No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 5 VCU:
In the first game of the day as part of the third round of the South Region, the Michigan Wolverines and VCU Rams will face off in what very well could be the game of the day. VCU routed Akron in the second round on Thursday, cruising to a 46-point victory in the process. Michigan on the other hand, cruised past South Dakota State despite star guard Trey Burke only being limited to six points on 2-of-12 shooting.
The key in this game will be Burke’s ability to handle VCU’s in-your-face pressure. The Rams call it “havoc,” but the nation’s top point guard certainly has the ability to stifle things and get Michigan’s offense going despite the pressure.
No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 6 Memphis:
The Spartans rolled through the second round with an easy victory over No. 14 Valparaiso. Michigan State looked good right out of the gate and that’s a credit to head coach Tom Izzo and the Spartans’ quest for a Final Four appearance. As for Memphis, well they survived a scary Saint Mary’s team, as Matthew Dellavedova’s three attempt at the buzzer went long. The Tigers advanced with a two point victory, but now they must face their biggest test of the year with these Spartans.
These two teams match up pretty well, so it very well could just come down to the defensive end of the floor. Michigan State will have the advantage having played in the brutal Big Ten Conference this season, so this could very well hinge on Memphis’ ability to limit turnovers and run good offense.