Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament South Round of 32 Game Breakdowns

Duke Quinn Cook

South Regional Round of 32 Game Breakdowns


#1 Duke vs. #8 San Diego State (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Behind 22 points from Quinn Cook and 21 from Jahlil Okafor, Duke cruised past Robert Morris in their NCAA Tournament opener. The road to Indianapolis continues with a Sunday showdown against eighth-seeded San Diego State. The Aztecs played an unusual game against St. John’s. Typically the Aztecs are one of the best defensive teams in the nation and their offense is one of the worst. But against the Red Storm, the Aztecs managed to win a pretty high scoring game by their standards at 76-64. That is promising for the matchup against Duke. However, San Diego State’s amount of points does not really matter; what is important is their offensive efficiency. Coach Steve Fisher does not mind winning a game 53-49. Against the Blue Devils, SDSU must be efficient offensively and remain intense on the other end of the floor if they hope to pull off an upset. The key will be containing Okafor on the defensive end and keeping Dwayne Polee II and Matt Shrigley hot from beyond the arc.


#4 Georgetown vs. #5 Utah (Portland, Oregon)

This is where many thought the South Regional portion of the bracket would get a little crazy. But the craziness happened elsewhere. Both Georgetown and Utah deserve a lot of credit for holding off very talented teams in the Round of 64. The Hoyas knocked off Eastern Washington 84-74 after allowing a furious second half comeback. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera paced Georgetown with 25 points. In a very different type of game, Utah beat Stephen F. Austin 57-50 thanks to 18 points and superb defense and rebounding by Jakob Poeltl. Georgetown doesn’t necessarily want to play as fast as they were forced to on Thursday, which had more to do with EWU, but Utah will want to slow down the Hoyas as much as possible and grind out a win. The key matchups will be in the paint. Poeltl is coming off of a superb game and Jordan Loveridge scored a dozen points and grabbed five rebounds against the Lumberjacks. Utah may have trouble with Hoyas center Joshua Smith. He is a beast in the paint and Coach John Thompson III has plenty of other big bodies to rotate in and out of the game to keep the pressure on Utah.


#11 UCLA vs. #14 UAB (Louisville, Kentucky)

Not many saw this matchup coming. UAB pulled off an amazing upset of third seeded Iowa State. The Blazers did not shoot particularly well (3-of-18 from three-point land), but held in there blow for blow with the more talented Cyclones and got the win. The Blazers will now face UCLA, who stole a win from SMU. The Bruins went 10-of-20 from beyond the arc and shot 42.6 percent from the floor. UCLA will be extremely tough to beat if they shoot like that again. But if they don’t, the Bruins are certainly susceptible. On Thursday they committed way too many turnovers. The starting backcourt trio of Norman Powell, Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton dished nine assists, but were responsible for 13 of the team’s 18 turnovers. The Blazers defense can take advantage of those opportunities and turn them into easy buckets the other way and be a surprise team in the Sweet 16.


#2 Gonzaga vs. #7 Iowa (Seattle, Washington)

Iowa crushing Davidson 83-52 was one of the few big surprises on Friday. Davidson has been susceptible to blowouts due to their high scoring ways, but few expected Iowa to dominate as much as they did. Aaron White scored 26 points, while Mike Gessell added 15 and Peter Jok scored 12. Gonzaga’s size was enough for them to get past North Dakota State by a score of 86-76, but their size will not be nearly as big of an advantage against Iowa. Praemek Karnowski, Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis do need to step up and play well against the Hawkeyes. For the Bulldogs, this is their toughest game in a long, long time, probably since their loss at Arizona back on December 6th, with all due respect to UCLA and BYU. It will be very interesting to see how the Bulldogs come out of the gate. Even with their potent offense, Gonzaga may have a tough time mounting a comeback if Iowa gets out to an early lead.


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East Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns


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Midwest Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns


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West Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns


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