Loyola-Chicago (PK) vs Kansas State
In a matchup everyone had in their bracket, Loyola-Chicago and Kansas State will meet for the opportunity to go to the Final Four.
Loyola-Chicago has the best defensive efficiency of any team in the left side of the bracket and couples that with five players who average at least 10 points per game.
Kansas State may not have a healthy Dean Wade, but he was able to make a few appearances in the Sweet 16 win over Kentucky. Three Kansas State players fouled out, which caused coach Bruce Weber to play what essentially was a five-guard lineup in the waning moments of the 61-58 victory.
Peterson’s pick: Loyola’s ability to guard the 3-point arc against a K-State team that has had its struggles from distance will be the difference and will give No. 11 seeds a winning record all-time in Elite Eight games.
Michigan (-4.5) vs Florida State
Both squads were able to dispatch their foes by double digits in the Sweet 16 to get to this spot.
While these teams both have good overall team size, their pace of play is very different.
6-foot-11 Mo Wagner is perhaps the toughest matchup with remaining in the tournament as he is a good 3-point shooter who also can handle the ball. Florida State’s 7-foot-4 Christ Koumadje will have to do his best to clog the paint and dare the Wolverines to get hot.
Michigan is second in the country in fewest turnovers per possession while Florida State is 129th. Florida State has the upper hand on the glass. But if the Wolverines knock down their 3s, it is not going to matter.
Peterson’s pick: The overall defensive efficiency of Michigan’s is better. The Wolverines play smart with dishing out the fewest fouls per game of any team left in the tournament. That should allow Michigan to continue its massive hot streak since winning the Big Ten Tournament.