michael-garcia - March 23, 2012
Seemingly lost in all the Manning/Tebow/Saints NFL news of the last few days is that the NCAA Tournament is still going on. The Sweet Sixteen gets underway today, with four great games.
East Regional - Games in Boston - airing on CBS
#1 Syracuse vs. #4 Wisconsin
Syracuse has played well after losing center Fab Melo due to eligibility issues. Wisconsin loves to play a slow down game with a stifling defense. Syracuse will try to force the tempo with their tough zone and force turnovers to get out in transition. Expect a hard fought defensive battle. Don't be surprised if Syracuse becomes the first 1 seed to get knocked out of the tourney.
#2 Ohio State vs. #6 Cincinnati
These in-state schools would seem to be big time rivals, but they rarely ever play each other. This will only be their 4th meeting in the last 50 years. The state of Ohio has four teams in the Sweet Sixteen, the first time one state has done that. Expect a physical game with heightened intensity. Ohio State should advance.
West Regional - Games in Phoenix - airing on TBS
#1 Michigan State vs. #4 Louisville
Two of college basketball's legendary coaches, Tom Izzo and Rick Pitino, lead their teams into this battle. MSU's Draymond Green is playing in a class by himself in the tournament, having already notched a triple double. Unless Louisville figures out a way to slow him down, which nobody seems to be able to do, Michigan State should advance. Expect a close, low scoring game.
#3 Marquette vs. #7 Florida
Unlike the other three games of the day, this one should be pretty high scoring. Both teams like to get up and down the court and shoot the three. Marquette has been a nice story, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Florida pull off this upset. Coach Billy Donovan has been here before, winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, and will get the most out of his team tonight. Florida should move on.
Article by Eric Gray