The round of 32 is here and every team has fought and earned their way to have a chance to go to the Sweet 16 (except for UCLA). If you thought that the round of 64 was crazy, just wait the madness hasn’t even reached its peak. I will be previewing the marquee game of the day and also make brief predictions on the rest of the games. Today’s Matchup of the day is 6 seeded Xavier Musketeers vs the 14 seeded Georgia State Panthers.
Keys for Xavier:
In just their second year in the Big East ,the Musketeers have made a name for themselves after moving out of the A-10. What really stands out about this team is their efficiency on the defensive side of the court. They shut down a hot Ole Miss team who were coming off a 94 point game. The focal point of the game for Xavier has to be their monster in the paint Matt Stainbrook . He is the heart and soul of this Xavier team as well as their leading scorer and rebounder. Georgia State struggles in the post so look for Stainbrook to exploit that weakness.
Keys for Georgia State:
After Georgia State’s emotional upset vs 3 seeded Baylor, the Panthers are ready to try on the glass slipper. The Panthers beat the Bears without their starting point guard who is their leading scorer. This is a very dangerous team that could make an Elite 8 run. Three point shooting is a huge factor, the Panthers are lights out from three. Also this team has some tourney experience. The last time Kevin Ware was in March Madness, he won the National Championship with Louisville after suffering his devastating injury. Ryan Harrow is the key for Ron Hunter’s Panthers to pull off another upset. The Kentucky transfer is arguably the best player on this team and having him back in the picture just makes this hungry GSU team even scarier.
Prediction: I believe the Panthers will be able to move the ball around the stingy Musketeer defense and move on to the Sweet 16. The clock will not strike midnight for Ron Hunter and Georgia State. Georgia State 67 Xavier 61
(14) UAB 74 vs (11 )UCLA 60
(1) Kentucky 84 vs (8) Cincinnati 69
(2 ) Arizona 75 vs (10) Ohio State 72
(1) Villanova 61 vs (8) NC State 60
(4) Georgetown 65 vs (5) Utah 60
(4) North Carolina 76 vs (5) Arkansas 72
(3) Notre Dame 68 vs (6) Butler 62
It is the last college basketball game of the year, the National Championship. Today’s Match Up of the Day is the Michigan Wolverines vs the Louisville Cardinals. This game is going to be amazing… I am so excited I’m shaking! This game is going to be a match up of two completely different teams. Louisville, who is great on defense and Michigan, who is outstanding on offense. Both of these teams have been doubted throughout the year but have proved the haters wrong, and they have truly risen to the occasion.
Michigan’s Keys: If Michigan wants to finally cut down the nets and become National Champions, Player of the Year Trey Burke needs to show up and not play like he did against Syracuse. When they played Syracuse he only made one field goal. If he does that tonight it might be the Cards celebrating at the end of the game. Michigan does have experience with a full court press when they played VCU in the round of 32. In that game Burke easily broke through and hit a man for a open jumper. Burke has to have a big game for the Wolverines. We know he is a big time player and he loves the spot light so he has to shine in the big moment. Also Michigan needs to get off to a good start, get ahead, and most importantly don’t let Louisville come back once they take that lead. Louisville did it against Syracuse in the Big East Championship and they did it against the Shockers in the Final Four. If that happens Louisville would take the momentum, suck the life out of Michigan, and probably run away with the game. If Michigan wants to be the kings of college hoops, it is critical that they don’t let Louisville comeback.
Louisville: If Louisville wants to win it all, Gorgui Dieng has to be a factor. He has to contain Mitch McGary who has been great this Tournament. Dieng can block shots with ease and McGary is very physical, so it will be a challenge. Also Kevin Ware is a big factor. Im sure most of us saw his gruesome injury vs Duke, all of the players want to win it for Kevin. He can be a big inspiration as long as the players keep their emotions in check.
Prediction: This game is going to be so close it will probably come down to the last possession. This is what I have in my bracket. I think both these teams are very good but I trust Burke and I think he is going to win it with a buzzer beater. I have Michigan becoming the 2013 NCAA basketball Champs.