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Sweet 16 Preview: Friday Night Games

No. 5 Butler v. No. 1 Florida

Game Time: 7:10 p.m. CST

Butler Players to Watch:

  • A.J. Graves, G, 6-1, Jr., 17.1 Pts., 2.3 Reb., 2.4 Ast.
  • Mike Green, G, 6-1, Jr., 13.9 Pts., 6.0 Reb., 4.0 Ast.
  • Brandon Crone, F, 6-6, Sr., 11.4 Pts., 4.7 Reb., 2.1 Ast.

Florida Players to Watch:

  • Al Horford, F-C, 6-10, Jr., 13.3 Pts. 9.3 Reb., 2.1 Ast.
  • Corey Brewer, F, 6-9, Jr., 13.1 Pts., 4.6 Reb., 3.1 Ast.
  • Taurean Green, G, 6-0, Jr., 13.0 Pts., 2.4 Reb., 3.7 Ast.

This is the other game that I have no doubt that Florida will completely dominate Butler. In fact, I think this game is just going to get silly. I think a ton of people tend to overlook Horford, but considering his size and pure athleticism he's got to be one of the top players in the country. I know that Butler's guards have the ability to play well and control a game, but not here. Check out Swamp Ball. DTN Pick: Florida.

No. 7 UNLV v. No. 3 Oregon

Game Time: 8:40 p.m. CST

UNLV Players to Watch:

  • Wendell White, G, 6-6, Sr., 14.6 Pts, 6.2 Reb., 1.1 Ast.
  • Wink Adams, G, 6-0, So., 14.1 Pts., 3.7 Reb., 2.3 Ast.
  • Kevin Kruger, G, 6-2, Sr., 13.4 Pts., 2.5 Reb., 5.2 Ast.

Oregon Players to Watch:

  • Aaron Brooks, G, 6-0, Sr., 17.8 Pts., 4.4 Reb., 4.2 Ast.
  • Bryce Taylor, G, 6-5, Jr., 14.6 Pts., 4.6 Reb., 1.7 Ast.
  • Tajuan Porter, G, 5-6, Fr., 14.2 Pts., 1.9 Reb., 2.0 Ast.

This is perhaps the most interesting game of the lot. These are similar teams in terms of talent. Both teams have talented guards who play very well together. Having not watched the Ducks as much, I am impressed with their overall depth (5 players average double figures) and think that they've got plenty inside to compete with the athletic and the jumping-jacks known as UNLV. UNLV can shoot a team right out of the gym and that's a real possibility here. I'm going to go against my better judgment. Check out Addicted to Quack. DTN Pick: Oregon.

No. 6 Vanderbilt v. No. 2 Georgetown

Game Time: 6:27 p.m. CST

Vanderbilt Players to Watch:

  • Derrick Byars, G-F, 6-7, Sr., 17.0 Pts., 5.0 Reb., 3.4 Ast.
  • Shan Foster, G-F, 6-6, Jr., 15.6 Pts., 4.6 Reb., 2.3 Ast.
  • Dan Cage, G, 6-5, Sr., 11.1 Pts., 3.2 Reb., 2.2 Ast.

Georgetown Players to Watch:

  • Jeff Green, F, 6-9, Jr., 14.2 Pts., 6.2 Reb., 3.2 Ast.
  • Roy Hibbert, C, 7-2, Jr., 12.7 Pts., 6.7 Reb., 1.0 Ast.
  • Jonathan Wallace, G, 6-1, Jr., 11.0 Pts., 2.7 Reb., 3.0 Ast.

I've been in love with Georgetown since the Big East Tournament and I don't think I've hidden my feelings, but Hibbert just dominated against Boston College and literally took over the 2nd half. That's something that most young big men cannot do, but Hibbert did. I expect Green to bounce back in this game as well. Vandy is an athletic and talented team and are balanced on both offense and defense. Byars had a tremendous block against Washington State, and I think this Vanderbilt team is better defensively than people give them credit. Despite that, I can't go against my boys. DTN Pick: Georgetown.

No. 5 USC v. No. 1 North Carolina

Game Time: 8:57 p.m. CST

USC Players to Watch:

  • Nick Young, G-F, 6-6, Jr., 17.6 Pts., 4.6 Reb., 1.4 Ast.
  • Lodrick Stewart, G, 6-4, Sr., 13.8 Pts., 3.5 Reb., 1.2 Ast.
  • Gabe Pruitt, G, 6-4, Jr., 12.4 Pts., 2.8 Reb., 4.2 Ast.

North Carolina Players to Watch:

  • Tyler Hansbrough, F, 6-9, So., 18.6 Pts., 7.9 Reb., 1.2 Ast.
  • Brandan Wright, F, 6-9, Fr., 14.6 Pts., 6.1 Reb., 1.0 Ast.
  • Wayne Ellington, G, 6-4, Fr., 11.9 Pts., 2.9 Reb., 2.2 Ast.

USC is just athletic enough to pull off this game. Of every team, UNC is the most talented. Hands down, but USC has already found a way to stop the best player in the country and it wouldn't surprise me to see USC do it a second time. The thing I like most about the Trojans is the length and athleticism, which serves itself well in matching up with talented teams like the Tar Heels. UNC is a very young team and, which typically doesn't serve itself well in the tournament, but I don't think that UNC loses here. Check out Conquest Chronicles and Carolina March. DTN Pick: North Carolina.