No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 3 Miami (FL)
The East Region is pretty straight forward heading into the Sweet 16 round. The top four seeds in the bracket have all advanced thus far and now it’s time to see if that trend will continue. On Tuesday afternoon, news broke that Miami (FL) forward Reggie Johnson will miss the remainder of the east regional after undergoing a minor surgical procedure on his knee. The news is not devastating, but certainly not something that the Hurricanes wanted to have happen. Julian Gamble and Kenny Kadji must step up their production inside against Marquette, but Miami is 7-2 without Johnson already this season. The key match-up in this one is surely at the point guard position. Shane Larkin is a super sophomore who can score the basketball from anywhere on the floor. Marquette’s Junior Cadougan must be ready to defend and limit Larkin offensively. Marquette has advanced to three consecutive Sweet 16s, but is this the year they finally break through into the Elite 8?
No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 4 Syracuse
Indiana survived a scare in the Round of 32 against Temple and that’s not something that they will be able to get away with in this one against Syracuse. The Hoosiers have to be more disciplined and find a way to get Cody Zeller going early. If Syracuse cannot stop Zeller inside, their 2-3 zone will be forced to collapse, which could ultimately open up the perimeter for guys like Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls. Christian Watford could certainly be a key in this one, simply based off his ability to step out and hit the three ball. Indiana has advanced to back-to-back Sweet 16s, but the top seed in the East is favored to move forward into the Elite 8 on Thursday.