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Sweet 16 Preview Minneapolis Region

2006 March Madness Minneapolis Region Sweet 16 Preview



VILLANOVA WILDCATS: Villanova, the number one seed in their region, had their Second Round game against the Arizona Wildcats under control when they went into the locker room at halftime, leading 42-35. Coming out, they continued to play tough and ably held off a late second half push by the eighth seed Arizona. Nova’s shooters were “on” in every aspect of the game, shooting 53% from the floor, 85% from the foul line, and 47% from the 3-point mark. Junior forward Will Sheridan, senior guard Randy Foye, and senior guard Allan Ray poured in 16, 24, and 25 points respectively. Nova played a solid game throughout the contest. They sent Arizona to the line for 20 shots-- many more than some of the more disciplined teams are allowing. (Villanova has looked good in the tournament. They hung tough with a very good Arizona team. They want to be more careful with the ball in the next round and foul less. In this next round, they will have to work extra hard under the boards against a big and skilled B.C. club.)

BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES: Against the twelfth seed Grizzlies, the fourth seed Eagles broke the game open in the second half, outscoring their opponents 37-26 and earning a 69-56 win. Forward Craig Smith, a senior, had a double-double with 22 points and 16 rebounds. In the game, the Eagles had four of their starters in double digits. Boston College shot well from the penalty stripe (77%) and from 3-point land (47%), however from the field they only put in 42% of their attempts. The Eagles won this game on the boards, grabbing 43 rebounds while Montana took down only 24. In their first game against Pacific, Boston College shot 50% from the floor and 82% from the free throw area. (B.C. meets a very tough Villanova team in the Sweet 16. They must continue to play a tough inside game and sink their free throws. Although they knocked in a slew of 3’s against the Grizzlies, the Eagles bread and butter is their strong inside game. If that’s working, everything else seems to follow.)


FLORIDA GATORS: So far the third seed Florida Gators have breezed through the tournament, beating their first opponent, fourteenth seed South Alabama, 76-50 and their second, eleventh seed Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 82-60. In the tournament, they are shooting better than 50% from the court, more than 75% at the charity stripe, and 40% from 3-point land. The team has a balanced attack and rebounds well with equal distribution of the ball, making it difficult for teams to defend against them. Sophomore swingman Corey Brewer was the high scorer for the Gators in round two with 23 points. (The Gators have not been to the Sweet 16 since 2000 and that year they made it to the Finals where they lost to Michigan State. This is a solid team that will need to continue playing well in order to get past a fiery Georgetown club. It would be helpful to see more fight for the offensive rebound and fewer fouls against opponents. Both will be difficult going up against the Hoyas’ big center, Roy Hibbert.)

GEORGETOWN HOYAS: There’s no doubt about it that the Hoyas are back. One reason is certainly 7-foot, 2-inch, sophomore center Roy Hibbert. Against the second seed Ohio Buckeyes, Hibbert threw in 20 points and took in 14 rebounds. In that contest, the seventh seed Hoyas dominated the boards, controlled the floor, and spread the majority of their points amongst four players as they defeated the Buckeyes, 70-52. The Hoyas are disciplined with their fouls, and on the other end of the penalty line, they shoot about 80%. During the first two games, they hit 44.5% from the floor, which is less than desirable. (This is a good, strong team with a fine defense and enough patience to find the open shot. They’re going up against a Gator team that has been shooting well. To a degree, Georgetown should be able to neutralize Florida from the floor, but they must also increase their percentage of conversions when they have the ball. This should be a great game.)

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