March 26th, 2010
12:03 PM ET

Sports Update: Elite eight throwdown

Duke, a top seed, faces off against Purdue, a four seed, late tonight.

Four more teams will advance to the Elite Eight tonight, and's Seth Davis weighs in below with what to expect. The highlights (all times Eastern):

-No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 2 Ohio State (7:07 PM, CBS) Says Davis: "There was a very unusual stat in the first half of the Buckeyes' second-round game against Georgia Tech: Evan Turner took 15 shots in the first 20 minutes. That is very unlike him, and unlike Ohio State. This team has excellent offensive balance, and when Jon Diebler and William Buford get open looks they're almost impossible to defend. Turner took just four shots in the second half and Ohio State pulled away. Unlike Ohio U, the Buckeyes have a big man inside (Dallas Lauderdale) who can bang with Wayne Chism. I also don't think Tennessee will fare well against Ohio State's funky 1-3-1 zone."

-No. 10 St. Mary vs. No. 3 Baylor (7:27 PM, CBS) Can St. Mary's continue its improbable run? Davis says the clock strikes midnight tonight against Baylor. "While Richmond and Villanova had gaping holes in the middle, leaving them defenseless against Omar "Mr." Samhan, Baylor's front line consists of 6-10 Ekpe Udoh, 6-10 Anthony Jones and 7-foot Josh Lomers, with 6-7 Quincy Acy coming off the bench," says Davis. "That's 20 fouls if you're scoring at home. St. Mary's is a great three-point shooting team and it should get a few looks against Baylor's zone, but the Bears have a sweet guard tandem of their own in Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn.".

-No. 9 Northern Iowa vs, No. 5 Michigan State
(9:37 PM, CBS) Says Davis: "A lot of people are going with the Panthers based on the absence of Spartans point guard Kalin Lucas, but I'm going to stick with Michigan State for two reasons. First and foremost, they are coached by Tom Izzo. No disrespect to Ben Jacobson or any other coach in America, but nobody gets his players ready to compete and win in the NCAA tournament better than Izzo does. Second, I often find that after Cinderellas break through during the first week of the tournament, they return home to tons of accolades and distractions, which detracts from their preparation for the next game. It's hard picking against the Panthers while The Rok is on fire, but the Spartans are ready to douse him."

No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 1  Duke (9:57 PM, CBS) Purdue has advanced to this round without star forward Robbie Hummel but the ride is likely to end here because of Duke's increased strength inside. "This is a Duke team that butters its bread with defense and rebounding," says Davis. "Sometime in early February, a light went on in 7-foot-1 senior center Brian Zoubek's head, and since then he has been the most improved player in college basketball. He and the Plumlee brothers give the Blue Devils much more margin for error than they have had in recent years."


149 - Combined shots by Kansas State and Xavier last night in the Wildcats' thrilling 101-96 double-overtime victory.

17 - Lead changes between Kansas State and Xavier.

9 - Consecutive seasons Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki has led the American League in singles. Nobody else has ever led a league in singles nine times.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Sara

    Get a new job Seth as you thankfully cannot pick teams. GO BIG ORANGE!

    March 26, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |