Jan 19, 2013, 9:39 AM EDT
Game of the Day: No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 6 Syracuse (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
It all begins at the point guard spot for these two teams. Peyton Siva and Michael Carter-Williams both change the complexions of their team’s respective offense when they are on the floor. Siva is the backcourt complement to the emerging Russ Smith and the senior leader the Cardinals need, while Carter-Williams is one of the best facilitators in the country and a force with his passing skills with his long 6-6 frame.
Syracuse will be hurt by the absence of forward James Southerland, who is academically ineligible. As one of the team’s best three-point shooters, the Orange become more limited on the perimeter without him. Louisville will likely force Carter-Williams to score the basketball, as Temple did in its upset victory over the Orange earlier this season. This will set up Louisville center Gorgui Dieng on the interior, one of the better shot-blockers in the country.
Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 7 Arizona (-6.5) against Arizona State (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net National)
Freshman point guard Jahii Carson has reinvigorated the Arizona State offense this season and he’ll be matched up in the backcourt with the transfer who has been one of the senior leaders on an otherwise young Arizona team, Mark Lyons. Lyons will lead the young Wildcats on the road to a place where composure will be key. Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski is one of the best shot-blockers in the conference and the country, averaging 4.5 blocks per game, and he will test the young Arizona frontcourt of Grant Jerrett, Kaleb Tarczewski, and Brandon Ashley.
Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: UNLV vs. Colorado State (7:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
This might not be a “mid-major” matchup in the purest sense, but UNLV-Colorado State is without a doubt the non-BCS matchup of the day. The Mountain West is shaping up to be one of the toughest conferences in the country and the pairings on the interior in this one show why. UNLV’s Anthony Bennett has been one of the most impressive freshman all season, while transfer Khem Birch came in mid-season for the Rebels and has added depth and bulk in the paint. Add those two to already established forward Mike Moser, and the Rebels have one of the best front lines in the conference.
But Colorado State will look to counter that Saturday with some size of their own. Pierce Hornung and Colton Iverson combine to average over 19 rebounds per game and will look to give the Rams second-chance opportunities off offensive rebounds. If Colorado State can force UNLV into bad shots, as the Rebels have a tendency to do, they’ll be in a good spot for a solid conference win Saturday.
Five Things to Watch For
1) Gonzaga travels to Butler for perhaps the best non-conference matchup of Saturday’s loaded slate. The Bulldogs will miss having Rotnei Clarke in the lineup, but big man Andrew Smith will have to do all he can to limit the Zags’ versatile seven-footer Kelly Olynyk.
2) With Kentucky continuing to gather itself, it looks more and more like the SEC will come down to two teams who play Saturday, Florida and Missouri. Florida will need to battle the nation’s No. 1 rebounding team to keep it close on the backboards, but the matchup in the backcourt may be most interesting–Phil Pressey vs. Kenny Boynton. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they will be missing one of Pressey’s favorite targets, Laurence Bowers.
3) Ohio State took down the No. 2 team in the country on Sunday, but it showed one clear weakness. Deshaun Thomas is the Buckeyes’ only go-to scorer in crunch time. This team is built around defense and Ohio State needs to thrive by playing to its strength. They face Michigan State.
4) UCLA has won 10 straight games since falling to San Diego State on Dec. 1. They face an Oregon team that proved its worth with a win over then-undefeated Arizona earlier in the season.
5) Just two weeks ago, Wyoming stood as one of the nation’s undefeated teams. Now they’ve suffered losses to Fresno State and Boise State and are without the services of leading scorer Luke Martinez after his involvement in a bar fight. They face no easy task Saturday against No. 16 San Diego State.
The Top 25
No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 6 Syracuse (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 4 Kansas vs. Texas (2:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
No. 7 Arizona vs. Arizona State (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net National)
No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 13 Butler (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 10 Florida vs. No. 17 Missouri (2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 18 Michigan State (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 12 Creighton vs. Wichita State (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 15 San Diego State vs. Wyoming (7:30 p.m. ET)
No. 16 Kansas State vs. Oklahoma (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
No. 20 Notre Dame vs. Rutgers (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
No. 21 Oregon vs. No. 24 UCLA (4:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth vs. Duquesne (7:00 p.m. ET)
No. 25 Marquette vs. Cincinnati (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Other Notable Games
Maryland vs. North Carolina (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Connecticut vs. Pittsburgh (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Harvard vs. Memphis (12:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net National)
Arkansas vs. Ole Miss (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
West Virginia vs. Purdue (2:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
Columbia vs. Cornell (3:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
Florida State vs. Virginia (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Boise State vs. Air Force (4:00 p.m. ET, ROOT SPORTS)
California vs. Stanford (4:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net National)
George Mason vs. Hofstra (5:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
Georgetown vs. South Florida (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Texas A&M vs. Alabama (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
UNLV vs. Colorado State (7:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
Kentucky vs. Auburn (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Saint Mary’s vs. Portland (10:30 p.m. ET, ROOT SPORTS)
Mar 31, 2015, 1:55 PM EDT
Teams that won the first meeting have won three of the four Final Four/title game rematches, with Duke (1990-91) being the lone exception.
Mar 31, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
Mickey is the second player from LSU to declare this month.
Mar 31, 2015, 1:19 PM EDT
This is nasty.
Mar 31, 2015, 12:09 PM EDT
Bobby Knight would probably not approve of that.
Mar 31, 2015, 11:42 AM EDT
My advice: Hedge that bet, sir!
Mar 31, 2015, 10:01 AM EDT
Lewis will have some well known suitors this offseason.
Mar 31, 2015, 9:57 AM EDT
Barnes spent the last 17 seasons at Texas.
Mar 30, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT
UConn, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Maryland make up the 2015 women’s Final Four.
Mar 30, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT
Some great names highlight this list.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:24 PM EDT
Williams was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Tigers this season.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Nebraska forward Walter Pitchford is giving up basketball for his senior season.
Mar 30, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Xavier is losing a reserve guard to transfer.
Mar 30, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT
Utah Valley has found its new head coach.
Mar 30, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
Chris Mullin will get a chance to restore glory at St. John’s.
Mar 30, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT
George Mason makes a move to hire a new head coach.
Mar 30, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
Who were the best players in the second-weekend of the NCAA tournament?
Mar 30, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
Cincinnati gets Mick Cronin back.
Mar 30, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT
Harrell and Rozier were both expected to head to the NBA.
Mar 30, 2015, 3:07 PM EDT
Izzo became the first coach to lead three teams seeded No. 5 or lower to the Final Four.
Mar 30, 2015, 2:41 PM EDT
Lee will be a priority target during the offseason.
- Frank Kaminsky, Jahlil Okafor highlight five Wooden Award finalists 3
- 2015 NCAA Tournament All-Second Weekend Team 2
- While a major question remains unanswered, No. 4 North Carolina can be special in 2015-16 3
- Tournament darling R.J. Hunter is heading to the NBA 3
- Texas freshman Myles Turner declares for the NBA Draft 6
- The Final Four is set, and it’s going to be insane 24
- No. 7 Michigan State reaches the Final Four for the seventh time under Izzo 15
- Andrew Harrison’s late free throws send No. 1 Kentucky to the Final Four (88)
- Kentucky responds to Daxter Miles Jr.’s pregame comments (30)
- Updated tournament records: Big Ten teams make up half of Final Four (27)
- The Final Four is set, and it’s going to be insane (24)
- West Virginia freshman on Kentucky: ‘They’re going to be 36-1′ (21)