Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NCAA Sweet Sixteen Preview: Thursday's Games


7:07, Salt Lake City68 possessions
5 Butler34.8%68.046.818.929.627.9
1 Syracuse65.2%72.956.622.831.427.3
Butler's probably a year away from mounting a serious Final Four challenge, but the way this Tournament's been progressing, it wouldn't be surprising to see it happen ahead of schedule.

9:37, Salt Lake City72.5 possessions
6 Xavier41.7%76.049.321.135.641.1
2 Kansas St.58.3%78.649.217.436.334.1
Like free throws? This game should feature more than 61 attempts and almost 50 personal fouls. The team that can keep its best players out of foul trouble the longest might just be the team that wins this game.


7:27, Syracuse68.5 possessions
11 Washington38.8%71.347.018.133.437.4
2 West Virginia61.2%74.848.118.038.836.5
Losing Truck Bryant will hurt the Mountaineers' depth, but it shouldn't be a determining factor in their ability to advance. Bryant was the only Mountaineer regular to be below-average (in all games and in Big East play), and the difference between WVU with and without Bryant should be essentially a wash. Also, at what point did Bob Huggins transform into a middle-aged lesbian?

9:57, Syracuse67.8 possessions
12 Cornell34.3%72.651.417.929.723.1
1 Kentucky65.7%77.855.519.137.034.3
I'm actually a little surprised at how close this projection is. The Big Red rolled through Temple and Wisconsin--both good defensive teams--on a combined 67.2 eFG%, and the general thinking is that the hot shooting will need to continue for the big upset to take place. Really, though, if Cornell can simply match the 57.1 eFG% that they've averaged over the full season (something, it should be noted, that the model doesn't see happening) they'll have a good chance to win the game.

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