The World-Herald's Kevin White takes a capsule look at Saturday's Elite Eight games.
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East Region at Verizon Center, Washington
No. 3 seed Marquette (26-8) vs. No. 4 Syracuse (29-9)
When: 3:30 p.m., CBS
The plot: Little did the folks in Milwaukee know on Feb. 25 that their Big East matchup, won 74-71 by Marquette, would be a prelude to an NCAA regional final. Both teams squeezed the life out of their opponents on Thursday with stifling defensive efforts.
The directors: This is the first Elite Eight under Buzz Williams for Marquette, which has advanced this deep for the seventh time in school history, but just the second in 36 years. This is Syracuse's ninth Elite Eight appearance, and Jim Boeheim has guided six of them, winning three of the previous five.
The leading men: Marquette: Vander Blue (14.8 ppg), Davante Gardner (11.4), Jamil Wilson (9.9). Syracuse: C.J. Fair (14.4), Brandon Triche (13.8), James Southerland (13.4).
The envelope, please: Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams, normally a terrific set-up man, suddenly has supreme confidence in his ability to score (24 vs. Indiana). Combined with Triche's unique skills, the Orange should have enough to avenge the regular-season loss and advance to Atlanta.
West Region at Staples Center, Los Angeles
No. 2 Ohio State (29-7) vs. No. 9 Wichita State (29-8)
When: 6:05 p.m., CBS
The plot: Butler. VCU. George Mason. Is Wichita State destined to join that list? The Shockers pass the eye test. Even though they haven't had to navigate murderer's row to get here, they certainly appear to have the firepower and resolve to win this game.
The directors: This is Thad Matta's third Elite Eight in nine years at Ohio State, and he's seeking to go 3-0. Under Gregg Marshall, Wichita State is the first Missouri Valley Conference team in 32 years to reach the Elite Eight.
The leading men: Ohio State: Deshaun Thomas (19.7 ppg), Aaron Craft (10.1), Lenzelle Smith Jr. (9.3). Wichita State: Cleanthony Early (13.7), Carl Hall (12.7), Malcolm Armstead (10.8).
The envelope, please: When somebody is called a team of destiny, it often involves a heavy underdog. In this case, that team of destiny appears to be Ohio State. If it gets tight late, you just expect Aaron Craft and Co. to go make a play. And they may have to. But we'll take the Buckeyes.
— Kevin White