The West bracket was forecasted as one of the toughest regions for even the best teams to escape from, and both of the top seeds fell in the Sweet 16. Now Arizona (who beat Duke) and UConn (who held off San Diego State) will matchup in a classic of two traditional powers in their respective conferences.
#3 Connecticut Huskies
Ken Pomeroy says ... ranked 11th overall. 11th best offense, 28th best defense. 209th fastest pace. Excellent free throw shooting team. Great field goal defense, particularly on twos. Good at forcing opponents to jumpers and keeping them off the foul line. Great at gathering offensive rebounds. Good ball handling squad. Also can serve up blocks.
The weaknesses with UConn is rebounding. They're generally a poor defensive rebounding squad. Their shooting is merely average, and they can't get to the line enough to take advantage of their great execution at the stripe. They also don't force turnovers.
#5 Arizona Wildcats
Ken Pomeroy says ... ranked 23rd overall. 10th best offense, 69th best defense. Great shooting team, particularly from downtown, but also efficient inside; solid on twos and free throws. Excellent three point defense. Solid at grabbing defensive rebounds
The weaknesses with Arizona is their interior defense. They're 281st in two point defense. Yesterday's game against Texas aside, Arizona also isn't typically good at forcing turnovers.
Prediction: Arizona really couldn't have hoped for a better Elite 8 matchup. Although UConn's defense is good, Arizona is equipped to make tough shotsTheir team can stretch the floor with Derrick Williams and force UConn to defend the three point line, and their excellent perimeter defense should limit Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb to inside makes. Expect the Wildcats depth to wear down UConn and to take advantage of the rebounding battle to help Arizona go back to the Final Four for the first time since 2001.