Pete Gillen, who coached Providence to the Elite 8 and took Xavier and Virginia to the NCAA Tournament, is a college basketball analyst on CBS Sports Network. Throughout the tournament, he appears on “NCAA March Madness 360” and “NCAA March Madness Bracket Breakdown.” As told to The Post’s Steve Serby:
I picked Illinois to win it all, but I clearly underestimated Sister Jean.
My editor said that if I don’t improve, I’ll be selling capicola at a bus stop in South Dakota.
Sister Jean gets back to the Final Four, but in the end, I’m going with chalk, in a desperate attempt to save face.
BAYLOR over VILLANOVA: The perimeter of Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell is arguably the best in college basketball. Without (injured Nova point guard) Collin Gillespie, the Bears’ full-court and half-court pressure defense sends Jay Wright home.
ARKANSAS over ORAL ROBERTS: Arkansas dominates the boards and slows down Max Abmus. No divine intervention for Oral Roberts — the church was closed for cleaning.
BAYLOR over ARKANSAS: The Bears shoot 41 percent from Waco, and Butler takes over the game. When I coached, I had shooters, but not enough makers, and that’s why I’m on Boot Hill. Indiana transfer Justin Smith stays hot for Arkansas, but doesn’t get much help.
HOUSTON over SYRACUSE: Houston is one of the best rebounding teams in the country, and the Orange struggle on the glass. Elite guard Quentin Grimes has a big game against the 2-3 zone and the Cougars’ No. 1 FG percentage defense frustrates Buddy Buckets Boeheim.
I love Steve Pikiell, but Rutgers should have beaten Houston, they played not to lose down the stretch, in my opinion.
LOYOLA CHICAGO over OREGON STATE: It’s very difficult to defend Sister Jean. She’ll finesse you with talking, she’ll finesse you with smiles, she’ll finesse you with prayers — she’s a finesse nun.
Loyola shoots over 50 percent from the field, and their offense is run through point center Cameron Krutwig. The Ramblers’ Pack Line defense frustrates star guard Ethan Thompson.
LOYOLA CHICAGO over HOUSTON: Krutwig puts on an offensive clinic inside and outside. He’s a great passer, he’s like an old-school guy that plays in the YMCA. He passes the ball like Tom Brady in his prime. He looks like a coach’s son, he’s so clever. Porter Moser has become an elite coach. The Ramblers knock down a bunch of 3s and the Cougars go cold from the perimeter.
MICHIGAN over FLORIDA STATE: Michigan upholds the honor of the Big Ten. Maybe the other eight teams are out because they beat each other up so much, I don’t know. Michigan has balanced scoring and Columbia point guard transfer Mike Smith is the glue guy who keeps the Wolverines together. The Seminoles have trouble scoring. Michigan coach Juwan Howard’s done an outstanding job, but I’d like to see him coach more and not bang on the referees quite as much.
ALABAMA over UCLA: I’m from the South — South Brooklyn, so I like southern teams. Herb Jones does it all and bounces back from a poor game versus Maryland. Johnny Juzang goes cold from the perimeter.
ALABAMA over MICHIGAN: I saw Alabama up close and personal when the Tide played at Georgia, and no team in the country gets into the lane with dribble penetration like they do. Jahvon Quinerly and Jones get to the rim and get Michigan big men Hunter Dickerson and Franz Wagner in foul trouble.
GONZAGA over CREIGHTON: The Bluejays run out of gas in a shootout. Marcus Zegarowski is a nice player, but he’s outclassed by Jalen Suggs. Drew Timme has more moves in the post than a can of worms.
OREGON over USC: A lot of variables clouded how good the Pac-12 is. Everybody was fooled. Senior guards Chris Duarte and St. John’s transfer LJ Figueroa stay hot from downtown and drill USC’s 2-3 zone. The Mobley Brothers are shut down.
GONZAGA over OREGON: Suggs, Timme and Corey Kispert — he’s a pro shooter — get Mark Few back to the Final Four.
GONZAGA over ALABAMA: Timme controls the paint on both ends, and Jones gets in foul trouble.
BAYLOR over LOYOLA CHICAGO: Baylor’s pressure defense gets Loyola out of sync. Teague is dynamite from downtown. The Bears wear Krutwig out a little bit. Sister Jean takes a nap and is late for the game, so she can’t give a pregame talk. Nobody wakes her up.
GONZAGA over BAYLOR: If I was coaching Gonzaga, I would tell them, “This is our moment, this is our time. This is gonna be a Gonzaga moment that you remember the rest of your lives, and you can tell your grandkids that they can do things they thought they couldn’t do because they weren’t good enough.”
The Zags are an offensive machine. Suggs stops deferring to his older teammates, and takes over the game. He’s like Derrick Rose was for Memphis. Kispert knocks down 3s, and the Zags cut down the nets.