2010 NCAA Bracket Update: Preview of Sweet 16 Friday Matchups
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Tennessee
Tennessee fouls 20 times per game. Generally, the more free throws Ohio State shoots in a game, the higher its percentage from the stripe. The Buckeyes are good free-throw shooters, minus Dallas Lauderdale.
With Tennessee fouling a lot, the post players like Wayne Chism and Brian Williams will get into foul trouble and possibly foul out. Without them on the floor for the whole game except for breathers, the Volunteers will end up in some trouble.
Ohio State 81, Tennessee 70
No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 10 St. Mary's
Once more, St. Mary's will need to count on Omar Samhan for a huge game. If Samhan puts up the same numbers as he did in the first two games, the Gaels could continue their Cinderella run to the Elite Eight. If Samhan does not have another huge game, the Gaels should be able to stay close and make an exciting game, but not be able to pull out a win.
Baylor's Ekpe Udoh should be able to do enough on Samhan to hold him to lower numbers than what he posted in the first two games.
Baylor 75, St. Mary's 71
No. 5 Michigan State vs. No. 9 Northern Iowa
Regardless of whether Kalin Lucas was injured or not, Northern Iowa would win this game. Lucas' absence will be the difference between a thriller and Northern Iowa controlling the game.
Northern Iowa 68, Michigan State 63
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Purdue
Duke's superior talent and the absence of Robbie Hummel will send the Blue Devils to the Sweet 16. Purdue has been able to play with two very good teams in the first weekend, with wins over Siena and Texas A&M. However, Duke is much better than both those teams. If the Boilermakers had Hummel, they would at least have someone to bang around down low. Since they do not, it will make it that much easier for players like Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas, and both Plumlees to have big games. Purdue's only hope is for JaJuan Johnson to dominate the game.
The Boilermakers' three-point defense should be able to limit the big three from beyond the arc in the first half. As Duke does to all its opponents, it will wear down Purdue and more shots will open up in the second half, allowing the Blue Devils to break open a close game in the final 10 minutes.
Duke 78, Purdue 72
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