East Region, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
(1) Ohio St. Buckeyes vs. (4) Kentucky Wildcats (9:45 p.m. on CBS): Big Ten vs. SEC, North vs. South, 0-5 vs. 5-0, freshman guard (Brandon Knight) vs. freshman forward (Jared Sullinger), gel-haired head coach (Kentucky's John Calipari) vs. very little hair left head coach (Ohio State's Thad Matta). Whichever storyline someone chooses to lead with for Friday night's match-up between the No. 1-overall seed Buckeyes (34-2) and the No. 4 Wildcats (27-8) is pretty good. But, I am curious ... let's break this down.
Storyline one: Big Ten vs. SEC.
The Big Ten got seven teams (Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin) into the tournament. Its current record after three round is 7-5 (.583 winning percentage); the SEC earned five tournament invites (Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia) and currently has a 4-3 record (.571).
So, it's a push! Friday night's winner gives its conference the victory it needs to push the winning percentage in their favor.
Storyline two: North vs. South.
If only the Confederates had railroads. North wins.
Storyline three: 0-5 vs. 5-0.
This is hard to believe, but the Buckeyes are 5-0 against the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament. That's so bad that even having Ashley Judd on the sidelines (she's a Kentucky alumi) can't swing this category in the favor of Kentucky (but it's close).
Storyline four: Brandon Knight vs. Jared Sullinger.
Well, considering Sullinger is in the running for the Naismith Award, averages 17.1 points per game, 10 rebounds per game and is probably the most versatile big-man in the nation ... North wins, again.
(Writer's note: Wright netted a game-best 30 points in Kentucky's 71-63 victory over No. 5 West Virginia in the third round.)
Storyline five: Gelled hair vs. little hair left.
Calipari wins this one for the Wildcats because all bald men envy men with hair.
Prediction: The Buckeyes earned a 3-1-1 victory in the storylines breakdown, which means they'll win, 65-54.