A look at the eight matchups, with each school’s likely starters and analysis from Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan.
Regional: Midwest. Time: 9:40 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 2. Duke (28-5/7-3); 7. Creighton (28-7/8-2).
Analysis: Creighton showed some toughness in its victory over Cincinnati, matching the Bearcats physically, then making free throws down the stretch. Duke will be physical, too, but the game should be a lot more wide open. Creighton, not known for great defense, needs to tighten up on that end. Overall, the Bluejays match up pretty well, and it will be interesting to see how Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski chooses to have his team defend McDermott.
Regional: East. Time: 2:45 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 1. Indiana (28-6/7-3); 9. Temple (24-9/8-2).
Analysis: Indiana is the best team in the tournament. The Hoosiers play fast-break basketball and tough man-to-man defense. They have a really good big man in Zeller and plenty of guards. Temple had a great victory over North Carolina State Friday, but the Owls are a one-man team in Wyatt. The Hoosiers need to send an extra defender at him and let the other Owls beat them. O’Brien, who left Boston University after graduation and more than 1,000 points in three seasons, had a big afternoon against North Carolina State (18 points on 7-for-9 shooting), and the Owls need a repeat of that.
Regional: East. Time: 8:40 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 2. Miami (Fla.) (28-6/7-3); 7. Illinois (23-12/6-4).
|4||T. McKinney Jones||6-5||9.4||3.4|
Analysis: The Hurricanes flexed their muscles Friday, squashing Pacific in an impressive effort. They’re one of the most well-balanced teams in the tournament, with impressive inside and outside games. That’s going to be hard for Illinois to defend; the Illini are really no match for the Hurricanes inside.
Regional: West. Time: 7:40 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 12. Mississippi (27-8/8-2); 13. La Salle (23-9/7-3).
Analysis: In their two games, the Explorers have been outstanding for 60 minutes and have hung on for dear life for the other 20. They hung on to beat Kansas State after blowing a 19-point lead. La Salle’s bevy of guards, led by Galloway, is dynamic, and right now they’re playing very well. Wright is the lone big man, and Ole Miss has some bulk up front. The Rebels also have Henderson, a wild gunner who can shoot Mississippi in or out of games. The Rebels need to slow the pace and pound the ball inside.
Regional: West. Time: 12:15 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 2. Ohio State (27-7/9-1); 10. Iowa St. (23-11/7-3).
Analysis: Both teams played well Friday, with Ohio State beating Iona and Iowa State vaporizing Notre Dame. The Buckeyes, led by forward Thomas and guard Craft, will defend Iowa State more tightly than Notre Dame did. However, the Cyclones will look to score inside with big guys Ejim and Niang (from Methuen), who outplayed the more heralded Notre Dame front line.
Regional: South. Time: 6:10 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 3. Florida (27-7/6-4); 11. Minnesota (21-12/4-6).
Analysis: Florida has been criticized for its failure to win on the road, but these games are all on neutral courts. Minnesota is better than its record. This should be a really good matchup between sets of guards, but I believe Florida’s is slightly better. The wild card for Minnesota is Mbakwe, who is just a shadow of himself because of injuries. If he’s feeling well, he could have a big game and swing it in the Gophers’ favor.
Regional: South. Time: 7:10 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 7. San Diego St. (23-10/5-5); 15. Florida Gulf Coast (25-10/8-2).
|No.||Fla. Gulf Coast||Ht.||PPG||RPG|
|San Diego St.|
Analysis: Gulf Coast looked sensational in beating Georgetown, but remember this: The Eagles didn’t even win the Atlantic Sun regular-season title (Mercer did). If they play as well as they played against Georgetown, they have a chance. But San Diego State should be able to handle their athleticism better than the Hoyas did. Franklin should have a big game for the Aztecs.
Regional: South. Time: 5:15 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 1. Kansas (30-5/9-1); 8. N. Carolina (25-10/8-2).
Analysis: This should be a high-scoring game, as both teams like to get up and down. Kansas didn’t look great in beating Western Kentucky Friday, but it has played well since a three-game losing streak in early February. The Jayhawks are a top-notch shooting team (48 percent) and lead the nation in defensive field goal percentage. The Tar Heels have been an underachieving group of McDonald’s All-Americans most of the season; they’re capable of the upset, but they’ve failed to show they can put together a complete game.