NCAA Bracket 2011: Sweet 16 Analysis and Predictions
This year's NCAA Tournament has been one of the most entertaining I've ever seen.
There have been numerous buzzer-beaters, close finishes and great upsets, including Butler's win over No. 1 seed Pitt.
Heading into the second weekend of the tourney, we've got eight fantastic matchups to look forward to in the Sweet 16. Let's break them all down.
East: 1. Ohio State vs. 4. Kentucky
Second-round blowout vs. UTSA
Third-round blowout vs. George Mason
Second-round close win vs. Princeton
Third-round close win vs. West Virginia
Key Player: Brandon Knight
Prediction: Kentucky defeats Ohio State in a close game, led by Brandon Knight's 30 points and 10 assists. OSU's Jared Sullinger gets 20 points and 10 rebounds, but it isn't enough to avoid an upset at the hands of the Wildcats.
East: 2. North Carolina vs. 11. Marquette
Second-round easy win vs. Long Island
Third-round close win vs. Washington
Second-round easy win vs. Xavier
Third-round close win vs. Syracuse
Key Player: Harrison Barnes
Prediction: UNC defeats Marquette in an easy win behind Barnes' 30 points. Marquette doesn't have anything left in the tank after their win over Syracuse.
West: 1. Duke vs. 5. Arizona
Second-round blowout win vs. Hampton
Third-round close win vs. Michigan
Second-round close win vs. Memphis
Third-round close win vs. Texas
Key Player: Nolan Smith
Prediction: Duke defeats Arizona in a great game behind Smith's 20 and Singler's 20. Derrick Williams has 20 for 'Zona along with 10 rebounds, but after great plays at the end of each of their first two tournament games he doesn't come through at the end of this one.
West: 2. San Diego State vs. 3. Connecticut
Second-round easy win vs. North Colorado
Third-round OT win vs. Temple
Second-round blowout win vs. Bucknell
Third-round easy win vs. Cincinnati
Key Player: Jeremy Lamb
Prediction: UConn defeats SDSU in a close game behind Kemba Walker's 20 points and Jeremy Lamb's five three-pointers. SDSU puts up a good fight, but Kemba and Lamb are too much for them on the offensive end.
Southwest: 1. Kansas vs. 12. Richmond
Second-round easy win vs. Boston University
Third-round easy win vs. Illinois
Second-round close win vs. Vanderbilt
Third-round easy win vs. Morehead State
Key Player: Marcus Morris
Prediction: Kansas defeats Richmond in a blowout behind Marcus Morris's 30 points and his brother's 20. They bring Richmond back down to earth and end their Cinderella season.
Southwest: 10. Florida State vs. 11. Virginia Commonwealth
Second-round Close win vs. Texas A&M
Third-round easy win vs. Notre Dame
First-round easy win vs. USC
Second-round easy win vs. Georgetown
Third-round easy win vs. Purdue
Key Player: Chris Singleton
Prediction: Florida State defeats VCU in a great game. Singleton has 20 points in just 15 minutes of playing time, helping FSU end VCU's Cinderella season.
Southeast: 4. Wisconsin vs. 8. Butler
Second-round easy win vs. Belmont
Third-round easy win vs. Kansas State
Second-round close win vs. Old Dominion
Third-round close win vs. Pitt
Key Player: Jordan Taylor
Prediction: Wisconsin defeats Butler in a blowout behind Taylor's explosion for 30 points and 10 assists. Butler can't make it quite as far as they did last year.
Southeast: 2. Florida vs. 3. BYU
Second-round blowout vs. UC Santa Barbara
Third-round close win vs. UCLA
Second-round close win vs. Wofford
Third-round easy win vs. Gonzaga
Key Player: Jimmer Fredette
Prediction: BYU defeats Florida in a close contest behind a big game from Jimmer. Florida just doesn't have the defense to contain the Jimmer Show.
Elite Eight and Final Four
East: Kentucky over UNC
West: UConn over Duke
Southwest: Kansas over Florida State
Southeast: BYU over Wisconsin
UConn over Kentucky
Kansas over BYU
National Championship Game:
UConn 76, Kansas 72
MVP: Kemba Walker
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