Preview: Friday’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: South. Time: 7:37 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 1. Kansas (31-5/9-1); 4. Michigan (28-7/8-2).

23Ben McLemore6-515.85.3
5Jeff Withey7-013.88.5
24Travis Releford6-611.83.8
15Elijah Johnson6-49.83.1
40Kevin Young6-87.66.7
3Trey Burke6-018.83.0
10Tim Hardaway Jr.6-614.94.6
11Nik Stauskas6-611.33.2
1Glenn Robinson III6-611.15.5
4Mitch McGary6-106.85.9

Analysis: Michigan’s blowout against VCU last weekend might be the most impressive victory of the tournament; the Wolverines are clicking and have an array of offensive weapons, led by Burke. The Wolverines have guarded well, but Kansas is going to present a special challenge. It’s questionable whether Michigan’s young big men can match Kansas’s Withey and Young. The Jayhawks play some of the best defense in the country, too. If Michigan can at least compete and not get crushed in the paint, it can win this game.



Regional: South. Time: 9:57 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 15. Florida Gulf Coast (26-10/8-2); 3. Florida (28-7/7-3).

No.Florida GCHt.PPGRPG
25Sherwood Brown6-415.66.6
2Bernard Thompson6-314.54.5
20Chase Fieler6-812.15.4
0Brett Comer6-38.13.1
12Eric McKnight6-96.64.5
33Erik Murphy6-1012.85.5
3Mike Rosario6-312.52.5
1Kenny Boynton6-212.13.0
4Patric Young6-910.36.3
5Scottie Wilbekin6-29.22.9

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Analysis: The Gulf Coast story is tremendous and the Eagles have been highly entertaining in upsetting Georgetown and San Diego State, but here’s some stats courtesy of Ed Ryan, the Globe’s NFL gambling and fantasy football correspondent: Comer of Gulf Coast: 6.5 assists per game, 3.5 turnovers per game. As a team: 512 assists, 525 turnovers. Only two players on the team have positive assist-to-turnover ratios — Comer and backup guard DaJuan Graf. Here’s where the glass slipper breaks. Florida will defend well and has enough toughness to prevent Gulf Coast from going crazy near the hoop.


Regional: Midwest. Time: 7:15 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 1. Louisville (31-5/10-0); 12. Oregon (28-8/7-3).

2Russ Smith6-118.43.5
10Gorgui Dieng6-1110.09.5
3Peyton Siva6-09.92.3
21Chane Behanan6-69.76.3
20Wayne Blackshear6-58.03.3
25E.J. Singler6-611.64.9
21Damyean Dotson6-511.33.6
14Arsalan Kazemi6-79.39.9
55Tony Woods6-119.13.6
1Dominic Artis6-18.42.3

Analysis: Oregon’s freshman guards, Artis and Dotson, have been flawless. Dotson, a 33 percent 3-point shooter, has connected on 8 of 15 threes in two victories. They will have to keep up with the relentless Louisville full-court pressure, which should eventually wear them down.


Regional: Midwest. Time: 9:45 p.m. Seed, record/last 10: 2. Duke (29-5/14-4); 3. Michigan St. (27-8/13-5).

30Seth Curry6-217.32.6
5Mason Plumlee6-1017.210.0
34Ryan Kelly6-1113.35.4
2Quinn Cook6-112.03.9
14Rasheed Sulaimon6-411.73.4
 Michigan St.   
11Keith Appling6-113.33.5
14Gary Harris6-413.12.5
5Adreian Payne6-1010.47.5
25Derrick Nix6-910.06.5
22Branden Dawson6-69.16.0


Analysis: This is a classic matchup between two traditional powers and two great coaches. Once again, Tom Izzo has his Michigan State team playing its best in March. Mike Krzyzewski has Duke playing well, too, especially with the return of versatile forward Kelly. Expect this to be a chess match, with the score probably in the 60s. It may sound obvious, but because both these teams play such solid defense, the team that gets the best, open shots and converts will win.