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Five Sweet 16 "Game Inside the Game" Matchups Any Hoops Head Will Love

2 min read

by Waterboy Sam Meyerkopf

There’s the game - one team vs. another team - but when we get to March, there’s the game within the game. One key matchup can swing the outcome of a contest.

Here’s a look at five of the most interesting matchups in the Sweet 16.

1. Big-Big – Montrezl Harrell (Louisville) vs. Beejay Anya (NC State)

Harrell: 6’8”, 242 lbs, 7’3” wingspan

Anya: 6’9”, 295 lbs, 7’9” wingspan 

Get ready for a war in the paint! Harrell might have the best motor in college for a big man and Anya might just be the biggest guy in college, period. 295 pounds with a 7’9” wingspan, are you kidding me? No big deal, he also hits game winners in the NCAA tournament



2. West Coast Point Guards – Bryce Alford (UCLA) vs. Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga) 

Bryce Alford is on FIRE! He is shooting 65.6% from three the past five games, made nine treys against SMU in the first round, and six against UAB in the second round.

His counterpart is the guy who has been know as the best shooting point guard on the West Coast for the past couple years. Kevin Pangos will not let Alford walk away from any shooting battle without a fight. Pangos is a senior and playing with his most talented Gonzaga team ever. Watch out, it’s about to start raining three’s.


3. Senior PG/Freshman Center Tutelage – Quinn Cook and Jahlil Okafor (Duke) vs. Delon Wright and Jakob Poeltl (Utah) 

Cook is the leader, the friendly guy in the locker room, the player that brings everyone together. Okafor is the stud, #1 pick potential, and a freshman that has a chance to win National Player of the Year honors.

Wright gets Utah going, he starts things on offense and defense. Poeltl is the Austrian rookie who Wright looks to routinely set up for dunks.

Watch the two senior point guards fight for what will be someone’s last college game ever. And, check two potential lottery picks banging it out in the post.

Jakob Poeltl and Delon Wright


Shooting Duel – Ron Baker (Wichita State) vs. Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame)

Many players in college can shoot, but only a few players can make BIG shots when they really matter. Baker a junior and Connaughton a senior both are ready to make to big plays. Baker had his coming out party during Wichita State’s Final Four run two years back, and Connaughton blocked a three-pointer last weekend versus Butler last week that forced overtime. They may only be considered fringe NBA Draft candidates, but these are two players are a beauty to watch when they get hot.


Teacher Takes On Apprentice – Sean Miller (Arizona) vs. Chris Mack (Xavier)

There are few cooler things than two coaches who have fought together now forced against each other. Miller was the head coach at Xavier for five seasons and his top assistant coach during all five years… Chris Mack. Whatever happens, there will be some positive and negative feelings for both of them.

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