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Today's Games

March 29, 2009|Brentley Romine

Here's a look at today's NCAA tournament regional championship games. Times are Pacific:

Midwest Regional

No. 2 Michigan State (29-6) vs. No. 1 Louisville (31-5), 11:15 a.m.: Louisville enters the matchup on a 13-game winning streak after cruising to a 103-64 victory over Arizona on Friday in the Sweet 16, its largest tournament win in school history. Senior forward Terrence Williams is an integral part, averaging 17 points a game. Including Williams, five Louisville players scored in double-digits against the Wildcats to help the Cardinals move to 100-0 when scoring 100 or more points in a game. But 100 points against a Tom Izzo team is no easy task. Michigan State hasn't given up triple-digits this season and is 13-2 all-time during the second week of the tournament under Izzo, who has led Michigan State to an 8-0 record in a No. 2 seeding. The Spartans, led by Kalin Lucas (14.7 ppg) and Raymar Morgan (10.5 ppg), rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to defeat Kansas, 67-62, Friday. But to advance to the Final Four, each of these teams will need to get solid play from its bench. Michigan State's bench outscored Kansas', 23-7, and Louisville had a 37-9 advantage over Arizona.


South Regional

No. 2 Oklahoma (30-5) vs. No. 1 North Carolina (31-4), 2 p.m.: In one of the best individual matchups of the tournament, Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, the projected top pick in the 2009 NBA draft , will go against Tyler Hansbrough, who is one of the most decorated players in college basketball history. Griffin has 29 double-doubles this season, including a 30-point, 14-rebound performance in a Sweet 16 win over Syracuse on Friday. Griffin has three double-doubles in the tournament. It will take a collective defensive effort from the Tar Heels to limit his productivity. If North Carolina can control Griffin, it will be a long night for the Sooners, who have only one other player who averages double-digits in scoring. Hansbrough is North Carolina's best inside threat, but the success of the Tar Heels may hinge on the health of point guard Ty Lawson. Lawson missed the opener against Radford but returned to average 21 points and 7.5 assists in wins over Louisiana State and Gonzaga. If Lawson is good to go, which he should be, and Hansbrough stays out of foul trouble, the Tar Heels should provide Coach Roy Williams with his sixth Final Four appearance.

-- Brentley Romine,

Orlando Sentinel

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