Midwest Region - Second Round
(26-6, 13-3 A10)
Saint Louis Billikens
What You Need To Know: The Billikens are slumping as they head into the NCAA Tournament, but their ability to shut down teams on the defensive end will make them dangerous. They hit the boards hard, they don't give up many easy baskets, and they create plenty of turnovers with their quick hands in the backcourt. Forward Dwayne Evans is a quality slasher with a nice post-up game, and his versatility makes him a weapon no matter what style the team has to play. Jordair Jett and Rob Loe both can score, with Jett doing a good job distributing the ball and keeping the offense running smoothly. Saint Louis can run into issues when teams pack the paint because – the offense isn’t blessed with shooters. Jim Crews' squad struggles when it falls behind early.
Strengths: Scoring Defense, Steals, Field Goal Percentage Defense
Weaknesses: Scoring, Three Point Shooting, Field Goal Percentage
(21-13, 9-9 ACC)
NC State Wolfpack
What You Need To Know: Did a hot second half of the season get the Wolfpack into the play-in? A mediocre team throughout most of the season, State won four straight games including a huge win over Syracuse in the ACC tournament before bowing out to Duke. Can the offense work? It went dead cold in a 76-45 loss to Virginia back in January, and it did nothing in a 73-56 loss to Clemson in February. Forward T.J. Warren has been unstoppable, scoring 42 on Boston College and 41 on Miami, hitting the 20-point mark the last 17 games he played in – he missed the Maryland game in January. If he’s not on, forget it, but there’s the potential for a little bit of a run if the shots are falling.
Strengths: Turnovers, Assist-Turnover Ratio, Warren
Weaknesses: Three Point Shooting, Rebounding, Steals