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Basketball

Sweet Sixteen Preview

todayMarch 24, 2022 2

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Sweet Sixteen Preview

By: Emmet Kenney

4 Arkansas vs 1 Gonzaga:
The first matchup of the Sweet Sixteen brings us an SEC vs WCC showdown. The Razorbacks are led by senior guard JD Notae who brings in 18.4 points per game. The Bulldogs are led by senior Drew Timme and freshman sensation Chet Holmgren to create a lethal duo. The Bulldogs are 9.5 point favorites for this matchup and the key for Arkansas to pull the upset is if they can shut down Drew Timme. In Gonzaga’s losses and in the games they had not played the greatest the most common factor was shutting down Timme and making the rest of the team step up. If the hogs can do that they are capable of pulling the upset, if not, Gonzaga could win this game by double digits.
11 Michigan vs 2 Villanova:
Michigan came into this tournament as a surprise to many, but they have put on a run to prove that they belong here and the key has been taking advantage of their size inside. Hunter Dickinson has been great for the Wolverines and would need another great performance against an experienced Villanova team led by Collin Gillespie. The Wildcats are not the most flashy team in the tournament, but they methodically play sound basketball to grow their lead and it is hard to come back against this team. Michigan comes in as a 5 point underdog and the key to success for them is to slow the game down and make it a Big Ten style of game and try to grind out a low-scoring win.
3 Texas Tech vs 2 Duke:
This is quite possibly the most intriguing matchup of the Sweet Sixteen as you have the experienced, defensive-minded team in Texas Tech versus the high-flying freshmen and sophomores from Duke. The team that wins this game will be the one that is able to establish the tempo as the two opposite styles will look to control the game in their own ways. Texas Tech wins if they can force the young Duke team to play methodical offense and earn their points instead of running up and down the court all game.
5 Houston vs 1 Arizona:
Another great Sweet Sixteen matchup between two similar-style teams. Both teams love offense and moving up and down the court. Houston comes into this looking like possibly the best team in the tournament so far with double-digit victories in their first two rounds, whereas the Wildcats had to sweat out an overtime victory against TCU to get to the Sweet Sixteen. The key to this one is can the stout Houston defense keep the explosive Arizona offense in check the whole game and if they can the Cougars could be finding themselves in their second straight Elite Eight.
15 Saint Peter’s vs 3 Purdue:
Quite possibly the biggest story of March Madness so far is the cinderella story of Saint Peter’s. The 15 seeded Peacocks upset Kentucky and Murray State to get to this point. The key to this game is to control the bigs from Purdue. Purdue likes to work inside out and if the Peacocks can shut down Zach Eady and Trevion Williams they have a shot to be the first 15 seed to make the Elite Eight.
4 Providence vs 1 Kansas:
These are two very experienced teams that have used their experience to be able to succeed in close games. Not a lot of people expected Providence to make it this far for how their season ended, but this is a really good team the Friars have. They do not have one dominant player, instead, they spread the floor and share the ball. This could be one that is won on the defensive side as both teams play really good defense and if Providence can contain Ochai Agbaji and force the rest of the team to make plays they could keep this one really close and pull the upset.
8 North Carolina vs 4 UCLA:
A battle of two of college basketball’s blue bloods is a pleasant surprise for most. North Carolina has been very surprising in this tournament with a blowout victory over Marquette in the First Round and losing a 25 point lead against Baylor, but holding on in overtime for the victory. The scary part for North Carolina is everyone in UCLA’s starting lineup can take over a game. It is a hard team to defend against, but the Tar Heels are no slouch when it comes to offense. North Carolina does not play the best defense so they will need to score a lot of points if they want to keep their special run alive against the Bruins.
11 Iowa State vs 10 Miami:
This matchup is possibly the least expected Sweet Sixteen matchup of the group as both double-digit seeds had some work to do to get to this point. Iowa State has done it with defense so far because, in both of their tournament games, neither team has scored more than 60 points. That is un=heard of in today’s college basketball. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, have been very successful on the offensive side, especially in their upset victory against Auburn. The key for this one is similar to the Texas Tech and Duke matchup and it is which team controls the tempo. Can the Hurricanes speed up the Cyclones or does Iowa State slow down Miami? I think Miami is the better team in this game, but it could easily end up being an Iowa State victory, either way, both teams look to keep their magical runs going.

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March Madness Week 1 Recap By: Emmet Kenney March Madness returned with a bang this past weekend. It was a four-day stretch filled with upsets, overtime, and some crazy finishes. The biggest story that came out of the 1st weekend is the fact that the 15 seeded St. Peter’s Peacocks stunned both 2 seed Kentucky and 7 seed Murray State to be the 3rd 15 seed to make the sweet sixteen. Another stunning upset that people did not see happening more »

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