#4 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. #1 North Carolina Tar Heels
Gonzaga knows how to play tough. They know when to play tough. But do they know how and when at the same time? In their opening round matchup they had their way with Akron. They zipped the Zips offensive game up quickly, and waltzed their way to a second round matchup with Western Kentucky.
But they had something of a fierce battle against Western Kentucky.
In a very physical matchup, 'Zaga did enough to hold off the upset-minded Western Kentucky team. Now they head to Memphis with a chance to execute one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history. But...
Tyler Hansbrough knows what it's like to get close...but he doesn't truly know what it's like to get there and win it all. North Carolina is just two wins away from heading to the Final Four once again. Despite being in a tough region, Carolina has been just as dominant as UConn.
In their first round game, Carolina had no immediate threat from Radford. It became nothing more than a scrimmage for the ACC Powerhouse. In their second round game, the ACC got a measure of revenge on the SEC when they dispatched the LSU Tigers from the tournament. Now they have a Gonzaga team on their plate that is looking to send Roy Williams home early.
Is this Tyler's time to shine? Or will 'Zaga hand us our first major #1 departure of the tournament?
#3 Syracuse Orange vs. #2 Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners are led by the Griffins...and no, I'm not talking Family Guy. The Griffins have done their part in going under the radar. While Kansas is getting all the noise, it was Mizzou and Oklahoma (or as Gumbel called them "Oklacoma") that have made an impact and advance to the Sweet 16.
The Sooners barely broke a sweat against Morgan State, and in their second round matchup, they dominated the boards and even threw out some football like defense to eliminate the Michigan Wolverines. Now they go into the Sweet 16 with their heads held high. But for how long?
On the other side of the spectrum will be the Syracuse Orangemen. The Orange made waves with a 6-OT upset of UConn during the Big East Tournament. Because of that, the Orange may be a sure lock for the Elite Eight. Despite how tough Oklahoma is, Syracuse is just as tough.
Two big wins in the tournament have 'Cuse heading to Memphis for a date with Oklahoma and a chance to possibly face North Carolina in the Regional Finals. Jim Boeheim has his team playing hardball, and if they defeat the Sooners this weekend, don't be too surprised...they took UConn to their limits, remember?