Elite Eight Saturday Preview
PITTSBURGH vs. VILLANOVA
A pair of Big East teams meeting for a berth in the Final Four in Detroit.
Pittsburgh cannot afford to play the way it did in the first half of the previous two games, against Oklahoma State and Xavier. If it does, it has no shot to beat a red-hot Villanova team.
Jay Wright's Wildcats scored back-to-back wins by 20+ against UCLA and Duke, quality victories.
This figures to be a war. Villanova beat Pittsburgh earlier in the season, and Blair was in foul trouble in that contest.
CONNECTICUT vs. MISSOURI
The Tigers did a brilliant job in beating Memphis on Thursday. Mike Anderson's team put on a clinic in building up a 13-halftime lead en route to scoring 102 points.
Now Missouri, which had five players in double figures against Memphis, has to face Hasheem Thabeet in the middle. All Thabeet did against Purdue was score 15 points, grab 15 rebounds and block four shots. He makes teams adjust shots in the lane.
The Huskies got a solid performance in the regional semifinals from Craig Austrie, who had 17 big points.
I don't think anyone will stop them from going to the Final Four, even with the impressive play of Missouri. Connecticut has been the most impressive team I have seen so far in the tournament. I don't believe anything will distract them; plus the Huskies have had success in the Valley of the Sun. In 1999 and 2004, Connecticut won the West Regional in Arizona en route to the national championship. Can Calhoun and company make it 3-for-3?
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