No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Arizona
Of the two remaining match-ups in the West Region, this is the one that comes as no real surprise. Arizona has advanced forward to the Sweet 16 by taking out a pair of Cinderellas in both Belmont and Harvard, but now things get difficult. Ohio State on the other hand, needed a game-winning, buzzer-beating three pointer to move past Iowa State in the Round of 32. There is no doubt that the key match-up in this contest will be Ohio State’s Aaron Craft vs. Arizona’s Mark Lyons. This point guard battle features one of the top scoring threats in the tournament thus far in Lyons and the top defensive guard in Craft. Lyons is averaging 25 points per game in two postseason contests, so Craft certainly needs to cut the number down if the Buckeyes hope to advance to the Elite 8.
No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 13 LaSalle
Florida Gulf Coast is stealing all the Cinderella story lines this year, but we cannot forget for LaSalle. Tyrone Garland’s “Southwest Philly Floater” put the Explorers into the Sweet 16 over the weekend where they will draw Wichita State who is fresh off their upset bid of No. 1 Gonzaga. Believe it or not, this year’s bracket out west will have either a 9 or 13 seed in the Elite 8 round and I doubt many people had either of them still alive in their brackets. Well, that’s how things have played out and while we don’t want to overlook LaSalle, we certainly can’t take Wichita State for granted. A balanced lineup make this team a dangerous threat, but the Shockers’ main focus must be on slowing down LaSalle’s top scoring threat, Ramon Galloway.