West Region - Second Round
(24-11, 9-9 Big 12)
What You Need To Know: The Bears suffered through a shaky stretch in the middle of the season, but now they’ve gotten back on track to become one of the most fun teams in the country. Baylor's length allows them to protect the rim, and they’re disruptive enough on defense even to overcome a slew of mistakes. Cory Jefferson is tough inside, but he also can stretch the floor a bit from three-point range and opens the lane for his teammates. He's also a quality shot blocker and rebounder. Kenny Chery is a wicked passer with a knack of sensing the big moment and delivering. Brady Heslip and Isaiah Austin turn in solid minutes and take some pressure off Chery and Jefferson, and Rico Gathers does a good job of scoring on putbacks inside.
Strengths: Rebounding, Blocked Shots, Three Point Shooting
Weaknesses: Free Throws, Turnover Margin, Steals
(19-12, 11-7 Big Ten)
What You Need To Know: The Cornhuskers were the surprise of the Big Ten this year - the development of the program under head coach Tim Miles has been impressive. Nebraska isn't going to run anyone out of the gym, but it plays tough defense and can wear teams down in a number of ways. Terran Petteway is the leader on the floor, able to score from anywhere and take over games. He's relentless going to the bucket and has the strength to power through contact, doing a good job of getting to the free-throw line. Shavon Shields has a knack for performing well under the brightest of spotlights, providing a solid rebounder who brings balance to the floor. Forward Walter Pritchford has sneaky quickness and is a good, fundamental defender, and Ray Gallegos is experienced and won't shy away from a big moment.
Strengths: Interior Defense, Scoring Defense, Turnover Margin
Weaknesses: Assists, Shooting, Scoring