Sweet Sixteen Preview

Sweet Sixteen Preview

Dustin Dobbs ’11
Sports Editor

With the Kansas Jayhawks out of the picture, this tournament has “March Madness” written all over it. Here’s my take on the upcoming Sweet 16 match-ups this Thursday and Friday. I’ll start with Thursday’s regional semi-finals from the East and West Regions, located in Syracuse and Salt Lake City:

March 25, 2010 (East & West Regions)

5 Butler Bulldogs vs. 1 Syracuse Orange (Salt Lake City, Utah 7:07)

’Cuse has too many ways to hurt opponents. Andy Rautins and Wesley Johnson, combined for 55 in their win over Gonzaga. They also have Rick Jackson and Scoop Jardine off the bench who are just as good as any starting players on any other team. No Arinze Onawaku? Who cares. Without Kansas in the tournament anymore Syracuse should absolutely steam roll any team that comes in there way. They will be playing on April 5th in the 2010 National Championship game.

11 Washington Huskies vs. 2 West Virginia Mountaneers (Syracuse, New York 7:27)

This will be the game where Washington proves how bad the Pac-10 really is at basketball (finally). I like WVU in this one. They have too much going for them: Devin Ebanks, and a red-hot Da’Sean Butler. Although I do hate the Big East as well, WVU will advance.

6 Xavier Muskateers vs. 2 Kansas State Wildcats (Salt Lake City, Utah 9:37)

Jordan Crawford’s (yes the guy who dunked on LeBron last summer) heroics end here. Too much athleticism by KSU and too much of a dominating back court in guards Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente. KSU advances to Elite 8.

12 Cornell Big Red vs. 1 Kentucky Wildcats (Syracuse, New York 9:57)

Let’s be real people, Ryan Wittman, Cornell’s savior will miss shots. Unfortunately for team’s like Wisconsin and Temple, he did not miss, and Cornell scored every possession. The smart, white boys’ run will also end here. Kentucky’s style of game will prove far more athletic than Cornell’s. And do I even need to mention John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Bledsoe….woops.

March 26, 2010 (Midwest  & South Regions)

6 Tennessee Volunteers vs. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (St. Louis, Missouri 7:07)

Too much Evan Turner, too much Jon Diebler. Buckeyes advance. Don’t expect this one to be close.

10 St. Mary’s Gaels vs. Baylor Bears (Houston, Texas 7:37)

This will be the first time Omar Samhan and the Australian crew will see a team with far more athleticism than they have ever seen. Quincy Acy, LaceDarius Dunn, Tweety Carter, and Ekpe Udoh of the Bears should be able to give the sharp-shooting Gaels a dose of reality. Needless to say, I would be SHOCKED if the “slipper still fits” for this Cinderella story, especially since Baylor literally has home court advantage, in Houston. Ekpe Udoh…meet your toughest task….Kyle Singler.

9 Northern Iowa Panthers vs. 5 Michigan State Spartans (St. Louis, Missouri 9:37)

Hopefully, this is the end of Ali Farokhmanesh, because I am personally tired of him and his entire team. Go back to your home in Cedar Falls, Iowa you overgrown lumberjack. But all biases aside, the experience brought forward by Raymar Morgan, Darrell Summers, and head coach Tom Izzo should be enough to power the Spartans to the Elite 8.

4 Purdue Boilermakers vs. 1 Duke Blue Devils (Houston, Texas 9:57)

As much as this pains me, the Dookies are one of the best teams in college basketball. I would go as far as saying top-two in the nation. Too much Kyle Singler, too much Nolan Smith, too much Jon Scheyer, too much Brian Zoubek, too much Coach K. They’ve got too much going for them, for them to possibly slow down. Although the Boilermakers were my dark-horse for a final-four run, Duke will advance.