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(2) Miami (Fl.) vs. (3) Marquette
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 25, 2013 @ 2:17 am In NCAA | No Comments
(2) Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes
In order to win a national championship you have to have role players who step up along the way and save the day. Rion Brown did that for the Hurricanes against the Illinois Fighting Illini, scoring over 20 for just the third time this season to help his team pick up a 63-59 victory. Brown’s explosion became a necessity when the Hurricanes’ big men were surprisingly unable to have the kind of success they were expected to against the smaller Fighting Illini. The Hurricanes’ defense was nothing short of superb, holding D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul to a combined 9-31 shooting. Collectively the Fighting Illini only managed to shooting 37 percent from the field and 25 percent from deep. In the Sweet 16 the Hurricanes will be going up against another star wing in Vander Blue. Slowing him down is the first step to beating the Golden Eagles. This should be another game where the Hurricanes try to establish their big men early and see if they can get more from them than they did on Sunday.
(3) Marquette Golden Eagles
Once again it wasn’t pretty or easy for the Golden Eagles, but with Vander Blue playing like a star they were able to keep their season alive. Blue scored 29 points in an efficient manner as the Golden Eagles knocked off the Butler Bulldogs 74-72. The Bulldogs had two chances late to win the game, but could not get good looks against the Golden Eagles’ defense, which forced 15 turnovers and held the Bulldogs to 42 percent shooting from the field. In the Sweet 16 the Golden Eagles will be facing a Hurricanes team that has been rolling as of late. They did have their struggles in the Round of 32 against the Illinois Fighting Illini, though. If the Golden Eagles defense can rise to the challenge once again and Blue keeps up his currently level of play, they have a legitimate shot to move onto the Elite Eight.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Miami (Fl.). It’s difficult to pick against any team with Vander Blue right now, but the Hurricanes have the defense to slow him down.
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