March Madness 2010: The Big Ten Could Be in Big Trouble on Sunday

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March Madness 2010: The Big Ten Could Be in Big Trouble on Sunday
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The Big Ten could be in for a rough day tomorrow when its remaining four tournament teams take the court. Ohio State and Wisconsin will take on Georgia Tech and Cornell, both of which are double digit seeds. Both games have the Big Ten favored, but many of the experts think differently. Michigan State goes into its game as a one-point favorite, and Purdue is a one-point underdog. Here is a preview of tomorrow's four matchups featuring Big Ten teams.

 

(10) Georgia Tech (23-12) vs. (2) Ohio State (28-7)

Matchup problems will plague Ohio State in their game versus the Yellow Jackets. Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal will be too much for Dallas Lauderdale and an overmatched Kyle Madsen.

Jon Diebler and Evan Turner will have to start hot and stay hot for the Buckeyes to have a chance in this one. William Buford will also have to be a viable scoring threat, keeping Tech’s defense off balance and opening up scoring opportunities for the Buckeyes.

The two most important factors in this game for the Buckeyes will be keeping Lauderdale out of foul trouble and the defensive play of David Lighty. Lighty has the talent on defense to match up with one of Tech’s star post players. He’s undersized, yet underrated, and will be underestimated by the Georgia Tech coaching staff.

 

(12) Cornell (28-4) vs. (4) Wisconsin (24-8)

Wisconsin should win this game, since the Badgers' starters should outscore Cornell’s and their defense is one of the best in the country. Cornell had an impressive win over Temple in the opening round, proving this team has the horses to take down a team with superior talent.

Wisconsin will be in a similar situation to Ohio State when it comes to matchups. Wisconsin will have to figure out the Cornell one-two punch of forward Ryan Whittman and center Jeff Forte. Louis Dale also provides perimeter shooting on kickouts from the big men, and leads the team in assists.

The Badgers starting lineup is undersized, with three guards and two forwards. Jon Leuer will lead the charge on both offense and defense. His 15.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg will pace the Badgers tomorrow. He’ll expect a big game from both Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes.

The Badgers' perimeter sharpshooters can keep the Cornell defense off balance, opening up the paint for Leuer. Keaton Nankivil provides solid support on both offense and defense, with 8.4 ppg and 4.8 rpg. Keeping both Leuer and Nankivil out of foul trouble will be a huge factor in determining the Badgers success against the Big Red.

 

(5) Texas A&M (24-9) vs. (4) Purdue (28-5)

No one picked Purdue to even get past Sienna, so the Boilermakers shouldn't need any motivation from here on out. Losing Robbie Hummel was huge, but you're dead wrong if you think this team doesn’t have any talent or heart without him.

E’Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson, and Kris Cramer can play with anyone in the country. Moore and Johnson are the team's two leading scorers and Johnson leads the team in rebounds. Keaton Grant and Lewis Jackson are valuable role players and set up the other three.

The Aggies won't be an easy out with the stellar play of guard Donald Sloan. Sloan comes into the contest averaging 18.0 ppg. The match up between Moore and Sloan will be one of top matchups so far in the tournament. Expect a well played game with these two sharpshooters hitting big shot after big shot, turning this one into a nail-biter.

 

(5) Michigan State (25-8) vs. (4) Maryland (24-8)

Michigan State is a very balanced team. Kalin Lucas is a huge part of this offense, but this team can still win without him being the team's leading scorer. Points will come from a variety of ways, including perimeter shooting by Durrel Summers and Chris Allen. Post play isn’t a problem either, with Raymar Morgan and Draymond Green.

Maryland comes into this with just as much balance as the Spartans. The Terrapins get points from the paint and the perimeter, making them extremely difficult to defend. Landon Melbourne and Jordan Williams will provide plenty of points in the paint, while Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez man the perimeter.

This has all the makings of a classic NCAA tournament game, and should be one of the best in this tournament. Both teams' programs are rich in history and tradition on the hardwood, adding to the energy that will be displayed on Sunday. Expect to see Lucas and Vasquez make some spectacular shots against each other, in what will be another tough game for the Big Ten.

Not one of the four games will be anywhere near an easy win for its Big Ten representative. There is a very good shot all four teams could lose, knocking the Big Ten out of the tournament all together.

Wisconsin and Purdue seem to have the best chances at winning, followed by Michigan State. The Georgia Tech offensive attack will probably be too much for an undermanned Ohio State team. Regardless of their outcomes, these upcoming games will provide plenty of action on Sunday afternoon.

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