Friday Night Sweet 16 Open Thread

These guys are both playing tonight. Just not against each other. - Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With Wisconsin riding a win over Baylor to the Elite Eight, Michigan State and Michigan look to make it a B1G three-way in the regional finals. Or. Wait. Not how you think.

Michigan vs. Tennessee is up first with a 7:15 tip on CBS, Michigan State vs. Virginia in the 9:57 (really? We can't just say 10:00?) nightcap on TBS.

If you're curious who the B1G's teams will play next, UConn/Iowa State and UK/Louisville are on at approximately the same times. There's not a great deal else to say; by this time, you know who these teams are, who the opponents are, and how your squad can win or lose.

Damned if that's going to stop me, though. Michigan faces a serious challenge in Tennessee's one-two post punch of Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes; UM did a good job against Texas' talented big men, but Tennessee might have the sense to use their big guys a little more frequently than Texas did (on a totally unrelated side note, Texas is hereby exiled to the Georgetown Memorial Compendium of Teams That Shall Never Advance Beyond The First Weekend in Green Akers' Brackets. That list is now Georgetown, Syracuse, and Texas, so congrats, Longhorns). If Michigan can keep this game perimeter-oriented and shoot like they did against Texas, Tennessee will have a hard time keeping up.

The MSU-Virginia matchup is fascinating, and from the perspective of a Spartan fan, kind of worrisome. Virginia's half-court pack line defense is salty, but MSU's typical remedy for strong half-court defense- pushing aggressively in transition- may not be a solution, as the Hoos are stellar in transition D as well. Virginia's every bit as experienced as MSU, so if the Spartans have an advantage, it would be the offensive skill of the individual players, as Virginia doesn't have anyone who can match what Gary Harris or Adreian Payne is capable of in terms of making their own shot. Oh, and Izzo. He's still a thing this time of year.

Let's get a chant going! BEE ONE GEE! BEE ONE GEE! BEE ONE...no, huh. Fine. Here's the open thread.

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