No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 12 Oregon
The Louisville Cardinals have been the best team thus far within the 2013 NCAA Tournament. A rout of No. 16 North Carolina A&T was followed up by another double-digit victory over Colorado State. As for Oregon, well we know that they were vastly under-seeded heading into this bracket, but the Ducks have still had an incredible run and are now a 12-seed looking to advance through to the Elite 8. The key in this match-up will be the play of Louisville guard Russ Smith. It will interesting to see what Oregon head coach Dana Altman will have planned for Smith who is averaging 25 points and five steals per contest. Freshmen guards Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson need to rise to the occasion against Smith and senior leader Peyton Siva.
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 3 Michigan State
Well, this is a highly anticipated match-up without a doubt. As soon as the brackets were released, people began talking about a potential Sweet 16 match-up between Duke and Michigan State. Why? Well it’s another very often you get a Sweet 16 contest that includes Coach K and Tom Izzo. Well, here we go. The biggest key in this contest will be Mason Plumlee’s ability to stay out of foul trouble. Plumlee found himself with four fouls early in the second half of their third round with over Creighton. That cannot happen against Michigan State because although the Blue Devils were able to get past Creighton, Michigan State is a bit more of a threat. Senior leadership will be key for Duke, so will the trio of Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry shine once again on Friday?