Each of the 2014 NCAA tournament's 16 surviving teams have reached Round 4 in many different ways. Some have been riding stout defenses, others have been lighting up scoreboards and many have been maintaining a well-balanced unit.
Despite the differences in each team's strategy, they all have reached the Sweet 16 due to stellar performances from their top players. How these players perform will dictate which of these teams earn a coveted trip to the Elite Eight.
Let's take a look at all of the eight games on Thursday's and Friday's slate and predict the top performer and his statistics from each team.
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 4 UCLA
Florida: Scottie Wilbekin
After a strong 21-point performance against the Pittsburgh Panthers, Wilbekin has a great deal of momentum going for him. His hot hand will be well on display against UCLA's 178th-ranked defense in the Sweet 16. Expect another big day from this Florida guard.
Prediction: 22 points, four rebounds, three assists
UCLA: Jordan Adams
What I like about UCLA the most is their unselfishness..beginning with the maestro..Kyle "Slo Mo" Anderson...Jordan Adams is ball'n too..— Joel Francisco (@JoelFranESPN) March 24, 2014
Adams shot 8-of-12 from the field against Stephen F. Austin in the round of 32. He finished the game with 19 points and added five rebounds and three assists. However, he may struggle a bit against Florida's third-ranked defense.
Prediction: 14 points, four rebounds, two assists
No. 10 Stanford vs. No. 11 Dayton
Stanford: Chasson Randle
Stanford has a very well-rounded team and generally distributes the ball evenly on the offensive end. If anyone is to shine against Dayton, it will be Randle. He is a versatile player on both ends of the court and can ignite a scoreboard when he gets hot.
Prediction: 15 points, six rebounds
Dayton: Jordan Sibert
Think Ohio State could have used Jordan Sibert this year?— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 23, 2014
The Stanford defense has some holes, and Sibert is the guy who can take advantage of them. His perimeter shooting could be a big difference-maker in this contest. If he gets going, Dayton could be poised for yet another upset victory.
Prediction: 17 points, four rebounds
No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 4 San Diego State
Arizona: Aaron Gordon
Gordon has a knack of taking advantage down low, dominating the boards with aggressive play near the hoop. He'll continue his ways of getting things done underneath against San Diego State in the Sweet 16.
Prediction: 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists
San Diego State: Xavier Thames
Xavier Thames scored or assisted on more points by himself (45) than the entire North Dakota State team scored (44).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 23, 2014
Yes, this is an obvious choice. However, you simply can't deny Thames' brilliance so far in the 2014 NCAA tournament. Arizona has some weaknesses on defense, and Thames has the ability to get hot and take full advantage.
Prediction: 27 points, five assists
No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Baylor
Wisconsin: Frank Kaminsky
The Badgers have a well-balanced offense; however, if they are to continue their current offensive surge against Baylor, it will be down low. Kaminsky is the team's best option to put points up in the paint, and he'll get plenty of looks against the Bears.
Prediction: 17 points, seven rebounds
Baylor: Brady Heslip
SWEEEET... Wait for it....... SIXTEEN!— Brady T Heslip (@bradyheslip) March 24, 2014
To combat the Badgers' size and defensive prowess, Baylor will look to shoot from the perimeter often. Heslip is the team's best shooter from downtown, and he'll find the ball in his hands often during the Bears' Sweet 16 matchup.
Prediction: 20 points, three assists
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 Michigan State
Virginia: Mike Tobey
The Cavaliers will have to slow things down against the high-octane Spartans. In effort to get good offensive looks, Virginia will attempt to get things done in the paint. Tobey will be lurking there all day.
Prediction: 15 points, seven rebounds
Michigan State: Branden Dawson
Branden Dawson shot 80%, the best FG pct by Big Ten Player in NCAA Tournament game since Chris Webber in 1992 pic.twitter.com/o7hxZtZqey— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 23, 2014
Dawson's speed and offensive versatility will allow him to stand out in this contest. The Spartans thrive on fast breaks, and Dawson will benefit from most of them.
Prediction: 20 points, six rebounds
No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 7 Connecticut
Iowa State: DeAndre Kane
Kane's 24-point, 10-rebound double-double was one of the most impressive performances in the round of 32. Now that he's facing Connecticut in the Sweet 16, Kane will have another chance to put up some gaudy numbers.
Prediction: 26 points, nine rebounds
Connecticut: Shabazz Napier
If the Huskies are going to hang with the high-octane Cyclones, Napier must put together a dominant performance. Iowa State isn't exactly known for its defensive prowess, so Napier will get plenty of chances to shine.
Prediction: 24 points, six rebounds
No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 8 Kentucky
Louisville: Montrezl Harrell
If the Cardinals are going to right the ship against Kentucky, it will start with the play of Harrell. With Russ Smith distributing the ball and Luke Hancock demanding attention on the perimeter, Harrell will get enough looks to light up the scoreboard.
Prediction: 17 points, 11 rebounds
Kentucky: Aaron Harrison
I say again: give it to Aaron Harrison and pretty much no one else right now. He's 5 of 6 and has 13 points. Red hot.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) March 22, 2014
The Harrison brothers have looked great lately. In this Sweet 16 contest, it will be Aaron who must step up. His perimeter shooting will be a necessity against Louisville. Expect him to take plenty of shots from downtown and connect on most.
Prediction: 21 points
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 11 Tennessee
Michigan: Nik Stauskas
Stauskas is the driving force behind Michigan's resurgence. He's been solid from the field recently, but he has also distributed the ball with efficiency. Tennessee's defense is rather porous, and Stauskas will be the beneficiary.
Prediction: 18 points, nine assists
Tennessee: Antonio Barton
Entering tonight, Tennessee was 8-0 when Antonio Barton made at least three 3-pointers. He is 3-of-5 from long range thus far.— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) March 23, 2014
Barton may be a surprising selection here for the Volunteers; however, Tennessee may have to rely heavily on perimeter shooting to keep up with the Wolverines. Barton has looked good from behind the arc lately, and he will be heavily utilized in the team's upcoming contest.
Prediction: 22 points, four rebounds