(2) San Diego State vs. (3) Connecticut
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
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(2) San Diego State Aztecs
In the Round of 32 for the first time in school history, the San Diego State Aztecs found themselves in an absolute war against the Temple Owls of the Atlantic 10. This game was marathon that went into double overtime before the Aztecs’ talented frontline wore down the Owls to take a 71-64 decision and keep their historic season going. The trio of Kawhi Leonard, Billy White and Malcolm Thomas all flirted with double-doubles. White was the only one to get one with 16 points and nine rebounds, while his frontline mates just came a rebound shy. They’re going to have to bring the same type of effort against the UConn Huskies in the Sweet 16 because their inside play has really been coming along. Of course the key is to slow down the nation’s top point guard Kemba Walker, though. He’s the one who can put the Huskies on his back and carry them to the Elite Eight.
(3) Connecticut Huskies
Going up against a Cincinnati Bearcat team who they beat at their place in February, the UConn Huskies once again took care of business, surviving and advancing onto the Sweet 16 with a 69-58 victory. Unlike that game in February the Huskies managed to outrebound the big and strong Bearcats by 12. They also contained center Yancy Gates, holding him to only 11 points and six rebounds. Kemba Walker was spectacular just a he’s been all season long, scoring 33 points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists. He got to the line at will, making 14 trips there and converting them all. Freshmen Jeremy Lamb was solid and very efficient offensively with 14 points and six rebounds for Connecticut. The job on the boards needs to be duplicated against the Aztecs. If they can do that along with Walker continuing his heroics then they have a very legitimate shot at winning.
HOOPSWORLD’s Pick: UConn. Kemba Walker is on top of his game and his teammates are getting their job done too. Expect the Huskies to move on.