NCAA Tournament Preview: 6 vs. 11 Games
No 6. Ohio State (25-9, 10-8 Big Ten) vs. No. 11 Dayton (23-10, 10-6)
Ohio State Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the Buckeyes’ biggest strengths is their defense. Ohio State’s defense is 12th overall in points allowed per game with just 59.8. The Buckeye’s weakeness is their inability to score. Their biggest weakness was apparent in the Big Ten semi finals with players like Aaron Craft.
Dayton Strengths and Weaknesses
One of Dayton’s top strengths comes from their offense who scores 73.4 points per game. Dayton’s defense struggles recording blocks. The Flyers are 291st overall with 2.6 blocks per game.
X Factor: Syracuse Center Amir Williams
If Ohio State center, Amir Williams records three or four fouls during this matchup, Dayton has a chance to come out victorious.
No. 6 Baylor (24-11, 9-9 Big 12) vs. No. 11 Nebraska (19-12, 11-7 Big Ten)
Baylor Strengths and Weaknesses
Baylor’s offense serves as a strength, scoring over 75 points per game and a scoring margin of +6.8. One of Baylor’s biggest weaknesses falls in their turnover average of 11.8 per game.
Nebraska Strengths and Weaknesses
When on a roll, the Cornhuskers are one of college basketball’s hottest teams. Nebraska had multiple three and four game win streaks throughout the regular season. Nebraska has struggled on the road this season with a 3-8 away record.
X Factor: Nebraska Guard Terran Petteway
Terran Petteway’s offensive performance will play a huge impact in this game. If the super star guard can score 27 points like he did against the Citadel, then the Cornhuskers have a chance to pull off an upset.
No. 6 UMass (24-8, 10-6 Atlantic 10) vs. Iowa/Tennessee
UMass Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the Minutemen’s strengths comes in their rebounding performance. UMass is 26th overall in rebounds with 38.6 per game. Another strength falls in their free throws, with 16.2 per game. The UMass three-point game is weak with a 3-point field goal percentage of 34.7.
X Factor: UMass Guard Chaz Williams
Williams is one the Minutemen’s strongest players recording 15.8 points per game, a free throw percentage of 75.4, and 1,125 total points.
No. 6 North Carolina (23-9, 13-5 ACC) vs. No. 11 Providence (23-11, 10-8 Big East)
North Carolina Strengths and Weaknesses
The Tar Heels play their best against the top opponents. This season North Carolina beat five top-50 RPI teams including wins over Duke, Louisville and Kentucky. Additionally, Carolina attacks the glass better than most teams in the country, ranking ninth in total rebounds. A weakness for the Tar Heels were among the most inconsistent teams in the country this season and suffered a series of bad losses to teams such Belmont, UAB, and Wake Forest.
Providence Strengths and Weaknesses
Senior guard Bryce Cotton leads the Friars in points, assists and minutes per game. Averaging 21.4 points and 39.9 minutes per game, Cotton is the unquestioned leader of this Providence squad and possesses the ability to carry his team to victory. Depth is a major problem for the Friars as Ed Cooley only plays a six-man rotation led by senior Bryce Cotton.
X-Factor: North Carolina Point Guard Marcus Paige
The Tar Heels go as Marcus Paige goes. Entering the NCAA tournament Paige is shooting 38.3 percent in defeats and 46.8 percent in victories. From three-point range he has made 44.4 percent of his 3-point attempts in victories, and 28.4 percent of his threes in defeats.