NCAA tournament: Who will win today's Sweet 16 games? [poll]

NCAA tournament: Who will win today's Sweet 16 games? [poll]
Louisville Coach Rick Pitino holds a diagram during practice Thursday. (David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

The NCAA tournament continues today with four games on the schedule in the Sweet 16 round: Michigan vs. Tennessee, Louisville vs. Kentucky, Iowa State vs. Connecticut and Virginia vs. Michigan State.

Who do you think will win each game?


Here's a quick look at each game, with comments from Tribune reporter Shannon Ryan, with accompanying poll.

NO. 2 MICHIGAN (27-8) VS. NO. 11 TENNESSEE (24-12)

WHAT: NCAA regional semifinal, Friday, 4:15 p.m. TV: Channel 2.

Led by forward Jarnell Stokes, who is averaging 20.3 points in the tournament, Tennessee defeated Iowa by 13, Massachusetts by 19 and Mercer by 20. But will the Volunteers have fresh enough legs for their fourth game? Michigan guard Nik Stauskas is shooting a hot 42.9% from three-point range in the Wolverines' two games, and he's below average. As a team, Michigan is shooting 46.7% from long distance in the tournament.

NO. 4 LOUISVILLE (31-5) VS. NO. 8 KENTUCKY (26-10)

WHAT: NCAA regional semifinal, Friday, 6:45 p.m. TV: Channel 2.

Paced by freshman forward Julius Randle, who has back-to-back double-doubles, Kentucky and its lineup of five freshmen finally looks as if it is fulfilling its potential. The Wildcats knocked off Kansas State in their opener, then toppled previously unbeaten Wichita State. Louisville, the defending national champion, struggled to shake off Manhattan and St. Louis. Cardinals guard Luke Hancock dominated last year's Final Four and is at it again. He had eight straight points in the final minutes against Manhattan and 21 points against St. Louis.



At Madison Square Garden, New York

NO. 3 IOWA STATE (28-7) VS. NO. 7 CONNECTICUT (28-8)

WHAT: NCAA regional semifinal, Friday, 4:27 p.m. TV: TBS.

Iowa State guard DeAndre Kane came through with a game-winning layup against North Carolina as the Cyclones continue to survive despite the loss of forward Georges Niang to a broken foot. One reason: they have made 21 of 43 three-point shots in the tournament. Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier has channeled his inner Kemba Walker to score 49 points in two tournament games. The Huskies, who upset second-seeded Villanova in their last game, also have forced 30 turnovers.


WHAT: NCAA regional semifinal, Friday, 6:57 p.m. TV: TBS.

No Michigan State senior class has failed to make a Final Four during Coach Tom Izzo's tenure, and this one doesn't want to become the first. The Spartans are a rare team that can match up against Virginia's personnel and handle the Cavaliers' pack-line defense. Michigan State forward Adreian Payne can be dominant — he had 41 points in the Spartans' tournament opener against Delaware. Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon leads a balanced Cavaliers' attack, averaging 12.6 points and 2.7 assists per game.