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Every Single Damn Thing You Need To Know About Tonight's Elite Eight Games

Welcome on back. Feels weird having games on a Monday, but whatever. Let's get weird. It sums up this Tournament pretty well right now. If you're in Illinois, Michigan or Pennsylvania you better be downloading the Barstool Sportsbook. These blogs will keep going on every day we have games because it's March and this is all that matters right now. Let's get right into it. 

Schedule

Bracket

Storylines + Game Previews

1. Are we really going to get Oregon State in the Final Four - The first ridiculous run gets us started tonight in Oregon State vs Houston. It's actually an interesting matchup because of what we saw from Houston against Syracuse's zone. Oregon State will run a 1-2-2 press, a morphing zone and man. Tinkle does a great job mixing it up and while Houston attacked Syracuse's zone correctly there are two main things to think about here. 1) They did have cold streaks, especially when Grimes was on the floor. Even then it's not like they shot the ball great. 2) They had a week to prepare for Syracuse, this is a quick turnaround. Yes they prepped and I like Sampson a lot, but this is a two day turnaround. Always tougher to do than the first game of the weekend. Now that said Houston is AWESOME defensively. They take away the PnR. They might be the best team in the country at closing out shooters. The key is going to be limiting what Ethan Thompson does here for Oregon State. He killed Loyola off the bounce and breaking down the gap defense. I expect to see Jarreau on Thompson with his size and it's going to be key to see how the game is called. Jarreau was really able to bother Buddy Boeheim with a faceguard and then using his size. It'll be a different look from Oregon State though. They like to attack through the middle off the bounce and go from there. They have a few guys to break down the defense.

2. What happens when Arkansas gets down by 10 here - One of the weirdest trends so far has been Arkansas getting down double digits in the first half and then having to come back. The moment they tend to get down they go and pick up press and start to play faster. More importantly they stop jacking long 2s early in the shot clock and attack. We saw against Oral Roberts they attacked Max Abmas using Jalen Tate's size to get into the post against him. A little tougher to do against Baylor's guards, who are the best in the country. Shit, just look what Baylor did in the second half against Villanova. They got up into Nova's guards forcing them to start offense at halfcourt. Mitchell needs to get more respect. The guy might be the best defender in the country, he can go get 20 and is going to be a top-20 pick in the NBA Draft. Now all that said, Baylor has kinda shot like shit this Tournament. They were the best shooting team in the Tournament yet no one has really gotten going - Jared Butler especially. Arkansas will trap and mix defenses to try and get the ball out of guards hands. That typically works except Baylor typically runs a minimum of 3 guard lineup, we've seen them go 4 even. So here's where it's worrisome for Arkansas. If they get down 10 early again, Butler's defense knows how to smell blood and smother a team. 

Picks

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Oregon State +8

Baylor -7.5

Over 148 Baylor/Arkansas