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Pete Gillen, who coached Providence to the Elite Eight 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:

Shaheen Holloway was a tough, hard-nosed, gritty guy, and that’s the way the team plays. You knocked him on the ground, he might bite you in the sneaker, he wouldn’t quit, he wouldn’t give up. Fearless, and they’re in attack mode all the time, that’s what I notice about them.

Shaheen’s not one of these guys eating eggs Benedict — give me a coffee and a roll, that’s it, I’m ready to go. He communicates with the kids and they believe in him.

He’ll do a great job at Seton Hall. He’s one of their own. It’s a perfect fit for them, a former player coming home.

East
Regional semifinals

Purdue over Saint Peter’s: There is a saying it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. But Purdue is an elite team. Zach Edey, 7-foot-4 sophomore center, controls the paint offensively and defensively, and Jaden Ivey has a big game, and KC Ndefo and Doug Edert get shut down. The Peacocks will have to turn ’em over. If the ball gets into the lane, Saint Peter’s in trouble. They can do it, but the defense has to get their offense going — get the deflections, the steals, take charges and make the big guys run.

They have a puncher’s chance.

I think they’ll need 11-12 live-ball turnovers and to get points off the turnovers. They gotta make it a ratty, ugly game, and hopefully the referees let a lot go so they can grab and claw and smack people and try to knock the ball loose. Ivey’s gonna be the best guy on the court, and I don’t think Saint Peter’s has an answer to Edey and 6-10 Trevion Williams.

Everybody loves the underdog, so if they can hang around, anything can happen.

North Carolina over UCLA: The battle of the bluest of the blue bloods. Bruce Springsteen, The Boss, his most famous song is “Born to Run,” and he would love the way the Tar Heels are running and gunning, and chucking and dunking. Armando Bacot and Brady Manek score inside and outside, and the Bruins go cold from the perimeter, and point guard R.J. Davis outplays Tyger Campbell.

Regional final

Purdue over North Carolina: The Boilermakers play 10 players double-digit minutes, and Hubert Davis only uses six or seven players, so the Tar Heels get run down by Purdue’s physicality, and Ivey takes over the game. Two great rebounding teams, but Purdue wins that battle in the mud and the glue and Bloody Nose Lane.

Purdue's Zach Edey, who is 7-foot-4, goes up for a shot during the Boilermakers win over Texas.
Purdue’s Zach Edey, who is 7-foot-4, goes up for a shot during the Boilermakers win over Texas.
AP

West
Regional semifinals

Texas Tech over Duke: The Blue Devils are very young, and the Red Raiders are graybeards. The Red Raiders’ slow pace and physical style of play frustrates Paolo Banchero & Co. Terrence Shannon Jr. and Bryson Williams have big games, and this is the end of Coach K’s Hall of Fame career. I’d be happy for Coach K, but I’m rooting for the underdog in all honesty.

Gonzaga over Arkansas: The Zags score like we breathe — very easily. Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren overwhelm Arkansas down low. JD Notae scores 20 points but doesn’t get enough help.

Regional final

Gonzaga over Texas Tech: Star point guard Andrew Nembhard has a field day getting the ball down low to Timme and Holmgren.

Midwest
Regional semifinals

Kansas over Providence: The Jayhawks hurt the Friars with their transition game, Ochai Agbaji can take over the game, and Remy Martin excels again. Providence goes cold from the perimeter, and big man Nate Watson doesn’t score much inside.

Miami over Iowa State: A battle of guards. Charlie Moore, Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty who can all really score versus Iowa State’s Tyrese Hunter, Izaiah Brockington and Gabe Kalscheur. The Cyclones create turnovers on one of every four possessions, but they’re too streaky.

Regional final

Kansas over Miami: Too much size inside and too much Agbaji, with help from Martin.

Shaheen Holloway, Bennedict Mathurin and Mike Kryzewski
Shaheen Holloway, Bennedict Mathurin and Mike Kryzewski
Bill Kostroun; Getty Images (2)

South
Regional semifinals

Arizona over Houston: A juxtaposition of two styles — Arizona’s fast pace and Houston’s elite defense and offensive rebounding. The Wildcats are too big and athletic inside and Bennedict Mathurin takes over the game, and the tough, hard-nosed Cougars — like Saint Peter’s but bigger, stronger, faster — have scoring droughts.

Villanova over Michigan: Collin Gillespie is the cream in the coffee, the salt in the stew, the cream cheese on the bagel and the cinnamon in the cappuccino for Villanova. Juwan Howard can’t stop its halfcourt execution. Big man Hunter Dickinson scores 22 points, but doesn’t have enough help.

Arizona over Villanova: Tommy Lloyd has 7-foot rim protectors Christian Koloko and Oumar Ballo to shut down the paint, Villanova goes cold from the perimeter and Mathurin has a 25-point game.

Final Four

Arizona over Kansas: Agbaji can negate Mathurin, but Jayhawks big man David McCormack can’t match up inside.

Purdue over Gonzaga: Edey dominates the paint and gets Holmgren in foul trouble. Ivey scores 25 points while Timme struggles inside. Mark Few will win a championship one day. Matt Painter is a coach’s coach who learned a lot playing for Gene Keady.

Championship game

Arizona over Purdue: Mathurin is fearless and can score on all three levels. He outshines Ivey and the Wildcats’ three-man rim protectors prove the difference.

I have three of my Final Four teams left, and Rex Chapman may have announced, “RIP Pete Gillen” — but I’m still vertical.

Source: NYPOST

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