NCAA Tournament Schedule 2013: Breaking Down Intriguing Sweet 16 Clashes

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NCAA Tournament Schedule 2013: Breaking Down Intriguing Sweet 16 Clashes
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

After some spectacular games to kick off the 2013 NCAA tournament, the Sweet 16 has arrived.

Ohio State held off a determined Iowa State team on Sunday. Indiana also survived a nail-biter against Temple. Kansas was able to cruise in the second half after a contentious first half against North Carolina.

Here's a breakdown of three intriguing matchups in the Sweet 16, complete with schedule information.

All stats via ESPN.com and TeamRankings.com.


Indiana (1) vs. Syracuse (4)

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

When: Thursday, March 28 at 9:45 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

To say Indiana had troubles against No. 9 seed Temple in the round of 32 would be an understatement. In the 58-52 nail-biter, the Hoosiers shot 42 percent from the floor. Temple was able to crash the glass despite being a weaker rebounding team.

Syracuse ranks second in the nation in opponents' field-goal percentage and seventh in defensive efficiency. The Orange were able to survive a 12-minute drought without a field goal in the 66-60 win over Cal in the round of 32, holding the Golden Bears to 39 percent shooting while forcing 17 turnovers.

But while Indiana's troubles on offense may have been an aberration against Temple, Syracuse has legitimate concerns on offense. The Orange rank 128th in field-goal percentage and 52nd in offensive efficiency.

Indiana also boasts a significant advantage on the glass. The Hoosiers rank fifth in offensive rebounding percentage, while the Orange rank 253rd in defensive rebounding rate.

Indiana wins this game on paper. Then again, the Hoosiers were inconsistent down the stretch in the regular season and almost lost to Temple in the round of 32.

 

Ohio State (2) vs. Arizona (6)

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

When: Thursday, March 28 at 7:47 p.m. ET

Watch: TBS

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Ohio State almost lost to Iowa State in the round of 32. Then again, the Cyclones shot an unbelievable 12-of-25 from downtown in that game, especially surprising given the Buckeyes rank a respectable 64th in the country in opponents' three-point percentage.

Perhaps what was most surprising was the fact that Ohio State was out-rebounded, 35-20. Ohio State ranks 23rd in defensive rebounding rate but allowed the Cyclones to rack up 12 offensive rebounds in the narrow 78-75 win.

Arizona has a considerable advantage on the glass against Ohio State. The Wildcats rank 14th in rebounding rate. They out-rebounded Belmont in the round of 64, 42-15.

Arizona also ranks better than Ohio State in field-goal percentage and offensive efficiency. 

On the other hand, Ohio State does have an advantage on the defensive side of the ball, which is where the Buckeyes need to make an impact if they expect to go deeper in the tournament.

I think it's going to be interesting to see how Ohio State's best on-the-ball defender, Aaron Craft, stacks up to Arizona's leading scorer, Mark Lyons. Lyons can flat-out take over games.

 

Louisville (1) vs. Oregon (12)

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.

When: Friday, March 29 at 7:15 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Oregon has already shocked just about everybody, defeating No. 5 seed Oklahoma State and No. 4 seed Saint Louis to advance to the Sweet 16.

But Louisville is a different animal.

Louisville has beaten North Carolina A&T and Colorado State by a combined 57 points in the NCAA tournament. 

The Cardinals' "weakness" is their offense. They ranked 107th in the country in field-goal percentage during the regular season and their options on offense take a nosedive beyond junior guard Russ Smith.

On the other hand, Louisville—despite being a relatively poor shooting team—simply gets the job done. The Cardinals rank 24th in offensive efficiency this season, primarily due to the fact that they rank ninth in offensive rebounding rate.

Also, Oregon ranks 144th in turnover rate and Louisville ranks second in opponents' turnover rate. That's a bad combination for the Ducks.

 

Don't forget to print out your bracket and follow along with the live bracketFollow all the exciting NCAA tournament action with March Madness Live.


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