The No. 1 seeded team in the East region, the Virginia Cavaliers, have gone 20 – 2 since their 35 point defeat at the hands of the Tennessee Volunteers. Included in this impressive record is Virginia’s second round 2014 NCAA Tournament victory over the No. 16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Coastal Carolina pushed UVA hard for a majority of the game, but the Cavaliers were able to prevail 70 – 59 in the end because of superior defense.
Next up for Virginia is the No. 8 seeded Memphis Tigers, who will be fighting hard for a berth in the Sweet Sixteen. Memphis defeated the No. 9 seeded George Washington Colonials in their opening game of March Madness, but will not be satisfied unless they make it to at least the Final Four. This veteran team is hungry for national recognition after a disappointing run in AAC play.
What to Watch For:
Joe Jackson is one of the best guards in all of college basketball. His speed combined with his vision is going to throw the elite Virginia defense for a loop. If Joe Harris can make most of his threes, then UVA can come out on top. However, watch for Michael Dixon Jr. to show out as the veteran off the bench for the Tigers.
In very few of these previews have I called an upset, but I think that the Tigers’ are more than capable of upsetting. Remember, Memphis defeated the No. 4 seeded Louisville Cardinals twice, as well as fell to the No. 1 overall seed, the Florida Gators, by just two late in the game. Josh Pastner’s squad is a legitimate National Title threat, and this will be the game that they finally prove it.
Memphis 66, Virginia 60