Game: (2) Ohio State – (6) Cincinnati 3/22 9:45 PM ET
Bracket: East Region
Game Analysis: OSU is now the obvious favorite in the Midwest region, with North Carolina losing their point guard for an undisclosed number of games. The Buckeyes are extremely deep and are playing with a ton of confidence after rolling over Gonzaga last Sunday. The team relies on the consistent scoring of forwards Jarred Sullinger and William Buford, but has recently been picked up by point guard Aaron Craft. The team’s three-headed offense will prove difficult for Cincinnati to defend against, but defense is their specialty. Cincy has continued to stifle opposing offenses, despite getting practically no national recognition up till this point. The Bearcats play tenacious defense with very active hands, potentially making it very difficult for the OSU guards to penetrate against.
Matchup to Watch: G Aaron Craft, Ohio State vs. G Cashmere Wright, Cincinnati – Craft is coming a career game where he posted 17 points and 10 assists. He shot over 77% from the field and is finally learning how to use Jarred Sulinger to his advantage. Cashmere Wright, who is leading the Bearcats with 4.6 assists per game, will guard Craft in the Sweet 16 match-up. Wright is a very versatile point guard, who is not afraid to meet under the hoop.
Matchup to Watch: F Jared Sullinger, Ohio State vs. F Yancy Gates, Cincinnati – These are two of the meanest players to meet under the boards, making this an exciting matchup to watch. Sullinger continues to progress as an amazing post player and is really fine-tuning his jump shot. Gates has a much stronger upper body and will contest every shot that Sullinger takes.
Prediction: Ohio State 80 – Cincinnati 76