Sweet 16 open thread

After brief hiatus, the NCAA Tourney is back [Sweet 16 Open Thread]

3/28/13 in NCAABB   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Man, it feels like forever since Sunday. I'm ready for some more Madness -- are you?

Mar 23, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Marquette Golden Eagles guard Vander Blue (13) celebrates during the game against the Butler Bulldogs in the second half   during the third round of the NCAA basketball tournament at Rupp Arena. Marquette defeated Butler 74-72. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY SportsHere are the Sweet Sixteen games on Thursday:

No. 2 Miami vs. No. 3 Marquette
East Region from Washington D.C.
7:15 p.m. ET, CBS
Both teams are lucky to be in the Sweet Sixteen, quite frankly. The Golden Eagles twice snatched victory from the hands of defeat last weekend, first when Davidson handed them the game on a silver platter in the last 30 seconds, then in a close-fought win over Butler. However, Marquette got clutch plays from their best player, Vander Blue, when they needed them in both games. First Blue had the game-winning layup versus the Wildcats, and then agains the Bulldogs he dropped in 29 points to guide the Golden Eagles' struggling offense.

Miami rolled through their first game over Pacific, but it took an atrocious out-of-bounds call by the the officials against Illinois to seal the Hurricanes' trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Miami got a surprising 21 points off the bench from Rion Brown, who averaged just 6.5 PPG this season.

My pick: Miami

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Arizona
Mar 24, 2013; Dayton, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Aaron Craft (4) shoots the winning shot against Iowa State Cyclones forward Georges Niang (31) in the second half during the third round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at University of Dayton Arena. Ohio State defeated Iowa State 78-75.  Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY SportsWest Region from Los Angeles
7:47 p.m. ET, TBS
The Buckeyes are lucky that they didn't join the Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 5 seeds in the West Region with an early exit in this tournament. Much like Miami, the Buckeyes benefitted from a very questionable late-game call versus Iowa State in a pseudo home game in Dayton to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Still, Aaron Craft was Mr. Clutch with a game-winning, cold-blooded jumper to down the Cyclones. 

Arizona, on the other hand, has been one of the most impressive teams in the tournament so far. Two blowout wins (albeit over a No. 15 seed and a No. 14 seed). But don't forget that this is a Wildcat team that was ranked in the top five earlier this season. Arizona also did not lose a game outside of the Pac-12--a conference that has been surprisingly strong in the tournament--this season. That includes wins over Florida, San Diego State and Miami. 

My pick: Arizona

Continue to Page 2 for the late game picks
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3/29/13   |   AlwaysSunshine   |   7416 respect

Looking forward, if syracuse keeps it up, Louisville will be in for it if we have to meet again.  Syracuse is holding a grudge from the Big East tournament championship.

3/29/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

I can't complain this year.. My school the Cuse have played out the string all the way...

3/28/13   |   Scott   |   54120 respect

East regional final is going to come down to a pair of Big East teams.  

3/28/13   |   Scott   |   54120 respect

Syracuse's front line has been Cody Zeller's worst nightmare

3/28/13   |   Scott   |   54120 respect

Syracuse's matchup zone is giving the Indiana Hoosiers fits.  My dream of 4 Big Ten teams in the Final Four is looking like it's going to end

3/28/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

Miami is in deep trouble as expected.. Teams can on;y over achieve so long and missing a starter.... well... this is college parity time...