Numbers to Know: Thursday's matchups

March, 27, 2013
3/27/13
10:58
AM ET
(3) Marquette Golden Eagles versus (2) Miami Hurricanes, 7:15 ET: Marquette is playing in its third straight Sweet 16, but Miami is appearing in just its second Sweet 16.

Shane Larkin has emerged as one of the best point guards in the country and clearly is one of the most indispensable players left in the tournament. Larkin scored or assisted on 49 percent of Miami’s points in its round of 32 win against Illinois, including 19 of the Hurricanes’ 29 first-half points.

Marquette has won its two tournament games by a combined three points.

The final five minutes of each game have been key for the Golden Eagles (see chart). Vander Blue and Jamil Wilson have combined for 17 of Marquette’s 29 points during this crunch-time period.

(4) Syracuse Orange versus (1) Indiana Hoosiers, 9:45 ET: A rematch of the 1987 national championship game, which Indiana won on a jumper by Keith Smart with less than five seconds left.

The Hoosiers have the second-most efficient offense in the country, but Syracuse has the third-best field goal percentage defense in the nation.

Syracuse has played zone on more than 95 percent of its defensive possessions in its first two tournament games, and opponents are making fewer than 32 percent of their shots against Syracuse's two-three zone.

Indiana has shown the ability to score against zone defenses, shooting 53 percent in those situations this season, which is fourth-best in the nation. However, the Hoosiers have seen zone on only three possessions in this year’s tournament.

(6) Arizona Wildcats versus (2) Ohio State Buckeyes, 7:47 ET: In the wild, wild West Region, Arizona and Ohio State might be the two best teams left in the region, but only one is going to reach the Elite 8.

The Wildcats have advanced to the Sweet 16 thanks to their hot shooting. In its first two games, Arizona has made 55 percent of its field goals in the half court, the highest percentage in the field.

To beat Ohio State, the Wildcats will have to contain Deshaun Thomas, one of the best scorers in the nation. Thomas has been relying on his jump shot in the tournament, shooting 55 percent outside the paint, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range in his first two games.

(13) La Salle Explorers versus (9) Wichita State Shockers, 10:17 ET: This is one of the most unprecedented Sweet 16 matchups in tourney history. The only other time two teams facing each other in the Sweet 16 had their seeds add up to at least 22 was 1997 when 10-seed Providence played 14-seed Chattanooga.

The Shockers got by Pittsburgh in the round of 64 and shocked 1-seed Gonzaga in the round of 32 thanks to dominant inside play. Wichita State is shooting 71.9 percent in the paint in its two tournament games, fourth-best in the field and second-best among teams that advanced to the Sweet 16.

La Salle’s four-guard fast-break offense has sparked the Explorers during their improbable run from the First Four to the Sweet 16. La Salle is averaging 14.7 transition points per game and has outscored all three of its opponents in transition, holding each under eight transition points.

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