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Pregame Shootaround: Are you ready for the year’s most intriguing matchup?

Mar 23, 2014, 7:00 AM EST

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SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE (All times EST) 

12:15 p.m.: No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 10 Stanford (CBS)
2:45 p.m.: No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 8 Kentucky (CBS)
5:15 p.m.: No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 6 North Carolina (CBS)
6:10 p.m.: No. 11 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Mercer (TNT)
7:10 p.m.: No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin (TBS)
7:40 p.m.: No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 6 Baylor (CBS)
8:40 p.m.: No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 8 Memphis (TNT)
9:40 p.m.: No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 8 Gonzaga (TBS)

RECAP: Catch up on Saturday’s action

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 8 Kentucky

Simply put, this may be the single most anticipated game of the season given all that is on the line here. The team chasing 40-0 against the team that was supposed to go 40-0. The thoroughbred, NBA prospects against the overlooked junkyard dogs. Wichita State vs. Kentucky. It will not be better than this.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 6 North Carolina

This matchup lost a bit of its luster when Georges Niang broke his foot on Friday night, but Iowa State is still an awfully talented team that will be tough for North Carolina to matchup with. The key for Iowa State will be to keep the Tar Heels off of the offensive glass, while North Carolina may end up playing quite a bit of zone to eliminate the mismatches that Fred Hoiberg is so good at exploiting.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin

SFA is a well-coached, disciplined and veteran team that has played together for a very long time. They were able to withstand every punch that Havoc threw at them. I’m not sure they have anyone that can matchup with Kyle Anderson, but if the Lumberjacks can control tempo, they’ll have a shot at taking down the Bruins.

THREE KEY INDIVIDUAL MATCHUPS

  • Josh Huestis vs. Andrew Wiggins: Stanford has a ton of size along their front line, but they are going to have their work cut out for them trying to slow down Andrew Wiggins as the true small forward on their roster, Anthony Brown, plays off-guard for them.
  • Baylor’s zone vs. Doug McDermott: Providence went to a 2-3 zone when they beat Creighton in the Big East tournament title game. Baylor plays a zone, and they have a ton of length in it, but that’s no guarantee it will slow down McDermott. The more important matchup may be finding a way to get to shooters like Jahenns Manigat and Ethan Wragge.
  • Aaron Gordon vs. Sam Dower: Aaron Gordon is one of the most versatile defenders in the country and he should be able to hold his own against Dower in the post, the question is going to be whether or not he can stay out of foul trouble. Arizona does not have a lot of depth on their roster.

NOTABLES

  • There are quite a few folks out there that believe that No. 1 seed Virginia was lucky to earn a top seed, and when it comes down to it, they won’t be the most talented team on the floor when they go up against No. 8 Memphis. But how will the Tigers fare against the vaunted Virginia packline defense?
  • There will be at least one more double-digit seed in the Sweet 16, and it will be the winner of No. 11 Tennessee and No. 14 Mercer. How will the Bears handle Tennessee’s offensive, I mean front line of Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon?
  1. packhawk04 - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Kentucky was supposed to be the team chasing perfection. Now thats funny. Just like they were going to go undefeated last year. And next year.

  2. shockertalk - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    I don’t understand why so many of the top recruits go to Kentucky. These recruits could learn as much at many other schools and go just as high in the first round. And NBA scouts don’t care if they win a national championship or not.

    The recruits have such high expectations put on them when they gather at Kentucky, they don’t seem to get to enjoy their brief college experience.

    By now it has been shown that Calipari is not a “wizard of a teacher”, who can keep one and two year recruits flowing through the program, continually getting to the Final Four each year.

    Wouldn’t these top recruits enjoy going to different schools, being the hero, helping the program reach heights it normally doesn’t reach, writing some history, and getting to enjoy the experience without all the “too high” expectations?

    Kansas University seems to dance a lot better on the edge of this balance between oneanddones and long term players. But maybe Calipari is just in a “down spell” and the next few years will produce Final Four teams.

    Meanwhile, fortunately for all of us fans, there is more to college basketball success than just raw talent and NBA futures. Wichita State mixes several levels of talent into a good system and adds a unique motivational base to produce consistent, enjoyable student athlete performance.

    Its a shame the selection committee didn’t put these teams in different regions so they might finally come against each other in the finals, rather than the round of 32. But perhaps they wanted the matchup so bad they weren’t willing to risk the odds that it wouldn’t happen that late in the tournament. I see that.

    It will be good.

  3. mt10425 - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Dauster is a clown.

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