(1) Michigan State vs. (4) Louisville Preview
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
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(1) Michigan State Spartans
If an MVP award was given through the first three rounds, it would almost undoubtedly go to Spartans forward Draymond Green. After putting up a triple-double in his last game, Green flirted with doing the same thing again. He finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in the Spartans 65-61 victory over Saint Louis in the Round of 32. The Billikens played the Spartans extremely tough, scoring 40 second-half points. Their game plan was to make Keith Appling hit shots and he hurt them, making 7-14 while leading the Spartans in scoring with 19. The Billikens’ pressure serves as a solid preview of what the Spartans will go up against in the Sweet 16 when they take on Louisville. The Cardinals are going to be just as tough defensively with more size and length inside. The Spartans have to attack their big men and look to dominate on the frontline.
(4) Louisville Cardinals
The Cardinals were tested in the Round of 32 by New Mexico. Riding the strong play of their big man Drew Gordon, who finished with a game-high 21 points and 14 rebounds, the Lobos made a late run. Time eventually ran out on them as they fell 59-56. The Cardinals received a huge effort off of the bench from Russ Smith. Smith was a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc and scored 17 overall to give the Cardinals the boost they needed offensively to get into the Sweet 16. Defensively the Cardinals held the Lobos to 39 percent shooting from the field and 21 percent shooting from deep. The Cardinals had their struggles on the glass, getting outrebounded by 11. That’s something that they’ll have to improve on against Michigan State, who has even more size and talent up front. The Cardinals’ young big men will have to be at their best in order to keep their winning streak intact and move onto the Elite Eight.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Michigan State. Draymond Green is a man on a mission right now and we are not going to pick against him.
Who do you think is going win? Chime in by leaving a comment below!