Top stats to know: Thursday's Sweet 16

March, 27, 2014
Mar 27
11:45
AM ET
The Sweet 16 tips off today with four games. Here are some of the statistical storylines we’ll be following tonight.

(6) Baylor vs. (2) Wisconsin
Both teams can score a lot of points, so this game could come down to which team defends better.

Against elite offenses, Baylor appears to have the more efficient defense: Baylor has allowed 105.1 points per 100 possessions in four games against teams ranked in the top 25 in defensive efficiency; Wisconsin has allowed 109.7 points per 100 possessions in eight games against those same teams.

Matchup to watch: Baylor plays zone on 57 percent of its defensive plays. Wisconsin has the most efficient zone offense in the country, averaging 1.20 points per play.

(11) Dayton vs. (10) Stanford
Dayton-Stanford is the second 10 vs 11-seed matchup ever. The other was in 2011 when 11-seed VCU beat 10-seed Florida State, 72-71.

Both of these teams dominated defensively against their first two opponents, allowing fewer than 60 points in each game.

The Flyers defensive strength has been on the perimeter, holding their opponents to a tournament-best 15 percent shooting outside the paint. Stanford, on the other hand, has shut down its opponents inside. Kansas shot just 38 percent around the basket in the Cardinal's upset win.

With its dominant defense down low, the key to beating Stanford is by making outside shots. Stanford is 5-9 this season when its opponents shoot at least 36 percent on 3-pointers. The Cardinal are 17-3 when their opponents shoot less than 36 percent on 3-pointers.

Dayton is shooting 40.3 percent on 3-pointers in its last seven games.

(4) UCLA vs. (1) Florida
This should be a familiar matchup for fans of both teams. Florida is 3-0 all-time in tournament games against UCLA, with all three meetings occurring in the last eight seasons.

The matchup to watch in this game is UCLA’s transition offense vs Florida’s transition defense.

The Bruins score a Pac-12 best 19.7 points per game and shoot 57 percent in transition. Florida’s defense allows only 9.0 transition points per game, fewest in the SEC, and holds opponents to 43 percent shooting on the break.

(4) San Diego State vs. (1) Arizona
Three times a charm, right? This is the third time that Arizona is a 1-seed in a regional in Anaheim. The Wildcats won their Sweet 16 game here in 1998 and 2003, but lost in the Elite 8 both years.

The first to 50 points might win this game. San Diego State and Arizona rank first and third, respectively, in fewest points per 100 possessions allowed in the nation.

San Diego State excels with its press defense. The Aztecs have the fourth-most efficient press defense of any team that presses on at least 10 plays per game. Arizona ranks 29th in the country in points per play against press defense.

Arizona has been at its been defending the interior, holding its first two opponents to a tournament-best 32 percent shooting around the basket. San Diego State has attempted a total of just eight shots around the basket in its first two games, the second-fewest of any team.

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