Handicapping Thursday’s NCAA games

gene sweeney jr./getty
Gonzaga has not been at its best in the tournament.

A look at Thursday’s regional semifinals in the NCAA Tournament:


at Kansas City, Mo.

3. Oregon (31-5) vs. 7. Michigan (26-11), 7:09 p.m., CBS: This has to be the end of the line for Michigan, which has been playing over its head since the Big Ten tournament. Oregon has the size and skill to overpower the Wolverines. Oregon’s Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey are both tough, clutch players.

1. Kansas (30-4) vs. 4. Purdue (27-7), 9:39 p.m., CBS: This could be interesting if Purdue’s guards can slow down Kansas guards Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham. Easier said than done, but if done, Purdue’s huge frontcourt of Caleb Swanigan, Isaac Haas, and Vincent Edwards could do some damage.


at San Jose, Calif.


1. Gonzaga (34-1) vs. 4. West Virginia (28-8), 7:39 p.m. TBS: I see only the flaws as I watch Gonzaga piddle away leads or struggle to dispatch inferior opponents. The Zags need to be at their best to confront the intensity and full-court pressure of West Virginia, which leads the nation in steals. Gonzaga has good ball handlers; the Zags need to keep their poise and score when they break the press. If they start turning the ball over, an upset is possible.

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2. Arizona (32-4) vs. 11. Xavier (23-13), 10:09, TBS: Arizona met a stern challenge from Saint Mary’s and took charge late. The Wildcats will need a similar effort if the same Xavier team that beat Maryland and Florida State shows up. That is a completely different team than the one that finished the season poorly. Arizona has to knuckle down on defense, especially against X’s Trevon Bluiett, who is capable of taking over games.


Joe Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSullivan