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NCAA Sweet 16 Primer

THURSDAY’S REGIONAL SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS

7:15 p.m. CBS
No. 4 Wisconsin (26-9) vs. No. 1 Syracuse (33-2):
Wisconsin played its trademark airtight defense in wins against Montana (73-49) and Vanderbilt (60-57). Can the Badgers do it again? More importantly, do they have enough offense to run with Syracuse? The Orange shook off a rough and controversial game against UNC Asheville and blew away Kansas State with a great second half. No Fab Melo, no problem. James Southerland scored 15 points against Asheville and the Wildcats. Dion Waiters has also played lights out basketball for the Orange.

7:47 p.m. TBS
No. 4 Louisville (28-9) vs. No.1 Michigan State (29-7):
Michigan State has Draymond Green, a stat-page filler who makes his teammates better. Green had a triple-double against LIU in the first round and added 16 points, 13 rebounds and six assists against St. Louis in the second round. Does Louisville have an answer? Yes, and his name is Gorgui Dieng. Dieng doesn’t have the offensive talent Green has, but he plays great defense and could be the difference-maker for Louisville. Dieng has 17 rebounds and five blocks through Louisville’s first two games.

9:45 p.m. CBS
No. 6 Cincinnati (26-10) vs. No. 2 Ohio State (29-7):
Cincinnati’s emergence shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Bearcats can shoot and they have a solid inside game with Yancy Gates. Ohio State will counter with Jared Sullinger, a bruiser who should present a stiff challenge for Gates. Whichever team can take care of the ball and shoot the three the best will have the upper hand.

10:17 p.m. TBS
No. 7 Florida (25-10) vs. No. 3 Marquette (27-7):
Few teams are as balanced as Florida, which sports five players who score in double figures. Brady Beal is the most versatile of the bunch, but Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker and Erik Murphy can light it up. Marquette will counter with Big East Player of the Year Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom. Both players are capable of dropping 25 points on any given day. Marquette doesn’t shoot it like Florida, but the Golden Eagles can get to the rim.
 

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