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Friday's NCAA tournament games

A look at the 16 games that complete the second round of regional play.

March 17, 2011|From wire reports
  • Coach Thad Matta and forward Jared Sullinger of top-seeded Ohio State chat during a practice Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Coach Thad Matta and forward Jared Sullinger of top-seeded Ohio State chat… (Rick Osentoski / US Presswire )

East Regional

(All times PDT)

No. 8 George Mason (26-6) vs. No. 9 Villanova (21-11), 11 a.m., Cleveland, TNT: Villanova stumbles into the tournament having lost five in a row and nine of 13. Can the Wildcats regain their footing, or do they just want this season to be over? George Mason has a short bench and Villanova has the ability to wear a team down defensively. If, that is, the Wildcats still care.

No. 1 Ohio State (32-2) vs. No. 16 UT San Antonio (20-13), 1:30 p.m., Cleveland, TNT: UTSA won the play-in game, so this NCAA trip has been a positive. The Roadrunners aren't going to win this, though it's a chance for talented guard Devin Gibson to gain some national attention.

2011 NCAA men's tournament interactive bracket

No. 2 North Carolina (26-7) vs. No. 15 Long Island (27-5), 4: 15 p.m., Charlotte, Ch. 2: Both teams want a fast pace, but can Long Island keep up with Carolina's elite athletes? LIU isn't big, which means the Tar Heels' front court should dominate. LIU can hit the three-pointer, though, and that is the Blackbirds' only chance to stay close.

No. 6 Xavier (24-7) vs. No. 11 Marquette (20-14), 4:15 p.m., Cleveland, TruTV: Xavier guard Tu Holloway will be the best player on the floor. The question is whether Marquette's Jimmy Butler, Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder can do enough to overcome Holloway.

No. 7 Washington (23-10) vs. No. 10 Georgia (21-11), 6:45 p.m., Charlotte, Ch. 2: Washington wants to run and Georgia wants to control the tempo. One issue for Georgia is its perimeter shooting; other than Dustin Ware, the Bulldogs don't have a consistent three-point threat. Washington is going to have trouble controlling Georgia forward Trey Thompkins, but Georgia is going to have trouble controlling Washington guard Isaiah Thomas.

No. 3 Syracuse (26-7) vs. No. 14 Indiana State (20-13), 6:45 p.m., Cleveland, TruTV: Indiana State has one player, guard Dwayne Lathan, who averages in double figures. Indiana State wins with sticky, aggressive defense. But the Sycamores aren't that big, and Orange forward Rick Jackson, the only player in the Big East who averages a double-double, should have a big day.

Southwest Regional

No. 2 Notre Dame (26-6) vs. No. 15 Akron (23-12), 10:30 a.m., Chicago, TBS: Don't be fooled by Akron's somewhat gaudy win total. The Zips played just one team that made the NCAA field and lost by 35 to Temple.

No. 7 Texas A&M (24-8) vs. No. 10 Florida State (21-10), 1 p.m., Chicago, TBS: Neither team is that good offensively, but both can play lockdown defense. A key is whether Florida State forward Chris Singleton plays; he broke his foot Feb. 12 and hasn't played since.

No. 1 Kansas (32-2) vs. No. 16 Boston U. (21-13), 3:45 p.m., Tulsa, Okla., TBS: Boston swingman John Holland is one of the best low-major players in the nation. He averages 19.2 points, but if he is stymied, this is going to get ugly.

No. 3 Purdue (25-7) vs. No. 14 St. Peter's (20-13), 4:15 p.m., Chicago, TNT: St. Peter's four key players are seniors, but though the Peacocks are experienced, they shouldn't be able to hang with the Boilermakers. Purdue center JaJuan Johnson should have his way inside.

No. 8 Nevada Las Vegas (24-8) vs. No. 9 Illinois (19-13), 6:15 p.m., Tulsa, Okla., TBS: Illinois has underachieved this season, but still has the talent to make some NCAA noise. UNLV forces almost 17 turnovers per game, and the Illini need to take care of the ball or the Runnin' Rebels will blitz them in transition.

No. 6 Georgetown (21-10) vs. No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth (24-11), 6:45 p.m., Chicago, TNT: VCU pulled away late to beat USC, and the Rams' athleticism and three-point ability is going to make them a tough opponent for Georgetown. The Hoyas expect star guard Chris Wright to play; he broke his left hand Feb. 23, and the Hoyas were 0-4 without him.

West Regional

No. 4 Texas (27-7) vs. No. 13 Oakland (25-9), 9:15 a.m., Tulsa, Okla., Ch. 2: Oakland is a trendy pick to pull the upset because of good three-point shooting (37.9%) and the presence of senior center Keith Benson (18.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 blocks). But the Golden Grizzlies don't play good defense, which is a dangerous trait against Texas. You have to figure Texas swingman Jordan Hamilton has watched some tape and can't wait to get onto the floor.

No. 8 Michigan (20-13) vs. No. 9 Tennessee (19-14), 9:30 a.m., Charlotte, TruTV: A first-round NCAA tournament game with 27 combined losses. That's like a bowl game with two 6-6 teams. Michigan played well down the stretch, while the Volunteers did not. Tennessee can play lockdown defense when the mood strikes, and a big key for the Vols is keeping Wolverines guard Darius Morris under control.

No. 5 Arizona (27-7) vs. No. 12 Memphis (25-9), 11:45 a.m., Tulsa, Okla., Ch. 2: Memphis Coach Josh Pastner is a former Arizona player and assistant, and at one time, he was seen as the future Wildcats coach. Instead, he was swept out in the aftermath of the Lute Olson saga. Memphis starts four freshmen, and how the youngsters react to tournament pressure will determine whether this game is close. Memphis will have trouble with Arizona's Derrick Williams.

No. 1 Duke (30-4) vs. No. 16 Hampton (24-8), noon, Charlotte, TruTV: Kyrie Irving will return for the Blue Devils, but he won't start. Guards Kwame Morgan and Darrion Pellum have combined to take more than half of Hampton's field-goal attempts.

--Capsules by Rivals.com

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