Last night’s games started off slow with Carolina and Kansas blowing out Marquette and Richmond respectively, but the late games made up for that. Kentucky/Ohio State and Florida State/VCU were both excellent games. Let’s take a look at today’s games!
8 Butler vs. 2 Florida
This is an interesting clash between underperforming and overachieving teams. Florida hasn’t played up to their potential yet and Butler has routinely played well above their’s. Florida is clearly the more talented and athletic team, but if they play down to their competition again, Butler could easily steal this game.
The Bulldogs execute brilliantly on offense with G Shelvin Mack (above) running the show, but C Andrew Smith might be hobbled by an ankle injury he sustained against Wisconsin. That could be a blow to Butler’s chances as Smith has played extremely well in the tournament so far. Butler will defend well, so you know they will be in the game down the stretch.
Florida has two excellent guards in Erving Walker and Kenny Boyton and their bigs are much more athletic than Butler’s. If Florida plays to its potential, and doesn’t settle for jump shots, they should win this game.
5 Arizona vs. 3 Connecticut
This matchup features the two best individual players remaining in the tournament, Arizona F Derrick Williams and UConn G Kemba Walker. Williams was brilliant against Duke on Thursday and he will have to be again for Arizona to beat the Huskies. Arizona’s secondary players (namely G Lamont “MoMo” Jones) performed brilliantly in Thursday’s win, but I don’t know if Coach Sean Miller can count on that level of play from them again.
UConn was really a two-man team on Thursday, with Walker and F Jeremy Lamb doing almost all of the damage against San Diego State. This game will most likely come down to who can get the most out of their secondary players. At this point I think that’s Arizona. I think their role players have been somewhat overrated.