Midwest Region - First Round
(21-12, 11-7 SEC)
What You Need To Know: There's something to be said for getting hot at the right time, and Tennessee has been rolling since mid-February. Cuonzo Martin has his team defending well and hitting the glass hard, creating a hungry Vols squad that’s itching for respect. The Vols bring a 1-2 punch of guard Jordan McRae and forward Jarnell Stokes to the floor, and their games mesh to force opponents to guard a full 94 feet. McRae is a slasher who also can drain the long three-pointer, and his ability to get to the line takes its toll. Stokes is more of a banger inside, and he averaged a double-double this year by working harder than most. Jeronne Maymon balances the floor and helps on the glass without trying to do too much with the basketball. Inconsistency beyond the top three has been an issue this year, but the Vols are tough when focused.
Strengths: Rebounding, Blocked Shots, Scoring Defense
Weaknesses: Steals, Scoring, Shooting
(20-12, 9-9 Big Ten)
What You Need To Know: The Hawkeyes can put a lot of points on the board in a hurry, but they struggle on the defensive side leading to a late-season slump. Head coach Fran McCaffery's team can be disruptive when it concentrates on D, but that doesn't happen often enough to make Iowa fans comfortable. The Hawkeyes do rebound well and move the ball with efficiency, and they’ve excelled despite having just one go-to scorer. Roy Devyn Marble is a take-charge guard who can score inside and out, and he’s unselfish with the ball with the ability to find his teammates on the floor. Aaron White and Mike Gesell provide support both inside and out, and forward Melsahn Basabe can be a force on the glass when he’s assertive.
Strengths: Scoring, Rebounding, Assists
Weaknesses: Three Point Shooting, Scoring Defense, Consistency