Stanford and Dayton, which lower seed will emerge?
Wisconsin and Baylor, this game promises to be low scoring and very bruising in the paint. Will more than 65 fouls be called, paying brief homage to Oklahoma State and Gonzaga’s fouling exhibition, I could have watched paint dry instead of seeing that very slow screen crawl saying that the Iowa State/North Carolina game would be starting on TruTV…oops, that I typed from a prior blog. My bad.
Moving on with Thursday’s other matchups:
Florida/UCLA, rematch of the 2006 title game at the old Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis. I like Florida just like I did then–the Gators are a total team to deal with. And unless UCLA’s guards get hot from the perimeter, I think it will be curtains for Steve Alford and more second guessing in parts of Los Angeles.
Arizona/San Diego State, this matchup might be fun to watch. Such a shame more than half of the country will have to stay up late to find out who won. Whichever team scores 90 first wins.
Michigan/Tennessee, the undercard to the heavyweight matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium. I like Michigan, but not by much. Cuonzo Martin returns to nearby his days of college glory, just an hour north on I-65 at Purdue during the Glenn Robinson era.
Iowa State/UConn, former one-time teammates of the 2001 Chicago Bulls reunite as Fred Hoiberg and Kevin Ollie take their alma maters to the “World’s Most Famous Arena” in the Big Apple to see who can survive on one of America’s marquee places to play basketball. UConn will have plenty of fan support, but can Iowa State keep it close during the second half?
Virginia/Michigan State, a stark contrast in styles–Virginia stays deliberate with the ball, while Michigan State will look to do better at MSG than when they played Georgetown on Super Saturday Eve.
And last but certainly not least…
Louisville vs. Kentucky. College basketball’s version of the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s.
These two schools do not like each other.
On one side, you have the defending champions and on the other end of the bench is the 2012 champions. On one campus, it is like rolling prairies and a lot of farming with dirt roads and not too many stoplights. On the other end, you have a thriving mid-market city with all of the modern amenities and just down the road, the ultimate “Sport of Kings” that takes place the first Saturday in May.
Promises to be one fun game. Sure hope ESPN Classic is worthy of playing it back starting in March 2015.