Sweet 16 2014: Complete Breakdown of Friday's Matchup

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Sweet 16 2014: Complete Breakdown of Friday's Matchup
Elaine Thompson

After two close games on Thursday night, the top-seeded Florida Gators put away No. 4 UCLA in the South Region, while the No. 11-seeded Dayton Flyers kept their Cinderella hopes alive by downing No. 10 Stanford Cardinal.

The Florida Gators, Dayton Flyers, Wisconsin Badgers and Arizona Wildcats have already punched their tickets to the Elite Eight.

On Friday, the other half of the field will be established.

In the East Region, the No. 4-seeded Michigan State Spartans will face the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers. In the same region, No. 3 Iowa State Cyclones clash with No. 7 UConn Huskies.

In the Midwest Region, No. 4 seed and defending national champion Louisville Cardinals battle in-state rivals the Kentucky Wildcats. Also in that region, No. 2-seeded Michigan Wolverines take on the Cinderella No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers.

It's going to be a great night of college hoops. Here's how you can watch:

Date Matchups Time TV Live Stream
March 28 Michigan (2) vs. Tennessee (11) 7:15 p.m. CBS March Madness TV
March 28 Iowa State (3) vs. Connecticut (7) 7:27 p.m. TBS March Madness TV
March 28 Louisville (4) vs. Kentucky (8) 9:45 p.m. CBS March Madness TV
March 28 Virginia (1) vs. Michigan State (4) 9:57 p.m. TBS March Madness TV

March Madness TV can be found on CBSSports.com.

Click here to see the most updated bracket.

 

East Region at Madison Square Garden in New York

Michigan State Spartans vs. Virginia Cavaliers

Odds: Spartans (-2)

Despite the fact that the Cavs are the region's top seed, the Spartans are clicking on all cylinders and have one of the most respected head coaches in Tom Izzo.

Perhaps Virginia will use this fact as extra motivation—if any is required.

 

Players to Watch

Michigan State: Keith Appling

Frank Franklin

Gary Harris and Adreian Payne are better pro prospects, but Appling is the catalyst for the team. When he's taking care of the ball and making solid decisions, the Spartans are tough to beat. They are 12-2 this season when he has five or more assists.

Getting his teammates involved is important if the Spartans plan to reach the Final Four.

 

Virginia: Malcolm Brogdon

Leadership will be important for the Cavaliers, and much of that responsibility will fall on Brogdon's shoulders. He has demonstrated the ability to come up big for his team in the clutch during the season.

He hit this game-winning three-pointer to knock off Pittsburgh in February. The win helped propel the Cavs to the top seed in the region.

He'll need to be big against the Spartans if Virginia is going to win.

 

Iowa State Cyclones vs. UConn Huskies

Odds: Cyclones (-1.5)

The Cyclones deserve to be the favorites in this matchup. Iowa State has been far more consistent than UConn this season. Even without injured center Georges Niang, the roster features a good amount of depth.

Four Cyclones average double figures in points, and seven play at least 20 minutes per game.

The same can't be said for UConn. Only three players average at least 10 points per game, and four players log the majority of the minutes.

 

Players To Watch

Iowa State: DeAndre Kane

Seth Wenig

Kane was huge against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the third round. He scored 24 points and picked up the slack created by Niang's absence on the glass. Kane added 10 rebounds to his scoring output.

He also had eight assists.

Here's what head coach Fred Hoiberg said about Kane during an interview with Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports: "He's been unbelievable. I don't think anyone in the nation is putting up numbers like DeAndre is putting up. He's just making play after play in crunch time." 

Another performance like he had against North Carolina would put the Cyclones over against UConn.

 

UConn: DeAndre Daniels

Peter Morgan

For the most part, we know Shabazz Napier is going to bring it. He's had 24 and 25 points in the Huskies' two tournament games. UConn still needs another prominent offensive weapon. It becomes a different team when Daniels is playing well.

The Huskies are 7-3 in games where he has had at least 15 points and five rebounds.

He'll need to be at his best to knock off Iowa State.

 

Midwest Region at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

Michigan Wolverines vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Odds: Michigan (-3)

The three-point difference might be too generous.

Tennessee has played well in the tournament thus far, but the Vols haven't beaten any team of note. Defeating an overrated UMass team and an overachieving Mercer squad doesn't make Tennessee one of the top 25 teams in the nation.

With all due respect, the Vols have had a favorable draw up to this point.

 

Players to Watch

Tennessee: Jarnell Stokes

Gerry Broome

The Vols may not reach the Final Four, but Stokes has made himself some money in the tournament. He's a force on the block with his strength and soft touch around the basket. His physicality will be huge if the Vols are going to pull the upset.

 

Michigan: Jordan Morgan

Morry Gash

Neither UMass nor Mercer had the beef to handle Stokes in the paint, but Michigan has Morgan, who physically matches up with him. Morgan is a senior and not a major part of the Wolverines offense.

Thus he can devote most—if not all—of his attention to slowing down Stokes.

 

Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Odds: Louisville (-4)

As the defending champions, the Cardinals deserve some respect. They have also won seven games in a row. That said, the Wildcats are playing really well at the right time. Underestimating the win over Wichita State in the third round would be a bad idea.

This is an attractive underdog, especially considering the large amount of points being given.

The coaching matchup is also very intriguing. Cardinals coach Rick Pitino has guided both programs to national championships, but he hasn't fared well against his former program since John Calipari took over.

Take a look at these stats from ESPN College Basketball:

Will Pitino buck the trend on Friday night?

 

Players to Watch

Louisville: Montrezl Harrell

Michael Conroy

Senior Russ Smith is the most recognizable player, but Harrell is the interior force that could help make this team a repeat champion. During the Cardinals' win streak, he's averaged 15.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

 

Kentucky: Andrew Harrison

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Wildcats have the talent to beat any team in the nation, but they must play together and smart. That starts with Andrew Harrison.

His twin brother Aaron, Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and James Young are important as well. But as the point guard, Andrew has to set the tone.

 

All stats per Statsheet.com, unless otherwise noted. Odds per Covers.com.

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