Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns

2014 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns


#4 Louisville vs. #8 Kentucky (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Louisville followed up their so-so performance against Manhattan with a dominating defensive performance in a 68-51 win over Saint Louis. The Billikens went 0-for-15 from beyond the arc and Louisville deserves some credit for their awful shooting. Luke Hancock was cold in the first half, but he ended up with a game-high 21 points for the Cardinals. Kentucky had a bigger win and, perhaps, played their best game of the year. The Wildcats held on to beat previously undefeated Wichita State 78-76. The Harrison twins combined to score 39 points and Kentucky’s size, both in the frontcourt and on the perimeter, was too much for the Shockers.

We will look back at that Kentucky / Wichita State contest for years to come, but the Wildcats now have Final Four hopes. There is still a long way to go for that and it starts with Louisville. The Cardinals are going to play good defense, as they always do, so it comes down to how well they can score against the big Kentucky lineup. Against Saint Louis, they did shoot 6-for-17 from beyond the arc, but a lot of those shots seemed forced or at least came too early in the shot clock. Hancock kept missing three after three in a stretch last game, but the Cardinals need him to keep shooting. If not, the offense will have even longer stretches of ineptitude.


#2 Michigan vs. #11 Tennessee (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Michigan was once again inferior in the frontcourt, but once again Nik Stauskas more than made up for it. The Wolverines hit 14 three-pointers against Texas and four of those came from Stauskas. Glenn Robinson III and Caris LeVert added 14 points each and forward Jordan Morgan was enough of a presence on both ends of the floor to keep Texas at bay. Tennessee has been busy this week. They beat Iowa in Dayton on Wednesday night, Umass on Friday in Raleigh and Mercer on Sunday. Now it’s off to Indianapolis. The Volunteers absolutely dominated Mercer on the glass, in large part due to Jarnell Stokes and his 18 rebounds.

Tennessee will pose the same potential problems for Michigan that Texas did, although with more overall experience. The Volunteers should be able to beat the Wolverines handily on the glass, as the Longhorns did on Saturday. They should get some interior scoring from Stokes and Jeronne Maymon as well. But what this contest comes down to is whether or not Michigan is knocking down shots. At some point it would seem reasonable that the Wolverines and Stauskas would have an off shooting day, but those have not happened often this season.


South Region Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns


West Region Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns


East Region Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns


Tournament Central