NCAA Bracket 2012: Breaking Down Sweet 16 West Region
March Madness is in full effect, and the West region produced the first shocker of the tournament when No.15 Norfolk State upset No. 2 Missouri and destroyed brackets everywhere.
The round of 32 had marquee matchups like Murray State and Marquette, but now it's Sweet 16 time.
The Michigan State Spartans will take on the Louisville Cardinals, and the Marquette Golden Eagles will go head on with the Florida Gators. Both games will take place this Thursday in Phoenix, Arizona.
Read on for a breakdown of each game and predictions for which two teams will face off in the Elite 8.
No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 4 Louisville : Starting Lineups and Analysis
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PG: Peyton Siva
SG: Chris Smith
SF: Kyle Kuric
PF: Chane Behanan
C: Gorgui Dieng
PG: Keith Appling
SG: Brandon Wood
SF: Austin Thornton
PF: Draymond Green
C: Adreian Payne
Immediately after looking at the starting lineups, one question comes to mind: How will Louisville contain Draymond Green?
Green is a handful for any power forward, but he is a unique player with quickness and versatility. Louisville really doesn't have one player who can and will defend him, so I see a defense-by-committee approach.
Louisville can not afford to let Green force big guys into foul trouble, and will be significantly hampered down low if Dieng or Behanan are affected.
Michigan State needs to focus on stopping Peyton Siva and Kyle Kuric. Both Siva and Kuric have the ability to lead Louisville to victory and will need to be constantly pressured for the Spartans to advance.
Neither team uses its bench a lot, but key players like Russ Smith from Louisville and Derrick Nix from Michigan State could provide their team with the spark needed to win.
No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 7 Florida : Starting Lineups and Analysis
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PG: Erving Walker
SG: Kenny Boynton
SF: Bradley Beal
PF: Patric Young
C: Erik Murphy
PG: Darius Johnson-Odom
SG: Junior Cadougan
SF: Vander Blue
PF: Jamil Wilson
C: Jae Crowder
Jae Crowder is an absolute force on both the offensive and defensive end, and will be the number one priority for Florida coach Billy Donovan.
I expect Patric Young to start the game guarding on Crowder and, barring foul trouble, be very physical with him.
For Marquette, stopping Florida is all about stopping the three-point shot. Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker and Bradley Beal are all deadly shooters.
In order for the Golden Eagles to advance, they must stick to the shooters and make sure a hand is up on every shot. Florida will tear them apart if they get open shots from deep.
Predictions for Both Games
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No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 4 Louisville
Michigan State has all the tools to beat Louisville in this game, and will. Draymond Green is too much to handle down low, and Louisville doesn't have an answer for him.
Final score: Michigan State wins, 75-69
No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 7 Florida
This will be one of the better Sweet 16 games and go down to the wire. In the end, Florida's shooting will stretch the Golden Eagles and be too much to contain.
Final score: Florida wins, 80-74