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10 great matchups that would be must see


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10. UCLA vs. Villanova in the second round

Ben Howland has taken UCLA to three straight Final Fours, but if the Bruins get past VCU in the first round, they'll potentially be facing a Villanova team that will be playing 25 minutes from home having won its first-round game against No. 14 seed American. Jay Wright's team, which reached the Big East Tournament semifinals, should feed off the energy of what will most likely be a home crowd.

9. Arizona St. vs. Syracuse in second round

The Sun Devils missed out on an opportunity last week to win the Pac-10 Tournament and ultimately improve their seeding, and Syracuse is playing its best basketball of the season right now. The question mark for the Orange, however, will be how tired they'll be after playing seven overtimes during their four-game, four-day stretch less than a week ago in the Big East Tournament.

8. Texas vs. Duke in the second round

Duke looks to be playing well after capturing the ACC Tournament title last Sunday, but Rick Barnes has an experienced group of players that went to the Elite Eight last season. If Texas can get past Minnesota in the first round and A.J. Abrams can shoot from the perimeter at a high percentage against the Blue Devils, this potential second-round matchup could be a dandy to watch on Saturday.

7. Kansas vs. Michigan St. in Sweet 16

Two regular-season conference champs could meet in the round of 16 with the Jayhawks hoping to defend their national championship from a year ago. Michigan State, meanwhile, would like to make up for its disappointing loss in the Big Ten semifinals to Purdue, and the Spartans do have the athleticism in the backcourt to match up with Sherron Collins and the rest of Bill Self's squad.

6. Missouri vs. Memphis in Sweet 16

Memphis missed out on a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday, but John Calipari's team is still hungry to get back to the Final Four after last year's runner-up finish. Standing in the way could be a Missouri team that just won the Big 12 tournament and posted wins in the regular season over NCAA tournament teams like Chattanooga, California, Oklahoma and Big 12 champ Kansas. This all-Tigers matchup would pit Mizzou's full-court pressure defense against Memphis' tremendous athleticism.

5. Wake Forest vs. Louisville in Sweet 16

The Cardinals earned the honor of being named the NCAA tournament's No. 1 overall seed after winning the Big East regular-season title along with the conference tournament championship last week in the Big Apple. But if Wake's shooters like Jeff Teague can stay hot through the second week of the tourney, Rick Pitino's team could be in for a dogfight with the Demon Deacons in Indy.

4. Memphis vs. UConn in Elite Eight

Both teams have the potential to get up and down the floor with their athletes, but the big matchup to watch will be UConn's experience with A.J. Price in the backcourt compared to freshman point guard Tyreke Evans for Memphis. Better yet, with Hasheem Thabeet and Jeff Adrien going up against Memphis' hefty frontline crew, this one could get physical rather quickly.

3. Oklahoma vs. North Carolina in the Elite Eight

From a fans' perspective, it wouldn't get much better than to see two of the best big men in the nation battle it out against each other. Tyler Hansbrough dominated college basketball last season during his junior year at North Carolina, and this year it's been Blake Griffin's turn to showcase his dominance for the Sooners.

2. Pitt vs. North Carolina in Final Four

The Big East and ACC have been the dominant conferences all season. This matchup would help settle the question of which was stronger, especially if the Panthers beat Duke in the East Regional final. The individual matchups would be fascinating -- could Pitt point guard Levance Fields keep up with UNC's Ty Lawson? Could DeJuan Blair avoid foul trouble against Tyler Hansbrough? Could any Tar Heel defender stop Sam Young from scoring 30?

1. UConn vs. North Carolina in the title game

A matchup of two of the country's best big men would certainly be quite a way to end the 2008-09 college basketball season. A national title, of course, was the reason why Tyler Hansbrough came back for his senior season at UNC, while Hasheem Thabeet returned to Connecticut to improve his NBA stock and reach the Final Four. Either way, if the Tar Heels and Huskies advance to the final game, it should be the last collegiate game we see from both.

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