Sweet 16 East Region: Preview, Top Players and TV Schedule

Roy Williams' top-seeded Tar Heels enter the East Regional in Philadelphia as the favorite to advance to the Final Four

There won't be a lot of brotherly love in Philadelphia this weekend as we hit the Sweet 16. North Carolina arguably has the most talent in the country, but Indiana has been mighty impressive in its two NCAA Tournament games.

 

The other regional semifinal features Wisconsin and Notre Dame who will try to move past emotional, last-second victories to punch a ticket to the Elite Eight.

 

Here’s a look at how the East Regional at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia stacks up.

 

Friday’s Schedule

No. 7 Wisconsin (22-12) vs. No. 6 Notre Dame (23-11)
7:27 p.m. ET, TBS

 

No. 1 North Carolina (30-6) vs. No. 4 Indiana (27-7)
10:40 p.m. ET, TBS

 

Top Five Players

1. Yogi Ferrell, PG, Indiana

2. Brice Johnson, F, North Carolina

3. Zach Auguste, F, Notre Dame

4. Marcus Paige, PG, North Carolina

5. Bronson Koenig, PG, Wisconsin

 

Top Dog — North Carolina

The Tar Heels needed a half to wake up against Florida Gulf Coast before pulling away. They then showed their depth and talent in a double-digit win over Providence. The key for their resurgence has been the play of Marcus Paige, who has found his shooting stroke which makes him all the more dangerous. If North Carolina can get past Indiana, a trip to the Final Four shouldn't be an issue for Roy Williams' talented team.

 

Underdog — Wisconsin

My how things have changed since Bo Ryan departed. The Badgers look like the team that is capable of springing another upset or two. Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes are veterans who have been through the battles before. Wisconsin's matchup with Notre Dame is real intriguing considering neither team was supposed to be here.

 

​Indiana's Walking Wounded

The Hoosiers are glad for the time off as some of their players are a bit banged up. Robert Johnson and Juwan Morgan both left the second round win over Kentucky with minor injuries. Both should be good for Friday night and they will be needed against an equally deep North Carolina team. The pair average more than 10 points per game combined.

 

The Quote

"This year I'm going to take it upon myself to use you guys and profess my celebrity crush: Lea from 'Glee.' So if she's watching this, if she hears this, hello. I'm available. You know. Call, text, call the Kohl Center, Coach Gard's number. If you could get this out to her, tweet this out maybe, send her a poke on Facebook — I don't know how this works, you know kids and the social media these days. I don't know if they do that. Also, if Ms. Lea has a friend, I have a friend, and you know, like Biggie said, 'your friend can be my friends and we can be friends.'" 

— Wisconsin star Nigel Hayes who used his time on the podium last week to profess his love for one of TVs stars.

 

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

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