clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sweet 16: BYU, Jimmer Fredette Ready For More NCAA Tournament Action

The NCAA Tournament gets underway again on Thursday evening with four Sweet 16 games. The Mountain West Conference will be well represented with two games today.

The first game of the day pits No. 3 Connecticut up against No. 2 seed San Diego State. Much attention will be given to UConn's Kemba Walker given all the last-minute and -second heroics he had during the Big East Tournament. And in two NCAA Tournament games, Walker put up 18 points and 12 assists against Bucknell and then 33 points against Cincinnati. He leads the team with 23.6 points, while the second-leading scorer, Jeremy Lamb, has just 10.5 points.

The Aztecs enter the game battle-hardened, having advanced to this round by way of a two overtime victory over the Temple Owls. They also had to play a close first half with Northern Colorado in the opening round before pulling away in the second. The offense offers four scorers who average at least 10 points, none better than Kawhi Leonard's 15.6. He also leads the team with 10.6 rebounds, which is followed closely by Malcolm Thomas' 8.1. Winner plays either No. 5 Arizona or No. 1 Duke.

Jimmer Fredette leads the No. 3 BYU Cougars against the No. 2 Florida Gators. Fredette is averaging 33 points in two games so far, better than his 28.8 season average. Will Florida be able to contain him? Jackson Emery is the second-leading scorer with 12.6 points and the rest below him are below 10 points. And will the lack of Brandon Davies hurt the Cougars in this game? He led the team with 6.2 rebounds before his dismissal. Meanwhile, the Florida Gators' Erving Walker headlines a four-headed offense with 14.7 points, scoring 18 and 21 in two games in the tourney. He's been deadly from beyond the arc, making seven of 11 shots. Winner plays No. 8 Butler or No. 4 Wisconsin.

Predictions: The winners of these games are on opposite sides of the bracket, so they'd need to meet in the national championship game for meeting to happen. But as two of the Final Four teams, I'll go with UConn and BYU.