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Sports

Preview: Saturday’s NCAA Tournament games

A look at the eight matchups, with each school’s likely starters and analysis from Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan.

VCU vs. MICHIGAN

Regional: South. Time: 12:15 p.m. Seed, record/last 10:  4. Michigan (27-7/6-4); 5. VCU (27-8/7-3)

No.VCUHt.PPGRPG
10Darius Theus6-3 7.01.6
11Rob Brandenberg6-2 10.52.7
15Juvonte Reddic6-9 14.68.2
21Treveon Graham6-5 15.25.9
30Troy Daniels6-4 12.43.1
 Michigan   
1Glenn Robinson III6-611.0 5.4
4Mitch McGary6-106.45.6
3Trey Burke6-018.83.0
10Tim Hardaway, Jr.6-615.04.7
11 Nik Stauskas6-611.43.2

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Analysis: VCU’s full-court press is a challenge, but Michigan has great ball-handling guards, especially Burke. It comes down to this: When VCU forces 20 or more turnovers, it is undefeated; when it doesn’t, it usually loses. Michigan has simple needs: Don’t turn it over, get some shots, and make them.

MEMPHIS vs. MICHIGAN ST.

Regional: Midwest. Time: 2:45 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 3. Michigan St. (26-8/6-4); 6. Memphis (31-4/9-1)

No.MemphisHt.PPGRPG
4Adonis Thomas6-7 11.94.5
5Shaq Goodwin6-9 7.64.5
30D.J. Stephens6-5 7.76.7
1Joe Jackson6-1 13.73.2
55Geron Johnson6-3 10.24.7
 Michigan St.   
11Keith Appling6-1 13.63.6
14Gary Harris6-4 12.82.5
5Adreian Payne6-10 10.37.4
25Derrick Nix6-9 9.96.5
22Branden Dawson6-6 9.36.0

Analysis: Las Vegas placed Memphis as an underdog in its opening game vs. Saint Mary’s, but the Tigers led from start to finish and got some great play from Jackson and their intimidating big men, Goodwin and Tarik Black. Michigan State rolled over Valparaiso and looks ready to advance. Memphis can match Michigan State physically, so this has a chance to be a close game.

LOUISVILLE vs. COLORADO ST.

Regional: Midwest. Time: 5:15 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 1. Louisville (30-5/10-0); 8. Colorado St. (26-8/6-4)

No.LouisvilleHt.PPGRPG
20Wayne Blackshear6-5 8.13.3
21Chane Behanan6-6 9.96.4
10Gorgui Dieng6-11 10.09.8
2Russ Smith6-1 18.23.5
3Peyton Siva6-0 9.92.3
 Colorado St.   
4Pierce Hornung6-5 8.69.1
44Greg Smith6-6 11.15.1
45Colton Iverson6-10 14.49.9
10Wes Eikmeier6-3 12.71.7
22Dorian Green6-2 13.2 2.5

Analysis: Louisville did exactly what a top seed should do, squash a 16 seed. The Cards will press full court and try to create the chaos in which they flourish. Colorado State played a tremendous game, maybe its best of the season, in beating Missouri Thursday. The Rams are the country’s leading rebounding team and they crushed Missouri on the boards, 42-19 — and Mizzou was the third-ranked rebounding team. The Rams’ guards are experienced, too. Louisville must be prepared for a tough fight.

ARIZONA vs. HARVARD

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Regional: West. Time: 6:10 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 6. Arizona (26-7/6-4); 14. Harvard (20-9/7-3)

No.ArizonaHt.PPGRPG
3Kevin Parrom6-6 8.55.0
44Solomon Hill6-7 13.35.3
35Kaleb Tarczewski7-0 6.66.1
2Mark Lyons6-1 15.02.0
13Nick Johnson6-3 11.73.5
 Harvard   
25Kenyatta Smith6-8 5.64.3
0Laurent Rivard6-5 10.63.8
1Siyani Chambers6-0 12.62.6
15Christian Webster6-5 8.42.9
23Wesley Saunders6-5 16.54.1

Analysis: Harvard will need another stellar coaching job from Tommy Amaker, who used his smaller, quicker lineup to his advantage in the Crimson’s upset over New Mexico. The Crimson won’t have a quickness advantage against Arizona, and the Wildcats attack the boards. The Crimson need to shoot a high percentage and not get killed on the boards to have another chance at an upset.

OREGON vs. SAINT LOUIS

Regional: Midwest. Time: 7:10 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 4. Saint Louis (28-6/9-1); 12. Oregon (27-8/7-3)

No.OregonHt.PPGRPG
1Dominic Artis6-1 8.72.3
14Arsalan Kazemi6-7 9.49.8
21Damyean Dotson6-5 11.03.6
25EJ Singler6-6 11.54.9
55Tony Woods6-11 9.33.7
 Saint Louis   
1Grandy Glaze6-6 3.12.7
21Dwayne Evans6-5 14.07.7
51Rob Loe6-11 7.03.5
3Kwamain Mitchell5-10 10.32.4
11Mike McCall Jr.6-0 9.52.5

Analysis: Oregon proved its point with a big 13-point victory over Oklahoma State: The Ducks should have been a better seed than 12. The Ducks had good inside play from big man Kazemi and good outside play from freshman point guard Artis. However, the Ducks have never faced anything like Saint Louis’s defense. The Billikens are suffocating, and they hounded New Mexico State in their 64-44 victory. The Bills will dictate terms and win this comfortably.

BUTLER vs. MARQUETTE

Regional: East. Time: 7:45 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 3. Marquette (24-8/7-3); 6. Butler (27-8/7-3)

No.ButlerHt.PPGRPG
21Roosevelt Jones6-4 10.25.7
23Khyle Marshall6-6 9.84.6
44Andrew Smith6-11 11.16.0
3Alex Barlow5-11 2.22.7
15Rotnei Clarke6-0 16.72.8
 Marquette   
10Juan Anderson6-6 2.93.0
42Chris Otule6-11 5.13.5
5Junior Cadougan6-1 8.62.9
13Vander Blue6-4 14.43.2
22Trent Lockett6-5 7.04.9

Analysis: This will be another grinder, as many of Thursday afternoon’s games were. Marquette is lucky to be here with its unlikely 59-58 victory over Davidson. Marquette is a poor outside shooting team and Davidson capitalized on that; Butler will probably do it better. Butler could struggle to score, as it did against Bucknell. Figure this game to be in the 50s unless both teams shoot well.

GONZAGA vs. WICHITA ST.

Regional: West. Time: 8:40 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 1. Gonzaga (32-2/10-0); 9. Wichita St. (27-8/7-3)

No.GonzagaHt.PPGRPG
20Elias Harris6-8 14.67.5
30Mike Hart6-6 1.93.6
13Kelly Olynyk7-0 17.67.3
4Kevin Pangos6-2 11.62.7
5Gary Bell Jr.6-1 9.32.2
 Wichita St.   
22Carl Hall6-8 12.77.1
21Ehimen Orukpe7-0 2.84.5
2Malcom Armstead6-0 10.73.7
31Ron Baker6-3 7.72.6
32Tekele Cotton6-2 6.33.9

Analysis: What a contrast on Thursday. Wichita was one of the most impressive of the day in dominating Pitt with its smothering defense and patient offense. Meanwhile, Gonzaga almost became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed. The Zags survived, but it was ugly. They hadn’t played since March 11 and it looked like it. Expect a complete turnabout and big offensive effort.

CALIFORNIA vs. SYRACUSE

Regional: East. Time: 9:40 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 4. Syracuse (27-9/5-5); 12. California (21-11/8-2)

No.CaliforniaHt.PPGRPG
35Richard Solomon6-10 8.56.6
45David Kravish6-9 8.07.0
1Justin Cobbs6-3 15.43.5
3Tyrone Wallace6-4 7.04.5
23Allen Crabbe6-6 18.76.1
 Syracuse   
43James Southerland 6-8 13.75.1
5C.J. Fair6-8 14.47.0
20Brandon Triche6-4 13.93.3
1Michael Carter-Williams6-6 11.84.9
25Rakeem Christmas6-9 5.44.7

Analysis: Syracuse looked like it is getting back in form while vaporizing Montana Thursday. Southerland has caught fire from behind the arc and forward Fair is hard to stop. Cal played one of its best games of the season in handling UNLV and the Bears will need a repeat to have a chance. They have to control the pace and figure out how to score against Syracuse’s zone.

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