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Daily Word: Whose surprise run will continue?

Daily Word: Whose surprise run will continue?By ESPN.com


Each day, some of our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in and around college basketball.



1. Which high-seed team -- NC State, Wichita State, Xavier, UCLA or Michigan State -- has the best chance to move forward?

Andy Katz: Michigan State. I picked Oklahoma to go to the Final Four. But the Spartans are playing their best basketball of the season and if Bryn Forbes and Travis Trice make shots, they have a real shot to get to the Elite Eight.



Eamonn Brennan: Yeah, it's tough call with both the Shockers and the Spartans on the No. 7 line. Matchup-wise, though, I think Wichita State has a bit better chance against Notre Dame than Michigan State has against Oklahoma. Not only is Wichita State a good defensive team with enough size at the guard position to at least theoretically hang with Jerian Grant & Co.; Wichita State has a major rebounding advantage over ND on both ends of the floor. But it's really close. And it's not like NC State is that far off -- the Wolfpack did beat Louisville at the Yum! Center, after all.



John Gasaway: This is a toss-up between Wichita State and Michigan State -- two under-seeded teams on the No. 7 line facing strong No. 3 seeds (Notre Dame and Oklahoma, respectively). I'll go with the Shockers. Beating Indiana and Kansas qualifies as arguably the two most impressive wins recorded by any Sweet 16 team.



2. Is there any Sweet 16 game that has blowout potential?

Katz: Kentucky over West Virginia. The Wildcats can blow out any opponent, and if West Virginia's press isn't clicking, the game could be over early.



Brennan: UCLA is obviously a much better team than the one that lost to Gonzaga by 13 at Pauley Pavilion back on Dec. 13. But the Bruins' major advantages over UAB (or even SMU) won't exist against a big, tough Zags front line -- and I don't know how UCLA stops Kyle Wiltjer.



Gasaway: At the risk of dancing with the partner we've been with all season here, how about Kentucky over West Virginia? In the Big 12 tournament the Mountaineers faced Baylor, and the Bears committed just 10 turnovers in a 65-possession win over Bob Huggins' team. UK has taken good care of the ball all season long -- this has blowout potential.



3. Based on the matchups, which Sweet 16 player is the most unguardable?

Katz: Willie Cauley-Stein in the open court cannot be stopped. The Mountaineers will need to prevent runouts. If that happens, they have no chance.



Brennan: Utah guard Delon Wright is one of the best pick-and-roll players in college basketball. When Duke's defense has struggled, it has struggled from the outside in, allowing straight penetration and drives off screens to turn into 4-on-3 situations. And Wright is a size mismatch for almost all of the Blue Devils' guards.



Gasaway: Frank Kaminsky. That's no slight to Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks (if he's healthy) and/or Isaiah Hicks, but Kaminsky has a four- to five-inch advantage in height over all those guys. Plus, he's well known for knocking down shots from deep.



Earlier Words: 3/23 3/22 3/21 3/20 3/19 3/18 3/17 3/16 3/15 3/14

Each Team's Road To Sweet 16By ESPN.com

Arizona Wildcats
Duke Blue Devils
Gonzaga Bulldogs
Kentucky Wildcats
Louisville Cardinals
Michigan State Spartans
NC State Wolfpack
North Carolina Tar Heels
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Oklahoma Sooners
UCLA Bruins
Utah Utes
West Virginia Mountaineers
Wichita State Shockers
Wisconsin Badgers
Xavier Musketeers


Sweet 16 superlativesBy ESPN.com

nullThey Said ItBy ESPN.com

Honor. The. Process. pic.twitter.com/8l2vb9epzE

- Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) March 23, 2015
NC State's improvementBy ESPN.com

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Related Topics:
sportsespnucla bruinsxavier musketeerswisconsin badgersutah utesnc state wolfpackmichigan state spartanswest virginia mountaineerskentucky wildcatsncaa tournamentmens college basketballmarch madnessdaily word
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