita State

SOUTH

No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks vs. No. 4 Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines have an outstanding backcourt in Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Now they're receiving frontcourt help from Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III, who combined to make 31-of-39 field goals in the first two games of the tournament.

Kansas got a huge game from Jeff Withey against North Carolina, but can he do it again? Travis Releford had a big game against the Tar Heels too. Where has Ben McLemore been in the tourney? Rebounding could be a factor, and Kansas was solid in that area in the last game.

Pick: Michigan

No. 3 Florida Gators vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

Before the tournament, if you told the Gators they would be playing FGCU in the Sweet 16, they would have loved it. FGCU has been the Cinderella story as the first 15-seed to advance this far. They have been loose and confident, but Florida will be ready. Mike Rosario had a big game against Minnesota, and he should come through again. Erik Murphy has been super too. The Gators defense has been tenacious.

Pick: Florida

EAST

No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers vs. No. 4 Syracuse Orange

This brings back memories of 1987, when Keith Smart hit the winning shot against the Orange. Victor Oladipo has come up with big plays all season long, and he hit the key shot against Temple. Does Syracuse have an answer inside for Cody Zeller? The zone will collapse on him, leaving open shots for Jordan Hulls.

Pick: Indiana

No. 2 Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagles have been the perfect example of survive and advance, winning two tournament games by a total of three points. Vander Blue had 29 points in the win against Butler.

Rion Brown came through big time in a hard-fought win over Illinois. Shane Larkin is one of the premier guards in America. This should be a good one.

Pick: Miami

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.