The Point Guards Who Will Take Their Teams to Elite Eight

Jakub RudnikContributor IIIMarch 28, 2013

Shane Larkin has become one of the nation's best point guards as a sophomore.
Shane Larkin has become one of the nation's best point guards as a sophomore.Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The second weekend of the 2013 NCAA tournament kicks off Thursday evening, as the field has been whittled to 16 teams. For several remaining teams, their veteran point guards will lead them to the Elite Eight and one step closer to Atlanta.

Here are the three point guards that have the talent and experience to lead their respective teams to the next round.


Shane Larkin, Miami

Miami became one of the best teams in college basketball this season for a variety of reasons, but the development of Shane Larkin has been the most important.

In his sophomore season, Larkin became the Hurricanes' best player and was named a third-team All-American by Sporting News. He led the Hurricanes in scorings, assists and steals during the season.

Larkin has been at his best in Miami's biggest games.

In the Jan. 23 blowout of Duke, Larkin had a double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and added five assists. In their rematch, Miami lost despite Larkin finishing with 25 points, four assists and four rebounds, shooting 50 percent from the field.

He had his best game of the season in the ACC Tournament final. He played all 40 minutes against North Carolina, finishing with 28 points, seven assists and five rebounds. For his performance, he was named the tournament MVP.

Miami will need Larkin to be at his best against third-seeded Marquette. The Golden Eagles managed impressive comebacks in both opening weekend games. The team plays at a very slow pace and will want to limit Miami's ability to get out and run in the open court.

Larkin has the ability to lead the Miami offense and dictate the pace of the game. He will take advantage of his matchup with Junior Cadougan and lead Miami to a victory.


Peyton Siva, Louisville

Senior point guard Peyton Siva leads the Louisville Cardinals, the No.1 overall seed in the Tournament. The 6' guard isn't his team's leading scorer, but he controls the pace of the game offensively and spearheads Louisville's press defense.

Louisville has now won 12 straight games, and Siva won't allow that streak to end against No. 12 Oregon. Siva will be matched up against freshman Dominic Artis and can take advantage of Artis' inexperience on both ends of the court.

Siva and his backcourt mate Russ Smith combine to average 4.5 steals per game, and they will give Artis and fellow freshman Damyean Dotson fits all game. 

Siva has played his best in big games. He has been the Big East Tournament MVP the past two seasons, so expect the same high-caliber performance against Oregon.


Trey Burke, Michigan

Michigan has made its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1994, and sophomore Trey Burke is responsible for much of that success.

Burke, who is a candidate for many national player of the year awards, has become arguably the nation's best player as a sophomore. He led the Wolverines in scoring, assists and steals this season.

He has also been the best point guard in the entire country, leading the nation with a 3.31 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Fourth-seeded Michigan is the underdog against No. 1 Kansas and will struggle against the Jayhawks' size—specifically Jeff Withey. However, Burke has the talent to exploit his matchup with Elijah Johnson and lead Michigan to victory.

Burke has been excellent during big-time matchups this season. In games against ranked opponents, Burke has averaged 18.9 points and seven assists per game, slightly better than his season averages.

Michigan is not the favorite to win in Arlington, but Burke is the best player in the country and will lead the Wolverines past Kansas.