Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament South Region 3rd Round Game Breakdowns


2014 NCAA Tournament South Region 3rd Round Game Breakdowns


#1 Florida vs. #9 Pittsburgh (Orlando, Florida)

Don't read too much into the first game outcomes of these two teams. With the talent dispersal around college basketball as even as it's ever been, there are very few cakewalk games anymore. Instead, games are about matchups more than ever before. Florida is still the better team here, no matter how handily Pittsburgh stomped Colorado in round two. Of course, the defensive activity that the Panthers displayed and the roaring start they got off to had to be an encouraging sign for their fans. If Pittsburgh is going to upset Florida, it will need those things to be the case again, as well as Talib Zanna being even more active than he was in round two. Again, the specific team matchups are key. It won't be enough for Zanna to outplay Patric Young or Lamar Patterson to best Casey Prather. The rest of Florida's roster has the upper hand across the board.


#4 UCLA vs. #12 Stephen F. Austin (San Diego, California)

The winning streak for Stephen F. Austin continues. The Lumberjacks managed to handle the VCU havoc, as well as deliver the Rams some of their own medicine late in the game to cut a double-digit deficit and force overtime. A flop four-point play at the very end of regulation where the shooter didn't appear to have been touched helped as well. SFA will not receive much relief in round three against the long backcourt of UCLA. Bruins' starting point guard Kyle Anderson is bigger than anyone in the Lumberjacks' rotation. Throw in David and Travis Wear and Tony Parker inside, and UCLA may be too much for Stephen F. Austin physically. It got a bit lucky with the second round matchup against VCU to be honest, since the Rams are hardly physically imposing and try to make up for it with their frantic press and pace.


#3 Syracuse vs. #11 Dayton (Buffalo, New York)

Syracuse handled its business in round two. While a number of top seeds struggled to separate themselves from weaker competition, the Orange managed to take a 19-point lead into halftime and never looked back. If guard Trevor Cooney is hitting shots (5 -10 from the floor, 4-8 from three), this team is nearly unbeatable. It will be up to the Dayton Flyers to slow down Cuse as much as they stunted Ohio State. Of course, the Buckeyes' offensive troubles had more to do with them than anything Dayton was unleashing. LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr. both played poorly and scored little. And Aaron Craft, no matter how much the announcers swooned over his play, seemed to put his head down and barrel into contact more than necessary, the last play of the game notwithstanding. It is hard to take too much away from this matchup complimenting Dayton. They were better than OSU, but not by much, and neither team was very impressive. Ohio State plays very good defense, but Dayton shooting just 3-13 from three is not a good sign heading into a matchup with Syracuse's zone.


#2 Kansas vs. #10 Stanford (St. Louis, Missouri)

The Kansas Jayhawks struggled in their opening game of the tournament against Eastern Kentucky. However, it didn't seem to have much to do with the lack of Joel Embiid inside. Jamari Traylor replaced Embiid admirably, finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Instead, the problems for Kansas stemmed from the EKU pressure, turning the ball over. Especially in the first half, turnovers from the guards were the main reason KU wasn't winning by more. Against Stanford, this should not be a problem. In fact, Stanford doesn't even play with a true point guard of its own, relying on Dwight Powell and Anthony Brown to initiate. With Embiid remaining out, Stanford's size should be harder to deal with but not impossible to cancel out. Success for Kansas will instead come down to execution of its own offense. Stanford showed a lot shutting down Alex Kirk and Kendall Williams against New Mexico. It will be even more impressive if they stunt Andrew Wiggins and company in round three.


East Region 3rd Round Game Breakdowns


West Region 3rd Round Game Breakdowns


Midwest Region 3rd Round Game Breakdowns


Tournament Central