Sponsored by Applebee’s
By Tom Fink
The first No. 1 has fallen, as Michigan State lost to Louisville on Thursday. Couple that with Wisconsin coming up one-point short against Syracuse and things didn’t go too well for Big Ten teams on the first night of the Sweet 16. But Indiana can redeem the conference when it plays Kentucky on Friday. Be sure to tune in to see who joins the Cardinals, Orange, Buckeyes and Gators in the Elite 8. Here are your 20 Reasons to Watch the Rest of the Sweet 16 on Friday:
2) Buzzer Beater Rematch – The first time UK and the Hoosiers played this year, Christian Watford won the game at the buzzer with a three pointer. Will the Wildcats get their revenge?
3) Frease Tag – Kenny Frease (Xavier) will put his team in a tough position if he gets in foul trouble against Baylor’s bigs. Can he stay focused and play smart or will PJIII be too much for him to handle?
4) Dynamic Duos – Thomas Robinson & Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), Perry Jones III & Pierre Jackson (Baylor), Harrison Barnes & Tyler Zeller (UNC) and Lorenzo Brown & C.J. Leslie (NC State) make up some of the better twosomes in the college game. And they are all playing on Friday night.
5) Brotherly Love – Cody Zeller (Indiana) may end up being better than older brother Tyler (UNC) before his college career is over, so take the opportunity to see both on the same night while you can.
6) That’s My Boy – On the off chance that Clark Kellogg is watching his son Nick’s Ohio Bobcats play while announcing the game he is assigned, listen to see if he gets excited or upset about what is happening somewhere else.
7) Cast Off – Kendall Marshall no longer has a cast on, so be sure to tune in just in case he is somehow trying to be a hero and play.
8) Tu Holloway – The Senior Guard for Xavier is averaging more than 17 points and 5 assists per game. He’s scrappy, skilled, and essential to the Musketeers’ success. Therefore, he is a must watch.
9) Automatic – Brady Heslip is the nastiest three point shooter in the tourney (9 of 13 last game). Watch just to see him make it rain from distance because he’ll be coming off the bench as a sharpshooter in the NBA very soon.
10) Diminutive DJ – D.J. Cooper may be small in stature but he plays like a giant for the 13th seeded Bobcats of Ohio University. If Kendall Marshall is out as expected, D.J. may cause serious problems for the Tar Heels.
11) Mark Gottfried – The first-year coach of the Wolfpack has done more than expected of him. His moves this year have included different styles of motivation, and calling for position changes by his players. What does he have up his sleeve this round?
12) Home Away From Home – Kansas will pack the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis right? The crowd could be the key for the Jayhawks against N.C. State so they better hope it sounds like a home game.
13) Neon Uniforms – Baylor has managed to look great while looking terrible at the same time. Their play has been good as of late but their extremely bright uniforms have turned off some fans. Watch their game and decide for yourself.
14) Tom Crean vs. John Calipari – At some point in the game one of the coaches of these storied basketball programs is going to have to make a move to give his team an edge in the game. See which head man pulls the trigger and helps him squad get the win.
15) Offensive Glass – UNC and Baylor dominate the boards; will they have the same success this round against their respective opponents?
16) Candy Stripes – The Hoosiers’ warm up pants should be enough to make you check their game out.
17) Early Exits – UNC, Kansas & Kentucky were picked by a lot of people to go far in the tourney. A Sweet 16 exit will be a major disappointment for these top ranked teams.
18) Pointless – The Tar Heels don’t know who will be running the point on Friday, meaning the first few minutes could be ugly. Can Ohio take advantage?
19) Coming Up Empty – Terrence Jones only had 4 points and a single rebound against the Hoosiers earlier this season, will he show up this time around?
20) Double Double Central – Every team playing on Friday night has players who regularly get double doubles on the stat sheet. Catch every game you can because the box scores are going to have a lot of double digits in them come morning.
Players to Watch:
1) Lorenzo Brown (N.C. State) – The Sophomore Guard was asked to switch positions by his new coach and his success has been one of the primary reasons for the turnaround by the Wolfpack. It will be interesting to watch him match up against Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas on Friday.
2) Insert Point Guard Here_______ - Whoever replaces Kendall Marshall for North Carolina is who to watch for. Roy Williams may try something untraditional due to the notion that Marshall is irreplaceable so tune in to see who is bringing the ball up for the Tar Heels against Ohio.