Previews for Friday’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 games
03/28/2013 6:56 PM
05/20/2014 10:41 AM
At Arlington, Texas
No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 1 Kansas, 6:37 p.m. (TBS)
• Michigan has the edge in backcourt production, especially if Ben McLemore stays cold. Kansas has an experience advantage. It might come down to how well Wolverines post Mitch McGary, who had a monster game against VCU, matches up with the Jayhawks’ Jeff Withey. Withey is averaging 16.5 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks in the NCAA Tournament.
No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 3 Florida, 9:07 p.m. (TBS)
• Is Florida Gulf Coast still walking on sunshine? The Eagles are the tournament’s best story and the nation will learn tonight if the Eagles are content with two tournament victories. It’s a style contrast. The Eagles are soaring on offense, averaging 79.5 points with Bernard Thompson (23.0) and Sherwood Brown (20.5) leading the way. Florida clamps down on the defensive end. The Gators have reached the regional final each of the past two years, and this should be a third.
Florida 70-57MIDWEST REGION
No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 1 Louisville, 6:15 p.m. (CBS)
• The Cardinals take on these odd Ducks, who impressively battled their way into the Sweet 16 with victories over Oklahoma State and Saint Louis. Both of Louisville’s NCAA opponents have committed season highs in turnovers. “We’re going to make mistakes, we just have to play through the mistakes,” said Ducks coach Dana Altman, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time in his career. Oregon won the first NCAA title, and the Ducks brought the trophy with them. Louisville is the favorite to hope up this year’s hardware.
No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke, 8:45 p.m. (CBS)
• Tom Izzo against Mike Krzyzewski is always a treat. Michigan State forward Adreian Payne may be the key. “He’s really expanded his game,” Duke’s Ryan Kelly said. “He can knock down shots out to the three-point line. For Duke, Kelly’s return has opened the game for Mason Plumlee, who averages 17.2 points and 10 rebounds. Payne and Derrick Nix will slug it out against Plumlee and Kelly. The Blue Devils didn’t shoot it well against Creighton, but they turned in their best defensive performance of the year, holding the nation’s second-best shooting team to 30.2 percent.
•Pick: Duke 56-53