Louisville earned the tournament’s top overall seed and look like a team ready for back-to-back Final Fours.
Intriguing 2nd round games
#8 Colorado State (25-8) vs. #9 Missouri (23-10) 9:20pm Thursday Lexington
This game features two of the top four rebounding teams in the country, with the statistical oddity that neither team has a player that averages double figures in the category. They are also two of the top three in rebounding margin. This game is going to come down to 2 things, who makes shots and who grabs the misses.
#5 Oklahoma State (24-8) vs. #12 Oregon (26-8) 4:40pm Thursday San Jose
The Cowboys are athletic and fun to watch led by Freshman Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and LeBryan Nash. The Pokes can win playing multiple styles, having won games in the 60s and in the 80s and 90s. The Oregon Ducks won the Pac 12 tournament and recently got their freshman point guard Dominic Artis back from injury and seniors E.J. Singler, Carlos Emery and Arsalan Kazemi lead the Ducks offensively with 31.9 points and 14.6 rebounds.
Anticipated 3rd round game
#3 Michigan State (25-8) vs. #6 Memphis (30-4) Saturday Auburn Hills
For a complete contrast of styles the potential between the up tempo Memphis Tigers and Tom Izzo’s defense and rebounding Big Ten style of Michigan State. The Spartans are a top 30 team in both scoring defense (59.3) and rebounding margin (+6.7) and Memphis is top 21 in steals per game (9.0) and offense (75.9).
In-game Match-up to watch
#4 Michigan State (25-8) vs. #13 Valparaiso (26-7) 12:15pm Thursday Auburn Hills
Ryan Broekhoff and his 15.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game leads Valpo against Michigan State who has a guy in Brendan Dawson who can match up with Broekhoff and his running mate Kevin Van Wijk. Dawson has the length and wingspan to be able to check the 6-7 and 6-8 seniors on the perimeter where Broekhoff likes to hang out (having shot more 3 pointers than two pointers on the season).