Preview: Thursday’s NCAA tournament games

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


Regional: East. Time: 7:15 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 2. Miami (29-6/7-3); 3. Marquette (25-8/8-2).

54Davante Gardner6-811.34.8
42Chris Otule6-115.03.5
5Junior Cadougan6-18.62.9
22Trent Lockett6-57.24.9
13Vander Blue6-414.83.2
45Julian Gamble6-106.54.9
35Kenny Kadji6-1113.06.9
4Trey McKinney Jones6-59.23.4
1Durand Scott6-513.23.9
0Shane Larkin5-1114.53.8

Analysis: Miami will be without center Reggie Johnson (minor knee surgery), and that could open the lane for Marquette’s 290-pound big man, “Twinkle Toes” Gardner, who’s a load in the paint and makes his free throws. Johnson could have matched up with him. Now the Hurricanes will have to figure something else out. The guard matchup, Miami’s Larkin and Marquette’s Blue, could decide the game. Both of these teams have won their share of close ones. Johnson’s absence will be felt.



Regional: East. Time: 9:45 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 1. Indiana (29-6/7-3); 4. Syracuse (28-9/6-4).

2Christian Watford6-912.36.3
40Cody Zeller7-016.78.0
1Jordan Hulls6-09.92.3
4Victor Oladipo6-513.66.4
11Yogi Ferrell6-07.82.8
43James Southerland6-813.75.3
5C.J. Fair6-814.56.9
20Brandon Triche6-413.83.4
1M. Carter-Williams6-611.84.8
25Rakeem Christmas6-95.34.7

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Analysis: The Hoosiers were taken to the limit by Temple; Syracuse advanced through two games easily. The Orange are supremely talented, especially Fair but they’ve been inconsistent at times. Indiana’s weakness is depth. but what the Hoosiers have is great balance and smart play. Syracuse’s 2-3 zone has been known to baffle opponents, but Indiana has both the smarts and skill to combat it. The Hoosiers will also want to push the pace.


Regional: West. Time: 7:47 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 6. Arizona (27-7/7-3); 2. Ohio St. (28-7/10-0).

44Solomon Hill6-713.35.4
35Kaleb Tarczewski7-06.66.2
2Mark Lyons6-115.42.0
3Kevin Parrom6-68.34.9
13Nick Johnson6-311.63.5
 Ohio St.   
1Deshaun Thomas6-719.76.1
12Sam Thompson6-77.83.4
23Amir Williams6-113.63.9
4Aaron Craft6-210.03.4
32Lenzelle Smith, Jr.6-49.44.8

Analysis: Arizona has been stupendous in routing Belmont and Harvard in its first two games. Ohio State took care of Iona fairly easily, but then needed a controversial call to escape from Iowa State. The big matchup in this game is Arizona’s high-scoring Lyons vs. Ohio State’s Craft, perhaps the best individual defender in the tournament. If Craft can knock Lyons off his game, the Buckeyes will be well on their way to victory.


Regional: West. Time: 10:17 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 9. Wichita St. (28-8/7-3); 13. La Salle (24-9/7-3).

No.Wichita St.Ht.PPGRPG
22Carl Hall6-812.66.9
21Ehimen Orukpe7-02.84.4
2Malcom Armstead6-010.63.7
31Ron Baker6-38.32.8
32Tekele Cotton6-26.33.9
 La Salle   
25Jarrell Wright6-810.76.8
55Ramon Galloway6-317.44.5
3Tyreek Duren6-014.42.9
10Sam Mills6-28.02.6
1D.J. Peterson6-54.02.5


Analysis: Which underdog do you like? Wichita State was unworldly in upsetting No. 1 seed Gonzaga, but it took seven straight 3-pointers in the second half to do it. The Wheat Shockers are a physical team that likes to keep things contained in the halfcourt on both ends. La Salle will play four guards, penetrating with the dribble and finding open shooters is how to succeed. It will come down to who dictates the pace. If La Salle’s guards can get rolling, Wichita State might not be able to keep up. If Wichita State turns this into a physical confrontation, the Shockers will win.