NCAA Tournament

Today’s NCAA men’s regional semifinals

EAST REGION At Boston • No. 1 seed Syracuse (33-2) vs. No. 4 Wisconsin (26-9),

6:15 p.m. (CBS)

The Badgers’ swing offenses have been solid against zone defenses, but the Orange plays the most effective zone in the nation. Wisconsin leads the nation in scoring defense (52.9) and this one should be low-scoring. The point-guard matchup is a terrific one between Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor and Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine. Plenty was made of the Orange’s vulnerability with the loss of center Fab Melo, but a solid victory over Kansas State in the third round ended doubts.

Prediction

: Syracuse 60-57

• No. 2 Ohio State (29-7) vs. No. 6 Cincinnati (26-10),

8:45 p.m. (CBS)

The Bearcats beat Ohio State for the 1961 NCAA title at Municipal Auditorium because, Bearcats coach Ed Jucker believed, his team was more relaxed. They had watched the third-place game go into four overtimes from the stands, while the Buckeyes of Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek and Bob Knight sat in a small locker room. The Buckeyes figure to be loose tonight. They’ll look to push the pace against a Cincinnati team that slowed Texas and Florida State. A great interior battle should develop between the Buckeyes’ Jared Sullinger and Cincy’s Yancy Gates.

Prediction

: Ohio State 70-65

WEST REGION At Phoenix • No. 1 seed Michigan State (29-7) vs. No. 4 Louisville (28-9),

6:47 p.m. (TBS)

The Spartans’ Draymond Green does it all, as his triple-double in the second-round victory over LIU-Brooklyn attests. This isn’t a typical Rick Pitino bombs-away Louisville team. The Cardinals have gotten it done on defense and with a solid point guard in Peyton Siva, who goes against a top defender in Keith Appling. As they were against Saint Louis in the third round, look for the Spartans to be a little better down the stretch.

Prediction

: Michigan State 72-68

• No. 3 Marquette (27-7) vs. No. 7 Florida (25-10),

9:17 p.m. (TBS)

The Gators have posted two huge victory margins (Virginia, Norfolk State) but now must play a team outside the commonwealth. Marquette is at a different level, especially on defense. Florida won’t get as many open looks from beyond the arc. The Golden Eagles also have been impressive in the tournament with victories over Brigham Young and Murray State. Post man Jae Crowder, who is averaging 21.5 in the tournament, is a tough matchup and ultimately the difference-maker for Marquette.

Prediction
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