East Region - Second Round
(28-4, 16-2 Big East)
What You Need To Know: The Wildcats have been among the nation’s best all season, but they’ve looked vulnerable at times vs. teams that can knock down long jumpers. 'Nova has been nothing special from three-point range this season, and there hasn’t been an answer when an opponent gets hot from the perimeter – that’s going to be a problem. The trio of James Bell, Darrun Hilliard II and JayVaughn Pinkston all score between 14.2 and 14.5 points a game, and they can hurt teams inside and out. Hilliard is the best passer of the bunch, and, along with Ryan Arcidiacono, provides a rudder for the offense. Jay Wright’s team is is solid defensively, but it can lose focus at times.
Strengths: Three Point Shot, - By Volume, Scoring, Assists
Weaknesses: Three Point Accuracy, Free Throws, Blocked Shots
(21-13, 7-9 Horizon)
What You Need To Know: The Panthers struggled with inconsistency during the regular season, but they feature enough good size and athleticism to give opponents headaches. Senior Jordan Aaron is a 5-10 guard whose quickness sets him apart, doing a great job of distributing in transition. Forwards Kyle Kelm, Matt Tiby and Austin Arians are the prototypical do-everything players who can score and rebound, and they’re a threat to shoot from the outside even if they don't convert a high percentage. Taking care of the ball has been an issue for the Panthers this season, and it will be up to Aaron, Kelm and guard Steve McWhorter to value the ball a bit more if the Panthers are going to pull off an upset.
Strengths: Free Throw Shooting, Assists, Bombing Away
Weaknesses: Blocked Shots, Scoring, Turnovers