Elite 8 Schedule: Key Matchups That Will Determine Last 2 Final Four Berths
The last two berths in the Final Four will be earned on Sunday with the Kentucky Wildcats, Baylor Bears, North Carolina Tar Heels and Kansas Jayhawks all trying to get to New Orleans.
Each game will have several important matchups that will have a profound impact on the outcome, whether it's a one-on-one battle or a statistical battle between the teams.
Let's look at the key matchup from each of the two Elite Eight games on Sunday.
|No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 1 Kentucky||2:20 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 1 North Carolina||5:05 p.m.||CBS|
No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 1 North Carolina
Center battle: Jeff Withey vs. Tyler Zeller
The matchup at center will be huge in this game because whichever team can dominate in the paint defensively will win.
Jeff Withey is so important to the Jayhawks because of all the rebounds he grabs and the shots he blocks. Against North Carolina State in the Sweet 16, Withey had 10 blocks and probably altered another four or five with his size and length.
Against a Tar Heels team that has several quality players who can score inside, Withey has to play well or Kansas will struggle. Withey picking up some early fouls would really hurt the Jayhawks' chances of winning.
Zeller has to attack Withey on offense and be aggressive early to take the Kansas center out of the game.
Whoever wins this matchup at center will have put their team in a great position to advance to the Final Four.
No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 1 Kentucky
Power forward battle: Perry Jones III vs. Anthony Davis
If you're looking for an awesome matchup that will have a huge impact on not only this game, but the NBA Draft as well, look no further than the power forward battle in the Kentucky versus Baylor game.
Bears star Perry Jones III is a potential lottery pick but has been inconsistent throughout the tournament, and has a massive chance to improve his draft stock against a top opponent in an important game.
For Davis, whom many believe will be the top pick in June's draft, he has a chance to solidify his status as the top prospect with a huge game against Jones.
Who will win this matchup?
Both players are very important to their team's offensive success, and are counted on to dominate in the paint and grab rebounds.
The Wildcats scored 102 points against a quality Indiana team in the Sweet 16, and are capable of scoring 90-plus against Baylor too.
Jones must contain Davis and limit his effectiveness at the offensive end of the floor or the Bears have no chance to advance to the Final Four.
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