NCAA game preview: Thursday's Matchups

March 22, 2012 

  • NCAA games on TV

    Thursday

    7:15 p.m. — Wisconsin vs. Syracuse (CBS-27)

    7:47 p.m. — Louisville vs. Michigan State (TBS)

    About 9:45 p.m. — Cincinnati vs. Ohio State (CBS-27)

    About 10:17 p.m. — Florida vs. Marquette (TBS)

    Friday

    7:15 p.m. — Xavier vs. Baylor (CBS-27)

    7:47 p.m. — Ohio vs. North Carolina (TBS)

    About 9:45 p.m. — Kentucky vs. Indiana (CBS-27)

    About 10:17 p.m. — North Carolina State vs. Kansas (TBS)

    Note: Times for Saturday's games will not be set until Thursday's games are complete. Times for Sunday's games will not be set until Friday's games are complete.

EAST REGIONAL

Game: Syracuse vs. Wisconsin

NO. 1 SEED SYRACUSE (33-2)

Coach: Jim Boeheim

Conference: Big East

Scoring: Team (74.5); Kris Joseph 13.7; Dion Waiters 12.7; Brandon Triche 9.1; Scoop Jardine 8.6; C.J. Fair 8.3

Rebounds: Team (35.2); Fab Melo 5.8 (ineligible); C.J. Fair 5.4; Kris Joseph 4.9

Three-pointers: Team (.345); Kris Joseph 50; Dion Waiters 40; Brandon Triche 39; James Southerland 36; Scoop Jardine 34

The skinny: The Orange, without starting center Fab Melo (eligibility issue), are in the round of 16 for the third time in four years. The Syracuse bench, led by 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Dion Waiters and 6-8 junior forward James Southerland, has outscored opposing reserves, 61-16.

NO. 4 WISCONSIN (26-9)

Coach: Bo Ryan

Conference: Big Ten

Scoring: Team (64.0); Jordan Taylor 14.7; Ryan Evans 11.1; Jared Berggren 10.3

Rebounds: Team (33.8); Ryan Evans 6.8; Mike Bruesewitz 5.2; Jared Berggren 5.0; Josh Gasser 4.2

Three-pointers: Team (.362); Jordan Taylor 60; Ben Brust 55; Jared Berggren 42; Josh Gasser 41

The skinny: The Badgers won two games at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., to advance to the round of 16. They also won twice at The Pit in 2000 and advanced to the Final Four. Wisconsin leads the nation in scoring defense (52.9).


Game: Cincinnati vs. Ohio St.

NO. 6 CINCINNATI (26-10)

Coach: Mick Cronin

Conference: Big East

Scoring: Team (68.2); Sean Kilpatrick 14.3; Dion Dixon 13.1; Yancey Gates 12.4; Cashmere Wright 10.7; Jaquon Parker 9.3

Rebounds: Team (36.2); Yancey Gates 9.1; Jaquon Parker 5.6; Sean Kilpatrick 4.7; Justin Jackson 4.2

Three-pointers: Team (.339); Sean Kilpatrick 89; Cashmere Wright 59; Dion Dixon 46

The skinny: Cincinnati reached its first regional semifinal in the NCAA Tournament since 2001. The Bearcats play Ohio State for only the second time since beating the Buckeyes in 1961 and 1962 for back-to-back national championships. The Bearcats and Ohio State last played on Dec. 16, 2006, when Ohio State won 72-50 in Indianapolis in the Wooden Tradition.

NO. 2 OHIO STATE (29-7)

Coach: Thad Matta

Conference: Big Ten

Scoring: Team (74.8); Jared Sullinger 17.4; Deshaun Thomas 15.9; William Buford 14.7

Rebounds: Team (37.1); Jared Sullinger 9.1; Deshaun Thomas 5.3; William Buford 4.8; Lenzelle Smith Jr. 4.6

Three-pointers: Team (.328); William Buford 57; Deshaun Thomas 46

The skinny: The Buckeyes are in the regional semifinals for the third straight year. Two years ago, as a No. 2 seed they lost to Tennessee in the round of 16. A year ago, they were top-seeded and ranked No. 1 when they fell to Kentucky in the regional semifinals. Ohio State plays Cincinnati in Boston, a rematch on the 50th anniversary of the Bearcats beating the Buckeyes in the national championship game for the second year in a row.


WEST REGIONAL

Game: Michigan St. vs. Louisville

NO. 1 MICHIGAN STATE (29-7)

Coach: Tom Izzo

Conference: Big Ten

Scoring: Team (72.4); Draymond Green 16.3; Keith Appling 11.5; Brando Wood 8.6; Branden Dawson 8.4.

Rebounds: Team (38.0); Draymond Green 10.5; Branden Dawson 4.5; Adreian Payne 4.3.

Three-pointers: Team (.365); Draymond Green 51; Brandon Wood 45.

The skinny: The Spartans are in the round of 16 for the 10th time in 15 years. Only Duke, with two more appearances, has won at least two games in NCAA Tournaments more often since 1998. Tom Izzo is 7-2 in the round of 16. Since the field expanded in 1985, Draymond Green has more combined points (40), rebounds (20) and assists (16) than any other player in his first two games of an NCAA tournament.

NO. 4 LOUISVILLE (28-9)

Coach: Rick Pitino

Conference: Big East

Scoring: Team (68.6); Kyle Kuric 13.0; Russ Smith 11.4; Chris Smith 9.8; Gorgui Dieng 9.3; Peyton Siva 9.2; Chane Behanan 9.1

Rebounds: Team (37.9); Gorgui Dieng 9.1; Chane Behanan 7.4; Kyle Kuric 4.3

Three-pointers: Team (.313); Kyle Kuric 72; Chris Smith 62; Russ Smith 38

The skinny: Louisville came into the tournament off a surprising run to the Big East Tournament title and continued its winning ways. The Cardinals were ousted in the opening round of the tournament the past two years. They returned to the round of 16 for the first time since 2009. That year ended with a 64-52 loss in the Midwest Regional finals to the Spartans.


Game: Marquette vs. Florida

NO. 3 MARQUETTE (27-7)

Coach: Buzz Williams

Conference: Big East

Scoring: Team (75.9); Darius Johnson-Odom 18.5; Jae Crowder 17.6; Davante Gardner 9.6; Vander Blue 8.5

Rebounds: Team (36.2); Jae Crowder 8.4; Davante Gardner 5.4; Vander Blue 4.4; Jamil Wilson 4.1

Three-pointers: Team (.339); Darius Johnson-Odom 75; Jae Crowder 60

The skinny: Jae Crowder, the Big East Player of the Year, continues to shine with 25 points and 16 rebounds against BYU in the second round and 17 points and 13 rebounds against Murray State. The Golden Eagles also made it to the regional semifinals last year before getting routed by North Carolina.

NO. 7 FLORIDA (25-10)

Coach: Billy Donovan

Conference: Southeastern

Scoring: Team (76.3); Kenny Boynton 16.1; Bradley Beal 14.6; Erving Walker 12.1; Erik Murphy 10.5; Patrick Young 10.3

Rebounds: Team (35.6); Bradley Beal 6.7; Patric Young 6.4; Will Yeguete 6.3; Erik Murphy 4.3

Three-pointers: Team (.383); Kenny Boynton 107; Erving Walker 66; Bradley Beal 58; Erik Murphy 56; Mike Rosario 33.

The skinny: Florida limped into the NCAA Tournament, losing four of its last five games. A fresh start seemed to work as the Gators made it to the regional semifinals for the sixth time in 12 NCAA Tournament appearances under Coach Billy Donovan. They did it in easy fashion with a 71-45 win over Virginia and an 84-50 rout over Norfolk State.

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