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2013 NCAA Men's Tournament: Sweet 16 preview - Midwest & South Regions

(12) Oregon vs. (1) Louisville

7:15 p.m. ET, CBS

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Midwest Region

Breakdown:

The tournament's top team will face its toughest test in Oregon. The Ducks have been rolling over its competition after being deemed a 12-seed by the selection committee, winning its first two games by a combined 30 points. Oregon freshman Damyean Dotson has averaged 20 ppg this tournament and seniors E.J. Singler and Carlos Emory have played big for the Ducks.

Louisville banks on causing turnovers and getting transition buckets. Backcourt running mates Russ Smith and Peyton Siva are probably the best in the country at creating chaos and causing turnovers. They're fearless at taking the ball to the rim and finding ways to finish. Reserves Kevin Ware and Luke Hancock have played well for Coach Rick Pitino down the stretch and will be pivotal in Friday's game.

Prediction:

This game will be fun as both teams like to get out and run. The March run of the Ducks ends tonight. Too much Siva and Smith. Louisville 72 Oregon 57

(4) Michigan vs. (1) Kansas

7:37 p.m. ET, TBS

South Region

Breakdown:

Kansas and freshman phenom Ben McLemore, 16 ppg, are solid at every position. The Jayhawks are tournament tested and have several guys who can take over the game. Their success against the Wolverines may rest on the shoulders of senior guard Elijah Johnson, who has disappeared at times this season. If he has a big game, the Jayhawks should be able to eek out a win.

Michigan is a talented squad and have really ramped it up in the tournament. Freshman big man Mitch McGary has dominated down low for the Wolverines, posting a 21 points and 12 rebounds stat line against VCU. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been lights out, shooting 8-for-12 from three-point range in Michigan's two tournament games. Hardaway can shoot the Wolverines to victory against Rock Chalk nation.

While Michigan will need big games from freshmen Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, they won't have a chance if point guard Trey Burke doesn't have a big game.

Prediction:

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Burke will play big. So will Hardaway Jr., Stauskas and Robinson III. Michigan 83 Kansas 82

(3) Michigan St. vs. (2) Duke

9:45 p.m. ET, CBS

Midwest Region

Breakdown:

Michigan State versus Duke. Tom Izzo versus Mike Krzyzewski. What more could you ask for in a Sweet 16 matchup?

Both teams have smart, savvy playmakers. Point guard Keith Appling will be tasked with controlling the pace for Michigan State, while Quinn Cook will be asked to do the same for the Blue Devils.

Both teams like to establish its big men and go to them early and often, making the Derrick Nix/Mason Plumlee battle pivotal in this game. I love the scoring ability of Spartans freshman sharp-shooter Gary Harris, coming off a 23-point effort against Memphis. Junior forward Adreian Payne is a walking highlight, blocking five shots and grabbing ten rebounds against Memphis.

The Blue Devils also boast a talented roster as freshmen Amile Jefferson, the Philadelphia product, and Rasheed Sulaimon have played big for Coach K. Duke will need its senior standout Ryan Kelly to show up. His nine total points in the previous two tournament games is not going to cut it against Sparty and Michigan State.

Prediction:

Seth Curry will take control down the stretch. Duke 71 Michigan State 69

(15) FGCU vs. (3) Florida

9:57 p.m. ET, TBS

West Region

Breakdown:

Florida Gulf Coast and its high-flying bunch have been the story of the tournament. Sherwood Brown, Brett Comer and the gang have surprised everyone in making a Sweet 16 run. Now they face their toughest test with in-state rivals the Florida Gators. Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy and Mike Rosario are unlike anything the Eagles have faced. The Gators are deep with Patric Young, Scottie Wilbekin and Will Yeguete, and can come at you from all directions.

Prediction:

I've been advised that Florida will win. Florida 74 FGCU 65

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